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Detailed designs unveiled for New Town 'urban hub'

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November 17 2020

Detailed designs unveiled for New Town 'urban hub'

Ambitious designs for a mixed-use redevelopment of former Royal Bank of Scotland offices at Dundas Street, Edinburgh, have been showcased by 10 Design and Ediston Real Estate.

Following consultations the team alighted on plans for a high density 'urban centre' comprising a mix of shops, homes and offices with complementary public realm and a hotel.

Standing within the New Town World Heritage site the development juggles the need to sensitively respond to listed buildings while strengthening connections to King George V Park. Key to this approach will be establishing a sequence of landscape and amenity terraces to manage changes in level and transition between park and city, aided by the creation of new pedestrian and cycle routes.

Gordon Affleck, design partner at 10 Design, remarked: “The site has offered a unique opportunity to reconnect the park to the north and west of the city. Respecting both the sensitivity of its location with the New Town and the complexities of the physical restrictions of the site has proved challenging, however we believe the quality and diversity of the development uses and the new public realm will create a focal point and positive amenity for both the local and wider community.”

The car-free environment will include a new public plaza lined by retail, cafes and bars from which community events can be held. 

Buildings will be equipped with a combination of balconies, terraces and green roofs
Buildings will be equipped with a combination of balconies, terraces and green roofs
Green decks and elevated landscape spaces, as well as an on-site gym, will emphasise health and wellbeing
Green decks and elevated landscape spaces, as well as an on-site gym, will emphasise health and wellbeing

New east-west links will improve access to King George V Park
New east-west links will improve access to King George V Park
The development will deliver a population density of 165 people per hectare
The development will deliver a population density of 165 people per hectare

13 Comments

Johnny Cockermouth
#1 Posted by Johnny Cockermouth on 17 Nov 2020 at 16:45 PM
That's impressive.

What a well trained dog, obediently lying down while a flock of pigeons eat some left over Comte out of a discarded Mellis wrapper. If my dog so much as senses a pigeon on the other side of the park he is gone like the amenity of a townhouse on Royal Crescent.
Big Jock
#2 Posted by Big Jock on 17 Nov 2020 at 20:32 PM
Great images.
Dan
#3 Posted by Dan on 17 Nov 2020 at 21:58 PM
Awful. Faceless and sterile. Why is the standard of Edinburgh new builds so terrible?
Randall Sloan
#4 Posted by Randall Sloan on 17 Nov 2020 at 22:54 PM
The striking world renowned form of the New Town...then this. What a wasted opportunity, there is hints of it, with the completion of Royal Circus but beyond that what boring urban form. That new street they have created looks like Multrees Walk on steroids, baron and windswept, Amazing
James
#5 Posted by James on 17 Nov 2020 at 23:54 PM
I never comment, but I find the negativity on this site staggering. I think this looks impressive, and a great deal better than what is currently there. I am genuinely at a loss as to what other commenters expect a site like this to deliver? The façade facing Dundas street reflects the symmetry and proportion of its Georgian counterparts, and facing the park is more free and organic - what more is wanted?
KLD
#6 Posted by KLD on 18 Nov 2020 at 00:04 AM
I love the design of the windows in the third image. Very original.
Philip
#7 Posted by Philip on 18 Nov 2020 at 07:22 AM
Incredibly banal, corporate and a poor response to context. These buildings could be in any city!
The stunted, Premier Inn-like crescent section is particularly bland.
Borg
#8 Posted by Borg on 18 Nov 2020 at 12:31 PM
Sometimes it feels like architects don't actually make their own designs anymore, they just copy other ones from some kind of central database of indistinct featureless glass and cladding buildings.
Peter
#9 Posted by Peter on 18 Nov 2020 at 14:09 PM
What's 'banal' in Edinburgh, would be a killer site in Glasgow. That only sums up how truly rubbish projects we're fed here.
Whispering Andy
#10 Posted by Whispering Andy on 19 Nov 2020 at 15:12 PM
@9 - whisper it.....but I think they are moaning for effect. These are tremendous proposals, only a philistine would say otherwise.
Tremendous Philistine
#11 Posted by Tremendous Philistine on 20 Nov 2020 at 07:14 AM
#10 flogging that catch phrase to death eh?...

Scheme has an overwhelming whiff of a bland business park or “financial district” although I wasn’t expecting anything more. I would contest UR’s view that this scheme is in anyway ‘ambitious’ other than its scale.

#6 there is nowt original about any of the facades on offer. Cut n’ paste job throughout.

‘Alighted’....wtf
Robert Leslie
#12 Posted by Robert Leslie on 20 Nov 2020 at 13:17 PM
This seems to be the product of an indifferent and frankly uninspired architect. The overall impression is of sameness and predictability, which quite frankly is not good enough for the site. To say that its better than whats there already does not excuse its mediocrity.
Hilloch
#13 Posted by Hilloch on 23 Nov 2020 at 12:17 PM
The New Town is already incredibly bland and sterile. Will Self was right when he called it 'Antiseptic and denuded'. This scheme is positively warm in comparison.

BUT
The scheme does seem to suffer from:
- the already commented corporate façadism. Watch any remaining strands of joy inherent in the design get diluted as it's built (and 'value engineered' - ugh)
- the privatised streetscape that comes with modern large scale developments - these streetscapes don't belong to to the people of Edinburgh, they belong to the offshore financiers and developers and they make sure you know it. Been happening in the city of London for years and it makes for cr*p spaces.

Anyway, I wish the scheme well. I admit I'm sad to see the old building go, I really like it though its not without its flaws, so such is life.

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