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Stead's Place revisited with scaled-back proposals

December 17 2020

Stead's Place revisited with scaled-back proposals

Halliday Fraser Munro, on behalf of Drum Property and Camvo 123, have pivoted to a plan b to develop a contentious 1.3-hectare site at the foot of Leith Walk after encountering heavy resistance to their initial scheme.

The updated approach will now see a 1930s red sandstone building fronting Leith Walk retained and refurbished, complete with replacement shopfronts and windows, with 114 build to rent and 38 affordable apartments built on rear grounds.

Stead's Place will see the clearance of light industrial buildings with new buildings framing a newly formed street, which will enhance pedestrian and cycle connections to Pilrig Park.

New interventions will take the form of two linear blocks framing this street and punctuated by both traditionally proportioned windows and single windows where the lower half comprises an embossed metal panel.

Explaining their materials choice the architects said: "Ground floors consist wholly of brick which is also used on key gables of the development. A brick soldier course reflect the string courses of the traditional tenements. Upper levels are a combination of brick and render. A preformed horizontal string course between floors of the rendered areas reflects traditional detailing surrounding the site."

The sandstone frontage will be held as a long-term investment by Drum which will now seek tenants for the largely empty parade. 

A linear block will screen the disused railway line
A linear block will screen the disused railway line
Options for opening up the north facade of the 1930s block will be explored at a later date
Options for opening up the north facade of the 1930s block will be explored at a later date


#1 Posted by HMR on 17 Dec 2020 at 09:14 AM
1990's architecture at best.....I thought Edinburgh had more taste
#2 Posted by Ugh on 17 Dec 2020 at 09:26 AM
The golden turd hotel begs to differ, HMR.
#3 Posted by StyleCouncil on 17 Dec 2020 at 11:59 AM
Sad to see that in 2020, we are still doing apartment blocks in a car park. There seems to be no effort as far as placemaking is concerned...not even the obvious 'blocks around a courtyard' number, which could have worked here on a very basic level.
Would have been also interesting and worthwhile to key into the existing block and even puncture through to create access and a spatial dialogue (sorry!) with Leith Walk. The standard house builder-style access road and environment is very cr4p.
Zero creativity or consideration.

#4 Posted by WUN on 17 Dec 2020 at 14:50 PM
Not even an attempt at quality of place. Minimum spend, maximum return. Nothing more.
#5 Posted by Cadmonkey on 17 Dec 2020 at 16:07 PM
This is what the public in Leith demanded they get. They wanted lots of cheap housing and the crappy retail parade retained.
In all honesty Leith missed an opportunity here.
It's the publics fault.
#6 Posted by Biorcm on 17 Dec 2020 at 17:17 PM
Looks like nobody told the architect about the garages in the railway bridge arches again. Better than the last horror show. They look like they will be terrible to live in, noisy and cramped. Good for our junkies in a few years to come.
#7 Posted by MV on 17 Dec 2020 at 17:54 PM
depressing as .........
#8 Posted by Philip on 17 Dec 2020 at 20:08 PM
HFM. Worst architectural practice in living memory?
#9 Posted by PCD on 17 Dec 2020 at 22:59 PM
Apparently the plan only merits graphics courtesy of Minecraft.....therefore we must assume the buildings will have walls made of giant yellow concrete slabs and holes in the walls instead of glass windows? What a class act. ????
#10 Posted by Malandro1966 on 18 Dec 2020 at 08:06 AM
This is the developer cutting their losses after losing a student housing deal with Edinburgh University. They are essentially spending the least for the most return. Depressing.
Ross McEwan
#11 Posted by Ross McEwan on 18 Dec 2020 at 09:27 AM
This is deeply depressing from HLF. It shows an utter disregard for place making, environmental issues and is CHEAP turnaround as soon as possible developer crap housing.
This is NO better at all than what we were fighting against in the 1st place.
This is what you get from developers when community does not have its own "Vision" in place to take the developers on at their own game.
They have WON and will make a fortune out of this CHEAP and NASTY rubbish.
Positive comments only
#12 Posted by Positive comments only on 18 Dec 2020 at 10:26 AM
Ah the good old UR pile on we know and love. I see most of the classics have already been taken. I should have got in earlier.

Actually think the scheme feels quite appropriate. Height, massing, density all feel right... But don't let me stop you guys. Get stuck in.
Rory M
#13 Posted by Rory M on 18 Dec 2020 at 11:29 AM
Introducing another 300+ people into the already heavily condensed and polluted Leith walk? Clearly, this is not in the interests of the locals and I'd argue that the new plans are even more hideous than the first. Since Covid, people are starting to realise profit isn't the only important thing in this world. It's still only plans and we can stop this one too. KEEP OAN COMPLAINING
#14 Posted by TheFakeArchitect on 18 Dec 2020 at 12:02 PM
Wow that's a dense scheme! Architects seem to be getting a bit of a battering here which I feel is slightly harsh. Its clear this scheme is based on numbers from the developer and HFM have tried to work with that as best they could. Dare I say the elevational proposals actually look ok, or are you not allowed.
#15 Posted by classarchitect on 18 Dec 2020 at 12:16 PM
#5 there is a best of both worlds solution here, the Developer and HFM clearly haven't tried to find it. Hopefully CEC and the community group make them...
#16 Posted by Cadmonkey on 18 Dec 2020 at 14:08 PM
Can this not be developed as a Community Zoo (like Gorgie City Farm), with some allotments and a public green area with cafes, juice bars and some herbal remedy shops?
town planner
#17 Posted by town planner on 21 Dec 2020 at 12:36 PM
The original scheme was great, and literally next to the new tram route. Sadly the anti-anything over 5 stories tall brigade mobilised, and this is much worse. Meanwhile the green belt gets eaten up, and Edinburgh urban sprawl continues in all directions.

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