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All-weather courtyard to knit Edinburgh townhouses together

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January 8 2021

All-weather courtyard to knit Edinburgh townhouses together

Two B-listed Georgian townhouses at Picardy Place, Edinburgh, will form the backbone of a new 67-bedroom hotel close to the new St James Quarter.

Morgan McDonnell Architects have been enlisted by Silvermills Estates to consolidate both properties as a single entity, principally via a new build extension to Broughton Street Lane which will rationalise circulation between a series of ad-hoc later additions.

A glazed link will serve as a buffer between new and old elements, enabling a newly repaired and reconstituted stone facade to be showcased, part of a broader program of fabric repairs.

Explaining the decision making process the architects wrote: "This demonstrates the principle of subservience by significantly offsetting the new extension from the townhouse façade by approximately 5 metres and taking away the clumsy collision of the existing extension which obscures much of the façade and awkwardly truncates the remainder.

"The substantial 5m wide glazed link encapsulates the historic façade and creates a dramatic circulation space where bridge links span a 1-metre void created between the extension and the townhouse."

Rear facades will utilise a red/brown brick to blend in with an existing extension and stand flush with the street edge to reinforce the dense urban character of the mews lane.

A garden courtyard will be retained as the public heart of the hotel, covered by a lightweight ETFE roof to permit year-round occupation.

Edinburgh's fickle climate will prove no barrier to al-fresco dining
Edinburgh's fickle climate will prove no barrier to al-fresco dining
Elevated bridge links will connect old and new elements at all levels
Elevated bridge links will connect old and new elements at all levels


D Munro
#1 Posted by D Munro on 9 Jan 2021 at 22:57 PM
That glazed roof is probably the most awful piece of "architecture" I have seen in a long, long while. The relationship to the existing Outhouse Bar roof, and the fenestration of the adjacent building is shocking - who designed this? HFM from Aberdeen?!
Auntie Nairn
#2 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 10 Jan 2021 at 10:58 AM
OMG - that rear elevation. Who on earth would actually, no my eyes!! Make it stop!!
#3 Posted by stlyecouncil on 11 Jan 2021 at 10:06 AM
Pretty hideous. The massing and relationship to the mews is especially bad...and that roof! Zero love or finesse. An exercise in subservience this aint..
#4 Posted by Confused on 12 Jan 2021 at 13:03 PM
Despite the comments above I really don't think this is bad? You won't be able to see the massing from street level and the glassed area allows for a nice bright bit of internal court yard space in a country that is bitterly cold most of the year....

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