Living wall introduces outdoor working to St Andrew Square
August 25 2021
A historic Edinburgh office block is to be subject to extensive alterations and additions under new plans brought forward by Morgan McDonnell Architects for 28 St Andrew Square.
Planned interventions will see the removal of non-original additions including a stair core, car park, raised courtyard and rooftop plant to create an office environment that is better suited for today's needs.
As part of the works, an internal courtyard and green wall is to be overseen by Rankin Fraser to create a secluded space for outdoor working and socialising amid native plants and trees. In the process, undercroft parking will be replaced by a cycle store, enabling the courtyard level to be brought into line with the ground floor.
Targetting a BREEAM Excellent rating the approach will expose as much of the history and heritage of the building as possible by exposing concrete waffle floor slabs and columns with ceiling services kept open. A rooftop extension will feature large-format glazing overlooking the National Portrait Gallery with a ridgeline terrace offering views to the south and east.
A new build side extension will further augment available space with a palette of fark grey glazed terracotta and metal-framed curtain wall cladding acting as a counterpoint to the predominant use of red sandstone. In a context statement, the architects wrote: "The proposals carefully consider the significance and heritage value of the existing building on the Northern side of the square, where most of the remaining historic buildings are positioned.
"The dark grey metal cladding, only visible as a narrow strip from some areas at street level will blend in with the grey slate roofs without negatively impacting the square skyline and the prominence of the red sandstone gables on both elevations."
Occupier wellbeing is central to this approach with courtyard views emphasised throughout.
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