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Apartments to fill Portobello High Street gap tooth

May 9 2022

Apartments to fill Portobello High Street gap tooth

Unassuming storefronts at 120-124 Portobello High Street are to be swept aside in favour of a four-storey apartment block under new plans by Block Nine Architects.

Standing alongside the Baronial style Portobello Police Station the existing site is to be cleared in favour of a car-free new build more in keeping with its context.

Delivering 11 apartments above two ground floor commercial units the build will employ a combination of natural sandstone, dark and buff brick, corten steel, render and zinc.

In their design statement Block Nine wrote: "While the floor levels to not align with the traditional high floor to floor heights of traditional buildings the proposals tie in through continuity of use of the same natural stone material to the front facade and similar window proportions and rhythm as the neighbouring building. Through this approach the two adjoining buildings have a similar language and create a natural flow to the streetscape of the high street."

Turning the corner into Ramsey Place angled windows will be employed to prevent overlooking of the police station.

 

A feature will be made out of angled windows to the side elevation through the use of perforated corten steel
A feature will be made out of angled windows to the side elevation through the use of perforated corten steel
A mix of two to four bedroom apartments are planned including a ground floor bike store
A mix of two to four bedroom apartments are planned including a ground floor bike store

8 Comments

KMCA
#1 Posted by KMCA on 10 May 2022 at 10:43 AM
I really like the articulation of the facade. Block Nine do some great stuff. Good people there.

But... that shop level ceiling height is an issue. The cost of squeezing three floors of apartments out of a space that should only allow two is that the commercial space below becomes unviable due to poor flexibility of fit-out. eg. No space for an AHU extract duct, nor a sub-ceiling than can easily delineate tenant liabilities. Quite likely its use will be restricted if appropriate sound separation can't be achieved due to the first floor depth allowed. It risks designing an empty shop unit because so many more flexible units are available.

Nevertheless, a welcome intensification and habitation of the high street.
nice drawings but
#2 Posted by nice drawings but on 10 May 2022 at 12:57 PM
Could the facade design be simplified and resolved please. Not too sure if the site justifies a corner condition.
Philip
#3 Posted by Philip on 10 May 2022 at 14:42 PM
I find this unnecessarily over fussy with so, so many materials and junctions. I've never understood the floaty mansard plane aesthetic!?.. The mansard is quite disappointing too. Apart from that, its great.
Ben
#4 Posted by Ben on 10 May 2022 at 20:47 PM
Bit of a dog's breakfast, much like many of the new developments in Edinburgh. Too many materials and volumes, the execution of the roof is really poor and how about limiting the window design to one or two typologies to have some uniformity? Overall pretty poor.
Wee Chantelle
#5 Posted by Wee Chantelle on 11 May 2022 at 13:38 PM
@#2 - Errr - it's in on a corner???
This is a bold contemporary interpretation of the High Street tenament it adjoins. Good response to the gap site and does well not to compete with Bryce's police station next door
Huge improvement on the 2 units that are there now.
Cue the outcry from the Porty locals that these 2 shops are part of the town's history.
I doubt CEC will have the guts to see it through tho.
Big chantelles maw
#6 Posted by Big chantelles maw on 11 May 2022 at 15:49 PM
The proposed symmetrical corner treatment gives equal weight to the main Street as it does to the lane. I don't think that is justified. Away an raffle yersel.
Wee Chantelle
#7 Posted by Wee Chantelle on 11 May 2022 at 20:34 PM
@#6 (& presumably #4) - Errr, it's not symmetrical? Have you not got tea to be making?
Big Chantelles maw
#8 Posted by Big Chantelles maw on 12 May 2022 at 08:08 AM
Suggested reading: Eye and brain by RL Gregory.. Perception is primarily dependent on viewpoint. The difference between the two images makes this very point. Perception is a good deal more nuanced than the actual geometry.
In any case, I suspect the corner exists not for contextual reasons but used as an artifice to express the two masonry walls as floating planes. Oh! They are not actually floating? Is that white 'pole' on the corner really holding something up? And so on and so on and it all begins to unravel. Maybe that's what you mean by the clich├ęd 'bold contemporary'
Nice render though reminds me of a Georgio Grassi drawing.

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