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Auld Reekie's new village

Richard Murphy Architects has completed the 'Dublin Colonies', a £1.6 million housing project for the Burrell Company and EDI in Edinburgh's New Town. The development consists of six two-storey houses and 22 flats arranged to echo the footprint of the buildings which previously occupied the site. This layout is thought to predate the New Town's construction, and by adopting it in the new development the architect sought to create the spirit of an organically planned village - the antithesis of the formality and hierarchy of this quarter of Edinburgh.

Upper floor flats are reached by external staircases, which provide space for plant pots, and ground floor flats have self-contained gardens. The facades combine masonry rendered walls and panels of western red cedar boarding, which will mellow to silvery grey.

Sliding windows with external balustrades are reminiscent of warehouse loading bay doors, and provide cross ventilation. The Laird Menzies Partnership was the engineer, Thomas and Adamson was the quantity surveyor, and Watson Construction was the main contractor.

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