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3DReid proposes student block in Edinburgh World Heritage Site

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AJ100 practice 3DReid has submitted plans for a 3,178m² student accommodation block within Edinburgh’s UNESCO-recognised Old Town

The practice, which has a studio in the Scottish capital, lodged an application for the 91-bed scheme in the city’s Canongate district.

3DReid said its proposals for the vacant former gasworks plot close to Old Tolbooth Wynd and the Royal Mile represented ‘a carefully considered response to the surrounding townscape’.

The scheme would rejuvenate a ‘neglected’ part of the World Heritage Site, according to developer Summix.

3DReid added that a community space within the proposals would have direct access to Old Tolbooth Wynd, ‘enlivening a currently dark, somewhat intimidating route’.

Summix development director Stuart Black said: ‘We are delighted to submit this application for high-quality student accommodation.

‘Great attention has been taken to implement a design-led approach which delivers a final piece of the jigsaw in this World Heritage Site and conservation area.

‘The development also serves to address the increasing demand for student accommodation, fulfilling the ambitious growth plans of universities in the city, which are key drivers of the economy. It also serves to reduce pressure on the private housing market as well as delivering a substantial amount in additional expenditure into the local economy.’

Architect’s view – 3DReid associate director Chris Dobson

The footprint of the building takes cognisance of the existing structures and spaces, enhancing permeability across the site by way of a continuation of the Old Town’s characteristic close-and-court arrangement.

Pronounced level changes across the site have been reconciled to ensure ease of access throughout, with the articulation of its massing being such to stitch the development into the predominant urban grain of the wider conservation area.

A significant portion of the historic built fabric has been maintained, the proposed development inserted into this in a manner that makes entirely legible, new and old. This continues the condition of layered construction that is currently evident, with Victorian-era brick buildings situated on stone rubble structures associated with the earlier Magdelene Asylum and bowling green that once occupied the site.

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - proposed ground floor

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - proposed ground floor

Source: 3DReid

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - proposed ground floor

Project data

Location Edinburgh
Type of project Student residence
Client Summix
Architect 3DReid
Planning consultant Rick Finc Associates
Structural engineer Arup
M&E consultant Arup
Quantity surveyor Arcadis
Planning supervisor Arcadis
Gross internal floor area 3,178m²
Images 3DReid 

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - courtyard sketch

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - courtyard sketch

Source: 3DReid

3DReid Canongate Edinburgh student accommodation scheme - courtyard sketch

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Any site in such a very sensitive historic location should surely be the subject of an architectural competition - however innocuous 3DReid's design might appear to be.

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