- Clients:Campus DM & Peveril Securities
- Civil And Structural Engineering:Cundall
- M&E Consultants:Max Fordham
- Project Managers And Quantity Surveyors:Axiom PSL
- Planning:Scott Hobbs
- Agents:Knight Frank
- Country:United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. King’s Stables Road is a leading example of a mixed-use development that successfully integrates a true mix of uses into a sensitive, historic city centre. The comprehensive redevelopment of the former Council Cleaning and Street Lighting Depo and an adjacent nightclub has wholly redefined a forgotten corner into a vibrant and culturally significant quarter of Scotland’s capital. Key to achieving social and economic value, was the delivery of a mix of uses that combined in synthesis to transform a location previously chosen as a backdrop to cult films such as Trainspotting into a thriving neighbourhood better suited to its setting within a Unesco World Heritage site. The completed development comprises of a 7-storey apartment block, a premium student accommodation scheme that includes a private roof terrace, a 4*apart-hotel that breaks down in scale to offer a series of studio apartments, garden flats and townhouses, four ground floor units which offer over 5700sqft of commercial space that activate what was a particularly undesirable street; all set around a series of public and semi-private courtyards that reconnect the iconic Grassmarket with the city’s commercial West End.
The architectural language and muted material palette express a restraint that blends into the existing fabric and essential characteristics of the Old Town. Traditional sandstone formalises the frontage on King’s Stables Road while a mix of brickwork, grey cladding and off-white render echo the low-key, industrial materials used on the previous buildings. Eastern edges of the development are domestic in scale, responding to the mews outbuildings and a former tenement that once occupied the site. Featuring pitched, slate roofs, dormer windows and the integration of a historic boundary wall ensured a sensitive approach, respecting key views into, around and through the site. Addressing a dominating office block to the south of the site required an innovative approach and the new buildings increase in height westwards, featuring novel saw tooth roofs. This concept is rooted in the research of historic maps and images that revealed a variety of small industrial huts and yards had once worked their way southward along a ‘close’ now lost below successive 20th Century development. Where the new development could never compete with its neighbour in terms of scale, these contemporary, metal-clad forms break down this urban mass, significantly improving views southward.
Responding to the different aspects on each elevation, thoughtful detailing offers occupants their own vistas to enjoy the historic location. Individual corner, bay windows allow east-facing occupants a window seat platform to enjoy the proximity of the castle while the dynamic roofscape while setbacks on the upper floor offer communal and private roof terraces, providing exclusive views of Edinburgh’s world-class cityscape. The improved public realm gives occupants and the wider public the opportunity to weave their way through reopened historic closes and well-lit courtyards. This experience promotes greater connectivity and features elements of historical interpretation, a result of the regular community and stakeholder engagement, enhancing the development’s sense of place and underlining the importance of considered, sustainable urban design.