DR BELL’S FAMILY CENTRE
Location: Leith, Edinburgh
Client: Port of Leith Housing Association
Programme: Completed 2006
This project is a major component in the regeneration of central Leith and formed part of the City of Edinburgh Council’s successful Townscape Heritage Initiative.
Dr Bell’s School was a Category B listed element within a group of buildings. These included a three storey wing of classrooms, the original school room and a swimming pool, all of which were drawn together by an ornate stone screen wall incorporating a sculpture of Dr Bell, a well known academic and the founder of the school.
The client purchased the building for conversion into flats for social rent and a small family centre. The works included comprehensive stone repairs and reinstatement of traditional lead detailing. The distinctive original double stair in the centre of the building has been refurbished, including providing a rooflight at top floor level. Thirteen dramatic flats have been created with high levels of natural light and stunning views of the Edinburgh and Leith skyline.
The Family Centre required a separate entrance providing appropriate street presence. A new single storey stone façade has been formed leading to an external courtyard and the glazed entrance of the reception area. This provides a welcoming entrance sequence with detail design using European oak and copper creating a small but significant contemporary statement in the surrounding streetscape.