Client: City of Edinburgh Council
Programme: Completed July 2007
This Category B listed building, on George IV Bridge, was constructed in late 19th Century and has had many uses. Its neo-classical façades and opulent interiors make it perfect for high profile public activities for the City. We were commissioned as part of the Council’s “Fit For Future” to proceed with the refurbishment of the entire building including additional council offices, meeting rooms and committee rooms.
The project involved regular discussions with Historic Scotland on the restoration of the existing high quality interiors and the insertion of new elements to meet the requirements of modern uses, including improved accessibility, in a sympathetic and complimentary manner. This involved the insertion of a new lift in an existing stairwell and the formation of a new escape stair internally to the north of the building.
The major intervention was the creation of the gathering space. This provides level access from the quadrangle and links both entrances of the building. A simple palette of modern materials including walnut and marble have been used to create a welcoming contemporary space within this historic building. In the reception a new circular reception desk has been designed.
The strong sustainable agenda that was followed in all areas, including specification, received recognition in the form of an International Green Apple Award for the Built Environment.
The building is now occupied by the Institut français d’Écosse.