Similar to the flurry of summer school projects coming towards completion as noted within our “Back to School” article of 08 September a number of our small, (yet beautiful!) Edinburgh University projects have achieved Practical Completion:
55-60 George Square
55 - 60 George Sq is made up of a row of Category A listed Georgian Terrace town houses to the Eastern side of George Square and is part of the Central Area of the University of Edinburgh Estate. The terrace is one of the few remaining parts of what was once a whole square of 18th century tenements. Developed by James Brown, it was the first residential square outside of the Old Town, and in the period prior to the New Town being completed was the most fashionable area in Edinburgh.
The existing buildings are currently occupied by the College of Humanities and Social Science Office & International Office and Student Recruitment and Admissions. With various departmental relocations as a result of our recently completed 50 George Square there was an opportunity to re-use as well as consolidate the existing properties at 55 to 60 for a range of alternative uses.
The works retain much of the existing fabric however as part of the proposal development we investigated the access strategy of the building, both externally and internally. To facilitate disabled access an external ramped platt has been sensitively inserted and internally ramped access through existing slappings of the party walls between the terraces has been integrated. All this being part of the Universities aspirations to make facilities accessible to all.
Business School Extension
The Business School was originally designed by Robert Matthew, Johnston-Marshall and Partners, and completed in 1970, and was known as the Adam Ferguson Building. It is Category B listed and forms part of the Category A listed grouping, which also includes the former William Robertson Building and David Hume Tower. These were designed to house the Arts Faculty, and this grouping is one of the key examples of Scottish Modernism.
Since the Business School has relocated to its new home in the refurbished Adam Ferguson Building its numbers have expanded. With more students joining the School there was a demand for more academic staff and teaching space. The solution was to form additional space in the basement car park, under the David Hume Tower which houses additional teaching and break-out spaces. These link to the existing computer labs and teaching rooms at the basement level of the Business School.
16-20 George Square
16-20 George Square are similar to 55-60. The department of Celtic and Scottish Studies is the longest established Celtic department in Scotland, and is the home of the School of Scottish Studies Archive which was founded in 1951 to collect, archive and promote the cultural traditions of the nation. The department currently occupies 27-29 George Square and whilst works are taking place within these existing spaces they required to decant to 16-20. As at 55-60 George Square circulation has been improved between the spaces, redecoration undertaken and storage facilities improved.
All of the above highlight The University of Edinburgh’s aspiration to improve both the universities infrastructure and student experience whilst maintaining its current operations, teaching and research commitments.
In addition to our work for Edinburgh University, two other of our University projects have opened their doors to the public for the start of this Semester.
Heart of Campus Project – Caledonian University (Phase 1)
Following on from our masterplan work for the University in 2010, we have been working over the past couple of years on developing the ‘Heart of Campus’ project identified in that masterplan. This project centralises the social, catering and student services into a consolidated and connected ‘heart’ flanked by vibrant and exciting external landscape spaces. These spaces will provide opportunities for interaction between all schools across the campus, encouraging cross discipline working. The first phase of the project – the new ground floor restaurant and social learning spaces - opened its doors to the public recently, and future phases (including new main entrance pavilion and extensive new teaching and learning and conference facilities will follow in the first quarter of 2016.
University of West of Scotland Paisley Campus Gateway Project
Again, following our campus masterplan work for the University in 2014, we have been working with the University to deliver the reworking of their main entrance to provide a clear ‘gateway’ into the campus and its facilities.
The project recently opened its doors, and has transformed an external unloved courtyard space into a vibrant welcoming atrium clearly connecting refurbished upper floors and providing much needed reception and gathering space to connect with the adjacent Brough Hall. The fit-out by Graven Images has provided interactive information points, a new reception, social learning space, and café.