Craigleith House, Fettes College
The Fettes Foundation, Fettes College
Fettes College, Carrington Road, Edinburgh, EH4 1QX
Internal Floor Area
A new boarding house model creating a bridge between school and university.
Craigleith sixth form centre provides mixed boarding accommodation, study and recreational spaces for the upper sixth form as a whole. It was the first element of a master plan to prepare Fettes College for the 21st century freeing up space in existing accommodation to improve facilities across the campus.
Designed to relate to the scale and materials of the school’s existing historic estate, the stone-clad curving form breaks down the building’s overall mass and creates a sense of protective enclosure around a single storey foyer, the social heart of the building.
The curving, male and female wings enclose en-suite rooms with shared ground floor public functions. The two wings frame the tower of the main Fettes building when seen obliquely from East Fettes Avenue, emphasising the building’s role as an anchor at the main entrance to the estate.
The central foyer gives access to the upper levels of either wing where the challenge of the bedroom corridor is resolved by locating small kitchen and breakout spaces in wedges that negotiate the curve. Staff accommodation occupies key overlooking positions linked by an upper level bridge which provides a spectacular vantage point to view the campus.
This concept of bridging is integral to the building as the new facility is seen as a transition between the protective embrace of the school and the independence of further education. It is no surprise, then, that the model typology of a university college building has influenced the ambience, demeanour and quality of the building’s brief and form.
“The house operates in a similar way to a university hall of residence, and is a busy, purposeful and vibrant environment.”
Andrew Cheadle, Fettes College