307 Blackness Road, Dundee
Internal Floor Area
Two residential courtyards with gable frontages to the view across the River Tay
A tale of two settings, an old school courtyard complete with back mews and a big windowed baronial turreted and gabled frontage, all reconceived as a residential setting with its contemporary echo beside, mews court and balcony fronted river view apartments.
Building new on Old
Parkview is a prominent site to the west end of Dundee, its park-like setting compliments the adjacent Victoria Park to the east, Balgay Park to the north and the Western Cemetery to the South West. Originally built in 1893, the main feature of the site is the exuberant Scots Jacobean former industrial school, which has been carefully restored and converted to a residential development, providing 29 residential units as well as the construction of 15 new build flats adjacent.
The former category B school building was in poor repair having been left empty for several years and subject to lead theft and vandalism. As a result the existing slate roof was completely stripped to allow the instillation of a new waterproof membrane, slates were then redressed and reused where possible and original slates prioritized for replacement to the front facing elevations. To minimize external penetrations to the building, A rated gas boilers flues and whole house extraction is coordinated into central service risers and hidden in rear facing roof valleys.
Heavily rusted cast iron gutters and rainwater pipes were replaced with aluminum and painted black to match the original intent of the building. New locally sourced hardwood double glazed sash and case windows were installed to improve acoustic and thermal performance whilst maintaining the character of the original aesthetic. Stone repairs and lime mortar repointing was carried out on the external fabric to prolong the lifespan of the existing building.
To the north of the existing school the former stone laundry walls have been retained, providing the base for a new 1st floor and roof structure. This creates 6 mews properties with living accommodation set on the upper floor to maximize light and views. The monolithic zinc structure is contemporary in its form and detailing but picks up the grey tones of the original slate roofs. South facing recessed balconies provide private external space and focusses the living room views inward, avoiding overlooking into neighboring gardens to the north. The courtyard has been landscaped to provide a shared garden space within the heart of the site and the original cast iron canopy re-instated to tie the old and new together whilst providing a sheltered walkway to all properties.
A modern home within a historic setting
To the east of the former school a series of new build flats and mews houses have been designed to occupy the gap site created by the removal of the 1970’s Duncan House School building. The architecture of these new build properties pick up on the scale of the existing school and carry through the architectural language that was initiated in the mews properties. The south facing properties stem off a central entrance close and all take advantage of the dramatic views, while the mews block to the north is set back to form a small courtyard and continues the line formed by the laundry extension in the main building. The stepped form of the flats minimises the impact of the of the new development on the site and enables the existing mature trees to remain undisturbed.
The materiality of stone, timber and zinc carries through to continue a sympathetic yet contemporary palette within the site. Bike stores, clothes drying areas and bin recycle stores have been provided to encourage low energy living solutions.
The gate lodge to the entrance of the site has been refurbished with a zinc and timber extension in order to complete the development, providing a subtle nod to the materials and contemporary interventions throughout the site.
Creating a residential community
Since the project was completed in July 2016, all properties have been sold on the private market and are now occupied by a broad demographic of people, from students and young doctors working at the nearby Ninewells Hospital to retired couples and individuals looking to downsize from their larger family homes.
This diverse spectrum of residents has immediately created a sense of community, with the shared courtyards and garden like setting providing opportunities for chance encounters or planned get togethers. Feedback from the end users has been overwhelmingly positive and the experience of two residents has been documented in our post occupancy review.
“We purchased a property from Whiteburn in February 2016. We were attracted to the site by the high quality of the work clearly visible when passing the site. The attention to the appearance of the completed areas of the site despite the ongoing work clearly showed an attention to detail sadly lacking on most developments. The property is well designed and offered a high specification apartment in a well-planned environment.”
Dr Iain Spence Resident
“The flat has exceeded expectations in terms of design, quality of fittings and particularly its outstanding vistas in all directions. It has genuinely earned a "wow" response from all our visitors. The development is set in beautifully landscaped grounds and has excellent transport links with key resources within the city”
Ian and Isobel Colligan Resident
Scottish Home Awards 2016 - Small Housing Development of the Year
Herald Property Awards 2016 - Renovation Category
Civic Trust Commendation Award 2017