St. Mary’s Medical Practice

An innovative GP practice, responsive to landscape and historic context

The West End Medical Practice project, nestled within the grounds of the Category A Listed St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh’s West End conservation area, is designed as a ‘garden pavilion’. Echoing the architectural style of Lansdowne Crescent, the building is carefully integrated with the surroundings by curving around existing trees. This design choice offers patients in the waiting area a serene view of gardens and trees, fostering a calming environment.

The building’s layout includes a stepped profile towards the west, mirroring the alignment of the existing Cathedral Close buildings. This section houses treatment rooms, support facilities, and the stone masons yard. The design not only frames the view of St. Mary’s tower but also gracefully transitions towards the Chapter House. Complemented by surrounding landscaping and a single-storey sedum roof, the project harmoniously merges with the cathedral grounds, creating a design that is considerate of the site and its neighboring context.


The medical center comprises 10 GP consulting rooms, 2 nurse consulting rooms, 1 treatment room, a health education room, and supporting staff accommodation. Additionally, a new workshop with a work yard replaces the previous ad hoc timber building, providing a modern facility for the stone masons to support their cyclic maintenance of the cathedral. Furthermore, the historic Walpole Hall and Song School are now seamlessly connected by an extension, creating a new foyer and reception area for both facilities.

Project Info

NHS Lothian
36 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EB
Internal Floor Area
February 2014
Project Manager
Campbell Kerr
Structural Engineer
Goodsons Engineers
M&E Engineer
Harley Haddow LLP
Cost Consultant
CDM Co-ordinator
John Cowan
Andrew Lee