Housing at Dublin Street Lane, Edinburgh

This project was won in in a limited competition in 1994 but was not constructed until some time afterwards. The starting point for the design of this housing project was the realisation that the site represented one of the very few examples of a land use pattern in the Georgian New Town that predates the New Town's construction. The buildings that existed on the site were of indeterminate age, but the footprint of them could be traced back to the partially destroyed Broughton Village, which as can be seen from the succession of maps originally sat in countryside, had been scheduled for total elimination, but eventually found itself encircled by New Town tenements. There is therefore an almost archaeological significance to the site and although it was impossible to save or reuse the existing buildings, we elected to preserve broadly their footprint and also to a degree the spirit of an organically planned village. In this sense we designed the antithesis of the formality and hierarchy of the New Town pattern.

Our project consists of a walled precinct of houses arranged in two three storey "ranges" corresponding to previous buildings. The vehicle and pedestrian gates of the precinct are and both marked by three storey gate houses. Most of the project is for one and two bedroom flats except for six family houses on the north side.

In the spirit of reinterpreting the medieval, all apartments are reached by external staircases, Living rooms of the top floor flats are placed under the section of the roof with ridge light glazing. All the elevations are freely composed and include timber panels (a memory of the former timber yard nearby) and the spaces between the building's develop in an equally informal manner.

The project was completed in 2000.

 

Other Details

Architects Richard Murphy, Matt Bremner, Oliver Chapman, Keith Ross, Lesley Dell
Engineers Laird Menzies Partnership
Quantity Surveyor Thomas and Adamson
CDM Planning Supervisor Ross and Morton
Contractor Watson Construction Ltd
Construction Cost £1.5m
Client Buredi Ltd

Awards

2000 Saltire Award Commendation
2000 RIBA Award
2001 EAA Award Commendation

Press

August 2017 Seriality in Architecture Tripod Magazine
February 2011 Housing In Edinburgh Architecture & Detail, No 17 - 2001, Volume 9
21 October 2004 Traversing The Great Divide The Scotsman
21 November 2001 A Struggle To Stop Britain Living In The Past Financial Times
January 2001 Doors Into Windows Aj Focus
27 July 2000 Auld Reekie's New Village Architects' Journal
15 July 2000 Settling In The Colonies The Scotsman Magazine
December 1999 New Into Old : Old Into New Arca Issue No. 3
August 1999 Small Yet Perfectly Formed Homes & Interiors Scotland
11 March 1999 Adventurous In The New Town Scotsman Property Weekly
August 1998 Old For New Prospect
2 February 1998 Shock Of The New The Sunday Times
November 1994 Murphy's Magic The Edinburgh Property Executive
November 1994 New Town, New Talent Riba Journal
November 1994 Dublin Street Lane Competition Riba Journal
Nov /Dec 1994 Design Award The Register
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