Following on from our successful collaboration with AMA (New Town) Ltd at Cramond in Edinburgh, the client approached us with an interesting but difficult site on the extreme suburban edge of Edinburgh at Fairmilehead, where the city meets the city bypass and the road to Biggar. The site is currently occupied by a 1950s public house, the Fairmilehead Inn, which was proposed to be demolished. The site has a distinct slope to the south but has major roads on the southern and eastern boundary which would involve significant sound proofing measures to the design of the flats.

The design envisaged a series of parallel barrel-roofed blocks facing the splendid view of the Pentland hills to the south. Each flat occupies two of these parallel blocks on plan with the bedrooms on the Biggar Road side and the living, dining and kitchen accommodation on the Pentland Hills side. Three common stairs are arranged on a split level basis with one flat per half level. The plans of the flats are distinctively organised with "served" and "servant" spaces expressed in both plan and section and this plan also extends down to include the ground floor level garage parking. Access to the flats is from Biggar Road with the west side of the site being reserved as a communal garden. An existing burn at the lower level of the site is dammed by the flats themselves to form a small lake into which they would appear to sit.

The project was abandoned after planning permission was achieved in 2004.

Architects Richard Murphy, Graeme Armet, Matt Loader, Joe Carnegie
Engineers SKM Anthony Hunts
Construction Cost  £3.5m
Client AMA (New Town) Ltd  
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