Housing \ Wharton Square Housing at Quartermile (ex Royal Infirmary), Edinburgh

Q10 provides the affordable housing component of the overall Quartermile development creating 174 apartments in a single block at the west end of the site. 

The overall increase in residential accommodation across the Quartermile site meant a requirement for an increase in the affordable housing provision as part of the development. The general strategy within the amended masterplan was to increase the number of units on the Q10 site within the massing models developed for the overall scheme and with an emphasis on the quality of the apartments to be provided.

The revised strategy for the scheme arranged flats around an octagonal central courtyard. The scheme rises to five storeys around the shared court and then separates into corner towers which step back from the south west corner to reach a tenth storey on the north east corner.

This layout has been developed to maximise daylight into what is, of necessity, a relatively densely designed scheme but also to create a courtyard as a social heart to the scheme based on models of similar sized city blocks in Berlin and other European cities. In addition it offers tenants in the upper storeys the views of the Meadows and beyond enjoyed by buyers of the other flats on the overall site. The intention throughout has been to try and maintain the amenity of all flats, maximising light and view whilst minimising the number of single aspect flats in favour of dual aspect or corner flats wherever possible.

All access to the block is made via a new double height opening facing Chalmers Street which leads into the central courtyard which forms the hub of the scheme - the communal facilities on the ground floor are accessed from here as well as all the stair/lift cores. The courtyard is a semi-public space for the residents. A central play area was created and a nursery was completed in December 2013.

The project received funding approval in October 2010. Construction started in January 2011 and the project was completed August 2013.

Architects Richard Murphy, Graeme Armet
Client Quartermile & Hillcrest Housing Association
Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
Engineers Arup
Project Manager Gladedale Ltd
Services Engineers Hulley & Kirkwood
Quantity Surveyor Peter Graham & Partners
Construction Cost £23m


07 October 2014 Q10, Quatermile Urban Realm, Architecture Scotland Annual 2014
July/August 2013 Court Appeal Architecture Today
23 July 2013 Richard Murphy's Quartermile social housing completes Urban Realm
November 2012 Edinburgh's Quartermile - Biggest Regeneration Project in Scotland Nordan News
7 January 2007 Tower Block Wins Approval Evening News
1 June 2006 Time For Edinburgh To Say Yes Architects' Journal
22 November 2005 A Change To Formula For Quartermile Evening News
September 2014 The Architecture Projects Reshaping Scotland Wallpaper Magazine
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