10 Design’s architectural concept for Ediston and Orion Capital Managers’ New Town Quarter development in Edinburgh has been revealed...
Architect: 10 Design Client: Ediston, Orion Capital Managers Location: Edinburgh, UK GFA: 65,000 sqm Design Partner: Gordon Affleck Project Leader: Matt Bremner Architectural Team: Euan Revell, Shaun McLeod, Serhii Zvaholskyi, Suzanne Priestley, Marius Dumitrascu, Valentin Hunzinger, Laura Barr, Alex Cozma, Jon Morrison, Tim Read, Andrew Hadley, Jessica Barton, Jonathan Lynn, Daria Ristea, Javier Manjon, William Bayram Landscape Architect: Optimised Environments Ltd (OPEN)
From the architect: International architecture practice 10 Design has led on a unique design concept for one of the largest redevelopment projects in Edinburgh’s city centre which will transform the former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) site on Dundas Street into a first-rate mixed-use development.
Earlier this year, Ediston and Orion Capital Managers submitted plans for New Town Quarter –previously referred to as New Town North–for planning following an extensive public consultation exercise through the pre-planning process.
The proposed mixed-use development will create a new urban centre, providing a significant addition of public realm, including office, hotel, retail and residential components. Proposed new buildings to Fettes Row are designed to respond sensitively to the adjacent listed buildings, whilst retaining and strengthening the existing ‘green edge’ boundary of the site.
The development will replace the existing car park and ex RBS office with a new integrated development that respects its unique location bordering the World Heritage Area in a respectful but contemporary design that will reconnect the King George V Park with both the New Town and the wider urban context.
Gordon Affleck, Design Partner at 10 Design, commented: “The site has offered a unique opportunity to reconnect the park to the north and west of the city. Respecting both the sensitivity of its location with the New Town and the complexities of the physical restrictions of the site has proved challenging, however we believe the quality and diversity of the development uses and the new public realm will create a focal point and positive amenity for both the local and wider community.”
The proposed project considers a series of landscape and amenity terraces to maintain vistas while creating new pedestrian and cycle routes, greatly improving permeability in this part of the city. The key route will connect Dundas Street through the heart of the site to King George V Park with a variety of interconnected landscape terraces that absorb the steep level changes of the site creating a new East-West narrative, transitioning from a more green environment of the park to the more urban setting of Dundas Street. This route will create a new public plaza accommodating retail, food & beverage (F&B) where community events can take place. Combined with structured planting design to create both an activated landscape link to the park while providing new entry points for the key components of the development maintaining a car free pedestrian environment across the site.
Robust, low maintenance natural materials, with high performance and energy efficient building envelopes along a series of green decks and elevated landscaped spaces, and the addition of health and wellbeing components (such as a new gym) will create new amenities for both the local and wider community to add quality of life and sense of place. All this in combination with balconies, terraces and green roofs will help to create a sustainable and economic development.
Ross McNulty, Development Director of Ediston, commented: “We are aware this is a complex and large site, with important links to some of Edinburgh’s finest streets and green spaces. We are making sure we take the right amount of time to consult properly with local people to deliver a market leading development to benefit both the community and the wider city.”
The form and character of the proposed development will create a new urban hub while being sensitive to the surrounding area. It is anticipated to have a population density in line, or lower than165 people per hectare, which is the average existing population density of the locality (based on current census data).
Latest published research shows the development is poised to bring significant economic benefit to the local area and wider Edinburgh economy. The report by engineering and environmental consultancy The Waterman Group reveals that the operational phase of the development will create more than 700 full-time jobs whilst generating an annual GVA (Gross Value Added) economic uplift of £34.4 million to the regional economy. Additionally, it predicts that the construction phase will create a further £27.7 million GVA at a regional level, creating a further 60 full time jobs.