King’s Stables Road
ARCHITECTURE: Commercial/Office/Hotel Building or Project
Fletcher Joseph Associates
Main Contractor – Bowmer and Kirkland
Structural and Civil Engineer - Cundall
M&E Engineer - MaxFordham
Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor – Axiom PSL
Landscape Architect – HarrisonStevens
Planning Consultant – Scott Hobbs
Agents – Knight Frank
Peveril Securities and Campus DM
King’s Stables Road is the comprehensive redevelopment of the former Council Cleaning and Street Lighting Depo and an adjacent nightclub has wholly redefined a forgotten corner into a vibrant and culturally significant quarter of Scotland’s capital.
Key to achieving social and economic value was the delivery of a mix of uses that combined in synthesis to transform a location previously chosen as a backdrop to cult films such as Trainspotting into a thriving neighbourhood better suited to its setting within a Unesco World Heritage site. The completed development comprises of a 7-storey apartment block, a premium student accommodation scheme that includes a private roof terrace, a 4*apart-hotel that breaks down in scale to offer a series of studio apartments, garden flats and townhouses, four ground floor units which offer over 5700sqft of commercial space that activate what was a particularly undesirable street; all set around a series of public and semi-private courtyards that reconnect the iconic Grassmarket with the city’s commercial West End.
The architectural language and muted material palette express a restraint that blends into the existing fabric and essential characteristics of the Old Town. Traditional sandstone formalises the frontage on King’s Stables Road while a mix of brickwork, grey cladding and off-white render echo the low-key, industrial materials used on the previous buildings.
Responding to the different aspects on each elevation, thoughtful detailing offers occupants their own vistas to enjoy the historic location. Individual corner, bay windows capture east-facing from a window-seat while setbacks on the upper floor offer communal and private roof terraces, providing exclusive views of Edinburgh’s world-class cityscape.
The history and archaeology of this site have been one of the key drivers of the project. The client’s archaeologist found evidence of Late Bronze Age, Medieval and Post Medieval deposits at depths greater than 1.5m, therefore, potential excavations into these zones would result in significant programme and cost implications. In response, the civil and structural team worked with the city archaeologist to develop a solution ensuring all excavations for foundations and drainage were as shallow as possible.
The improved public realm provides occupants and the wider public the opportunity to weave their way through reopened historic closes and well-lit courtyards. This experience promotes greater connectivity and features elements of historical interpretation, a result of the regular community and stakeholder engagement, enhancing the development’s sense of place and underlining the importance of considered, sustainable urban design.