The Proposed Development
The proposals are currently still evolving, which is why your feedback at this stage is important.
The current proposals are for a residential-led, mixed-use development, which will occupy the site outlined above. The proposed development seeks to make more efficient use of this highly accessible, sustainable site, by providing much-needed housing and a mix of office/retail/restaurant/cafe uses.
Site Analysis: Existing Building Lines
Dundas Street follows the established Georgian building line from Heriot Row to Fettes Row where it terminates, signifying the north extent of the Second New Town. The city block on Dundas Street to the north of Fettes Row, where the application site is located, follows a later Victorian building line with development positioned closer to the street.
In contrast, the existing buildings do not follow any of the established building lines and are instead positioned back from both the Georgian and Victorian building lines.
Earlier developments along the north side of Fettes Row were sited on a historic building line closer to the street. This was subsequently superseded by the now established contemporary building line of Fettes Row and Vincent Place which mirrors the Georgian one on the south side of the road.
In contrast, the existing office building at 108-114 Dundas Street along with the adjacent residential development at 30-31 Fettes Row are set back from the predominant building line.
It is evident that the siting of the existing buildings within the application site is at odds with the surrounding established urban grain both on Dundas Street and Fettes Row and only serves to emphasise the unsympathetic form of the office buildings.
Design Proposals: Proposed Building Lines
The proposals seek to improve the shortcomings of the siting of existing buildings, repair the streetscape and urban grain and enhance the site’s relationship to the blocks of the Second New Town to the south.
The design proposes the reinstatement of the prevailing Victorian building line along Dundas Street as followed by all the buildings within the same city block to the north. The proposals also position the new buildings on the predominant building line along Fettes Row thus resolving this corner condition and reinstating the prevailing building lines on both streets.
Design Proposals: Form
The scheme proposes the demolition of the existing office buildings and the creation of a new mixed-use building which will correspond to the height of the existing buildings on site.
The proposals, taking into consideration the existing uses of the neighbouring buildings, include residential accommodation on Fettes Row, whereas on Dundas Street residential accommodation is allocated on the upper levels with commercial uses on ground and lower ground floors in order to ensure that the established pattern of commercial uses and active frontages is continued along the full length of the city block. The proposals also incorporate outdoor landscaped private and common amenity space and secure cycle and car parking facilities accessed directly from Henderson Place.
The scheme proposes approximately 44no flats, with a mix of different types and sizes, including a minimum of 20% at 91m2 or more, all of which will meet or exceed the minimum criteria as set out in the Edinburgh Design Guidance. The proposals also include 3no commercial units which would contain office/ retail/ restaurant-café uses.
The design proposals seek to address the different architectural conditions between Dundas Street and Fettes Row whilst at the same time creating an elegant building that compliments its surroundings at the edge of the New Town.
The building volume is conceived as two separate forms with the introduction of a break on Fettes Row. The design of the Dundas Street block would take its lead from the Victorian tenements which form the northern section of the city block fronting Dundas Street with the introduction of a defined ‘plinth’ with large format glazing to reflect the street level commercial element of the adjacent Victorian buildings, whilst also positively contributing to the streetscape by creating active frontages. The residential levels would ‘float’ above this commercial element within a sandstone block where the pattern of openings would reflect the rhythm of windows and bay windows on the Victorian buildings.
The vertical break between the Dundas Street block and the Fettes Row block would accent the main entrance to the residential accommodation, and would allow for a subtle change of emphasis in elevational design and reduce the visual compositional mass of the development
Taking inspiration from the restrained architectural language of the Georgian terrace opposite, the design would seek to utilise a consistent pattern of full height windows ordered within a horizontal hierarchy that would define the ground and first floors as the equivalent of the Georgian piano nobile.
Finally, the topmost storey is conceived as a setback from the primary façades to formally alleviate the overall massing but also to be visually congruous with the adjacent pitched roofs and more similar contemporary setbacks.
The design of the rear façades towards Henderson Place is a continuation of the scale and rhythm introduced to the front façades.
Design Proposals: Architectural & Material Precedent
A restricted material palette is proposed which includes blonde sandstone on the Dundas Street and Fettes Row elevations, buff brick on the Henderson Place elevations, black metal cladding at the topmost setback, black framed aluminium windows and black metal in details such as proposed balustrades and railings.
The design proposals include communal green space to the rear of the development which would be accessed directly from each residential stair core thus ensuring that all future residents will have access to outdoor amenity space.
Flats along Fettes Row would incorporate private courtyards, similar to the Georgian ‘wells’ of the neighbouring properties, with private gardens at the rear opening directly to the communal green space.
The setback of the topmost storey of the development will allow the inclusion of private roof terraces for the penthouse flats.
In addition, the commercial unit (office) will also be afforded access to private outdoor space in order to enhance the wellbeing of future workers.
The proposed usable green space would amount to approximately 33% of the total application site.
The proposed landscape of the communal green space will be covering the cycle and car parking thus reducing the hard surfacing on site and allowing the introduction of a variety of low-level planting such as hedges and flowering plants to suit the local environment and support biodiversity.
Additionally, a green/ brown self-seeding roof is also proposed at the topmost roof of the building to further enhance local biodiversity.
Rainwater management options would be incorporated to control surface water flows.
Renewable energy solutions would be incorporated within the design including PV panels located at the roof of the building.
Primary access to the flats would be provided by two street level entrances located on Fettes Row and Dundas Street. Access routes from the pavement to the common entrances would be level or gently sloping with level internal access routes to the stair & lift cores and dwellings on each floor.
Level entrances to the new commercial units would also be from Dundas Street.
To the rear of the buildings, secondary access via an external stair is provided from Henderson Place to the private communal gardens at Level 01 and to the residential common circulation areas.
The enclosed lowest floor of the development (Level 00) accessed from Henderson Place would be allocated to secure parking facilities for 108no cycle spaces and 33no car parking spaces, 2no of which are designed to be accessible and 6no of which incorporate electrical vehicle charging points.
Recycling and residual waste stores for the residential units have been incorporated within Level 00 to meet the minimum requirements published by the Council.
The design proposals seek the removal of non-contextual existing buildings with new development that will reinstate the historic and established building lines and enhance the streetscape at the edge of the Second New Town.
The introduction of residential uses will provide continuity with the prevailing pattern of residential uses on Dundas Street and Fettes Row and the inclusion of commercial uses on the ground floor facing Dundas Street will complement and enhance the existing active street frontage of the designated Local Centre.
The building would seek to complement and reinterpret the historic rhythm and pattern of its neighbours. The inclusion of gardens and terraces at different levels will provide future residents with usable private and communal amenity space.