Brewer’s Court, Calton Road Student Accommodation

This project delivers a mixed-use building comprising 87 student accommodation units and commercial space on a challenging site within the Edinburgh World Heritage site and set against the steep slopes of Edinburgh’s famous Calton Hill.




RSRE/ Student Roost



Brewer’s Court is a purpose-built student accommodation block, built for Student Roost, an award-winning student accommodation provider with properties across the UK.

The building is situated on Calton Road and contributes to the redevelopment of this rapidly changing part of the city. The site is located within Edinburgh’s Old Town, and is a short walk from Edinburgh University’s central campus, the Scottish Parliament, the city’s main shopping streets and Edinburgh Waverley train station.

This new, high specification accommodation scheme consists of a main reception space, studio accommodation over 5 floors, a common room, a laundry, a gym, an outdoor courtyard and integrated cycle storage. The front facing, upper storey studio apartments make the most of their location with full height glazing, giving sweeping views across the city.

The design of the building was carefully considered due its sensitive location and is rich in materiality, with elements of stone, render, brick, timber, precast concrete and zinc. The arrangement of materials on the front façade have been composed to give an illusion of verticality, in keeping with the contextual arrangement of the Old Town location. The front façade also features a ‘green wall’ to soften appearances and add interest at the entrance courtyard. Due to its relatively low lying location, the roofscape has also been considered as another elevation, with its setbacks, stepped roof terraces and hard and soft landscaping giving visual interest.

​The site was not without its challenges, bounded on 3 sides by existing buildings and retaining structures. This resulted in considerable design, technical and logistical solutions to the problems of building on an enclosed site in a city centre location.

The design process was led by jmarchitects. The project started on site in May 2019 and was completed in May 2021. Students began occupying the building in Summer 2021 in time for the new academic year.

Project gallery

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The Challenge

To deliver a mixed use building comprising both student accommodation and commercial space on a challenging site within the Edinburgh World Heritage site and set against the steep slopes of Edinburgh’s famous Calton Hill.

The Solution

Following an extensive planning process to determine the correct massing and materiality for this sensitive site, the design team, led by jmarchitects, completed a design to provide studio accommodation with associated facilities and a ground floor commercial unit.

The Outcome

The project delivers high quality accommodation for 87 students for the end user, Student Roost. The building sits comfortably within its context and provides a valuable addition to this historic and developing thoroughfare.

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