We are pleased to announce that planning permission has been submitted for a new contemporary student accommodation at Gillespie Crescent.

The site is located within the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area. It forms part of what was historically the grounds of James Gillespie Hospital, later occupied by the Royal Blind Asylum and School. The area to the west of the Site, which historically contained the main building of the James Gillespie Hospital was redeveloped in 1976 as a sheltered housing scheme (Viewpoint Housing). The design process for the proposed development has been informed by this understanding of the historic context and the significance of heritage assets. The proposals have been developed with cognisance of the sensitive surrounding context and alignment of adjacent properties.

The building form and its alignment is based on the geometry of the existing structures around the site in plan, whilst also carefully considering the tree root protection zones of the existing trees to ensure that the emerging proposals are respectful of the existing vegetation and landscape.

The proposed development seeks to unite the fragmentary nature of the current site and create a built form that responds to its landscaped setting whilst responding to the architectural and historic character and appearance of the conservation area. The form and mass respects the landscape setting, views into and out of the site and views into and out of Gillespie Crescent.

The northern edge of the site is designed to enhance the opportunity for public access along Gillespie Crescent whilst providing safe, attractive, and easy access to Bruntsfield Place for the residents of the Viewpoint Housing whilst also creating an enhanced area of amenity for the residents of Gillespie Crescent.

The project presents a high-quality, sustainable, urban design solution for student accommodation within a sensitive context and an area of fractured urban grain within the conservation area, allowing the proposal to respond to the architectural and historic context rather than compete with it. Architecturally the proposal seeks to respond to its built context by sitting comfortably within the existing built forms being respectful of the residential nature of its neighbours.

Imagery Credit: Dalgety Design

Credit: Patrick Chiara, jmarchitects

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