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Annandale St Edinburgh Flats

23 Annandale Street, Edinburgh for Millcross

Annandale Street

Miller Homes + Applecross – joint venture company Millcross: Mill-X
Laing O’Rourke: main contractors

CDA (Comprehensive Design Architects)
23 Annandale Street, Broughton

Annandale Street CDA, Miller, Applecross
image from Comprehensive Design Architects

Edinburgh Housing project by Mill-X

Brief / Design Description
The original office building at 23 Annandale Street was built for Standard Life in the 1970s. Due to a requirement for maximum floor space the building was designed with relatively low floor to ceiling heights, which do not meet current office requirements. However, the floor to ceiling height of approximately 2.45m is suited to residential use and the existing in-situ cast concrete structure gave a good opportunity for conversion, due to open plan floor plates and a lack of down stand beams. Due to its prominent location on Annandale Street, the building has spectacular views of the New Town and the Forth from most levels.

CDA, Edinburgh Architects Annandale Street, Edinburgh Annandale Street, Applecross Annandale St
image from Comprehensive Design Architects

A wide mix of units has been incorporated into the design, which include one and two bedroom open plan flats, two/three bedroom flats, maisonettes and penthouses. Each unit has access to a stair and lift from communal cores accessed from both Annandale Street and the rear car park at the lowest level. The maisonettes have been grouped at each of the gables to take maximum advantage of the large window openings and views. An additional penthouse storey has been built on the westernmost block to provide additional accommodation, and this now matches the larger eastern block in height.

All Annandale Street units have been designed as loft style accommodation, with open plan living areas. Hardwood flooring, glass blocks and curved dividing screens gives the flats a contemporary feel, with recessed downlighting and other co-ordinated fixtures and fittings enhancing the quality of the units. The kitchens have been provided as part of the open plan living space to meet contemporary lifestyles. However, rather than having the kitchen completely open to the living room, they have been carefully sub-divided from the main space by semi-open partitions. These partitions incorporate curves, breakfast bars, open shelving and integral lighting.

The main challenge externally was to convert the regimented commercial facades of the original building into a well-proportioned and elegant building with a distinct residential appearance. This has been done by breaking up the monotony of the façade with different sized window apertures, balconies and changes of material to give the building a residential feel. The main elevation to Annandale Street has been visually divided into two distinct blocks, which relate to the size and proportions of the adjacent Georgian tenement buildings. Large portions of the original stonework have been removed at the base of the façade and replaced with granite to relate to the base course of the adjacent building.

The original gable ends of the Annandale Street building were clad with a dull opaque glass rainscreen system, these panels were removed to open up the ends of the building to the spectacular views available. Metal cladding panels, large window apertures and open deck balconies have been introduced to enhance the residential feel of the building.

Comprehensive Design Architects Comprehensive Design Annandale St Annandale Street
image from CDA Edinburgh

The new sixth floor penthouse level to the westernmost block features clay rainscreen tiling together with powder coated aluminium panels and large window apertures. At the ground floor level, suspended glass and steel canopies have been used at each of the main entrance to provide a focus to the point of arrival.

Due to early planning requirements, the entire ground floor of the main Annandale Street building has been given over to three office suites ranging from 1500sqft to 2000sqft, each finished to a Category A fit-out standard and given separate access points.

In addition to the three office suites within the main building, a new stand-alone office building is being constructed off Gayfield Place Lane to the rear of the site, giving an additional 2000sqft of office space. This three-storey building incorporates garages for the residents at the ground floor level accessed from the main car park and two levels of offices above accessed from Gayfield Place Lane. The building has been given a lightweight pavilion feel by the use of materials such as cedar cladding, Sto render and large glazed areas.

Background to Miller Homes / Applecross Project
Having successfully tendered for the site, Miller Homes joined forces with Applecross to take forward Annandale Street as the first project from their joint venture company Millcross. From 2000 to 2002 the project was guided through the planning process and put to tender on a novated design and build basis. Laing O’Rourke was appointed as the main contractors in July 2002 to commence the development of 45 flats, six maisonettes and five penthouses over approximately a one-year programme.

Annandale St: Special Flat Designs
Bathroom pods (supplied by R B Farquhar) were used throughout the development due to the programme advantages and quality control. CDA designed the bathrooms and en-suites to an exceptionally high standard, incorporating mosaic tiling, glass block, glass shelving and brassware by Hans Grohe. Due to the limited floor to ceiling heights in the existing building, CDA worked with Farquhar to limit the amount of steel framing for each pod. The pods were craned onto external loading decks starting from the top level and working down, they were then slid into the building on large casters, with only 20-50mm of clearance.

The original building had three in-situ cast concrete stairs, these were retained and a lift shaft added to each. In addition to the existing stairs a new stair and lift was constructed within the east block fronting Annandale Street.
An additional penthouse storey was added to the westernmost block in place of the original steel trussed roof. A new slim deck floor was added at sixth floor level, and a lightweight steel framed construction formed the new penthouse level.

Design Team
CDA, Architects:
David Hannah, Chris Humphreys, Graeme Hunter, Shand Ramsay, Philip Kingan
Laing O’Rourke Scotland Ltd, Main Contractor
Harley Haddow, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers
Rettie & Co, Residential Agents
Summerfield Robb & Clark Ltd, Quantity Surveyors (pre-contract)
Farningham McCreadie Partnership, Landscape Architects (pre-contract)

Miller Homes + Applecross – joint venture company Millcross: Mill-X




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