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Cowgate Housing, Edinburgh
Old Town Flats, Edinburgh by Richard Murphy Architects
Richard Murphy Architects
Cowgate/Fishmarket Close, 2001-2003
Housing for Castle Rock Housing Association and offices for EDI
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Burrell Company housing project
Castle Rock Housing Association – Building information 9 Sep 2004
COWGATE REDEVELOPMENT COMPLETES OLD TOWN JIGSAW
Castle Rock Housing Association has started construction on Richard Murphy Architects’ next building in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Tron Phases 3 & 4 will mark the final pieces in the jigsaw of regenerating an entire block of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Designed by award winning Richard Murphy Architects and developed by Castle Rock Housing Association together with The EDI Group Limited, Tron Phases 3 & 4 are due to be completed in 2006.
Offering 35 social housing units for rent, alongside 8,000 sq ft of office accommodation, the building will complete a multi-million pound regeneration project that has breathed new life into a once-neglected part of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, comprising:
* An award-winning nursery designed by Allan Murray Architects, opened in 2003
* The former breakfast mission now refurbished into social housing units and offices
* 21 apartments and three penthouses, an office and restaurant in a car-free development by BUREDI just off the city’s ancient Old Fishmarket Close
* Residential and commercial units in an A-listed building at 1 Parliament Square
* The refurbished District Court
Castle Rock and the EDI Group have worked in partnership to coordinate the redevelopment of the entire Tron block of the city’s Old Town over a 10-year period. Their efforts were recognised in a Client of the Year award from the Edinburgh Architectural Association in 2002. The regeneration project was only possible thanks to the cooperation of a wide range of public and private sector partners.
Alister Steele, Managing Director of Castle Rock said “The last phase of the project will hopefully set new design standards for affordable housing in the city centre and will contribute towards meeting the Council’s targets for new affordable homes.”
Ian Wall, Chief Executive of EDI said: “Developing within the constraints of Edinburgh’s Old Town was a huge challenge. There were dozens of legal, technical and financial hurdles to overcome, on top of the constraints that come with the territory of developing in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Like a house of cards, had any one problem not been resolved, the whole project might have fallen.
We are very proud to have helped to enhance the environment of this part of the Old Town and the results are a testament to the skill and imagination of the team involved. I believe that we’ve demonstrated how you can effectively deliver high quality buildings and excellent architecture for public buildings.”
The last phase of the Tron Square project is costing £4.4m in total. Communities Scotland has awarded a grant of £2.5m. £1.5m will be raised in private funding. Castle Rock will use £400k of its own reserves to complete its funding package.
Some of the challenges that the regeneration project had to overcome included:
* The construction of the award-winning nursery, where all materials and equipment had to be carried through one of the Old Town’s famous “pends” or alleyways, less than 2m wide
* Archaeological investigations which had to be completed before work started on all new build phases, which uncovered a medieval vault and housing remains.
* Complex, historic title problems, including a prohibition against development within the title for the Tron 3 & 4 site, that showed it was reserved for an
“Underground stop”, in the event that a metro system was ever developed in Edinburgh.
The Tron project has been submitted for the Property Week Regeneration Project of the Year 2004 awards.
Cowgate Housing – Building PR 9 Sep 2004
The EDI Group Limited is a private company which is 100% owned by City of Edinburgh Council. BUREDI is a joint venture between The Burrell Company and The EDI Group Scotland Ltd. The Tron 1 development, the result of an architectural competition judged by a panel that included Piers Gough and Janet Street Porter, won the Bank of Scotland’s Residential Award for Excellence at the Property Executive Development
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