Royal College of Surgeons, Extension, Proposal, Image, Architect, Nicolson St Design, Picture

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh : Architecture

Surgeons College on Nicolson St, Edinburgh, Scotland – design by Benson + Forsyth Architects

Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons, Nicholson Street, Edinburgh
Date built: 1832
Design: William Henry Playfair, architect

Abandoned project designed by Benson + Forsyth, London:
Royal College of Surgeons, Scotland
image © Benson + Forsyth

Address: Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DW

Phone: 0131 527 1600

Royal College of Surgeons Nicholson St, Edinburgh William Henry Playfair Benson + Forsyth Building
images © Benson + Forsyth

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh: 2004 Update
Recently Benson + Forsyth Architects have been working on an addition to the south (featured in August 2004 Architecture Today). The College houses a library, the Anatomy Museum in the Playfair Hall, a Dental Museum and the Sir Jules Thorn Exhibition of the History of Surgery.

Royal College of Surgeons Scotland Lister Room William Playfair Building Edinburgh Benson + Forsyth Building Edinburgh
images © Benson + Forsyth

This is the oldest medical society in the English-speaking world, being founded in 1505. The Nicholson Street site was purchased because the Old Surgeon’s Hall had become insufficient to meet the needs of the College.

Royal College of Surgeons Building Edinburgh Edinburgh surgeons William Playfair Building in Edinburgh Benson + Forsyth Building in Edinburgh
plans © Benson + Forsyth

Now part of the college is an adjacent building which once housed the Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory. Lister, the Father of Modern Surgery, attended the College and is remembered in the Lister Room.

Edinburgh Architecture on Nicholson St Benson + Forsyth
sections © Benson + Forsyth

The Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons is one of three professional, training and examining bodies for surgeons in the UK.

Surgeons Hall Extension
image © Benson + Forsyth

Surgeons Hall Edinburgh
image © Benson + Forsyth

£10.9m The Surgeons Hall Extension, central Edinburgh (approved go ahead 03.05.02)

Playfair Hall, Surgeons Hall Edinburgh
image © Benson + Forsyth

Royal College of Surgeons Extension
Detailed plans have been granted for a £5m university alteration in Edinburgh. The contractor is the Peter Walker Group.
Jul 2004

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh Architect: William Henry Playfair

Quincentenary Hall
New building adjacent to historic Surgeons Hall, due for completion Autumn 2006

Quincentenary Hall
Quincentenary Hall photo © Adrian Welch

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh – Quincentenary Hall

The site was originally used as a Riding School.

The College is located in Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, within the William Henry Playfair designed Surgeons’ Hall and adjoining buildings.


By the beginning of the 19th century, the Old Surgeons’ Hall had become inadequate for the College and there was an urgent need to provide suitable accommodation for the large collection of anatomical and surgical specimens which had been presented to the College by Dr John Barclay. A site for this was acquired by the purchase of a Riding School in Nicolson Street.

William Henry Playfair, 1790–1857, the foremost Scottish architect of that era, was commissioned to design a building containing a meeting hall, Museum, Lecture Room and Library as its principal apartments. Surgeons’ Hall was completed in May 1832 and formally opened two months later.
source: wikipedia

Opposite the building is Edinburgh Festival Theatre, a major building with a bold glass-fronted design.

Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh former Project Architect: Benson + Forsyth – architecture studio based in London but with Scottish roots via Gordon Benson.

Benson + Forsyth buildings / projects in Edinburgh
Museum of Scotland
Library Extension
Scottish Parliament Competition Leith

Surgeons Hall Extension
Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh images © Benson + Forsyth

Benson + Forsyth, 37d Mildmay Grove North, London
+44 (0)207 359 0288

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