132 Princes Street Townhouses Edinburgh, Scottish Commercial Architecture News
132 Princes Street Offices
Office Space in Central Edinburgh, Scotland: Development for Hazledene House Limited
31 Oct 2017
132 Princes Street Offices, Edinburgh
3DReid converts vacant floors to office space in prestigious Edinburgh location
Architecture practice 3DReid has completed a sensitive £2.0 million conversion of three of the few remaining original Princes Street townhouses to office use.
By converting the vacant upper storeys of the B-listed buildings and adding a contemporary extension, 3DReid has created 15,810sqft (Gross Internal Area) of light and practical quality office space for client and developer Hazledene House Limited.
Sitting in the heart of the World Heritage Site, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the properties have a rich history, variously used as Victorian tearooms, a risqué cinema and a record store; the various traces of which are still present within the building fabric.
3DReid applied their experience of both office developments and listed buildings to rationalise the significant degree of ad hoc development, accrued over many decades. Working within the essentially domestic scale of the architecture, the design created a bright workspace for modern tenants, particularly for the emergent and strongly growing tech and design sectors.
The floorplates needed to be flexible and adaptable, so 3DReid used exposed servicing to maximise the versatility and apparent volume of the space. A complementary industrial language was established in the look and feel of the new extension and building services, to create a unifying and holistic aesthetic throughout.
The scheme revealed and preserved the hidden fabric of the building and the evidence of its former uses, from the ornate bay windows of the tea room, to the curved trusses of the cinema space and the spray painted record label names, where racks of vinyl once stood. Original stone work contrasts with crisp white finished walls, with brick, concrete and steel used sparingly in the final scheme.
“132 Princes Street proved to be a fascinating exercise in unpicking a long history of incoherent and unsympathetic interventions. In doing so, we created a framework around which the property could be rationalised and expanded.” Says Chris Dobson, Associate Director at 3DReid. “In the context of Edinburgh in particular, where the opportunity of ‘blank sites’ are limited, this example of bringing redundant or under-utilised floor space back in to use is especially satisfying.”
The contemporary extension illustrates the potential for the hidden areas of the city’s urban blocks to support interventions, and particularly interventions that do not slavishly adhere to a pastiche of the historic building stock. 3DReid’s stepped form and insulated translucent u-channel glass block achieves light filled floorplates, whilst preserving the amenity and privacy of surrounding residences. The unconventional material gives the property a new identity, which carries a distinct quality, both by day and at night.
3DReid was able to draw on a considerable back catalogue of similar projects in Edinburgh, including a scheme at Norloch House which upgraded a previously converted B-listed former church hall into a contemporary shell and core office space. On Princes Street itself, the practice has brought back into use the vacant upper levels of the Forsyth Building as hotel accommodation, and developed two new-build blocks in the form of the flagship Primark Store and the mixed use (office/retail) 40 Princes Street development.
132 Princes Street Edinburgh – Building Information
Client / Developer: Hazledene House Limited
Project Manager: Thomson Gray
Quantity Surveyor: Thomson Gray
Services: KJ Tait
Fire Consultant: Olsson Fire & Risk
Images: David Cadzow, Cadzow / Pelosi
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Website: Princes Street Edinburgh