Cowgate Nursery, Tron Square, Architect, Design, Location, Building
Cowgate Nursery, Edinburgh
Under Fives : Old Town for Buredi by Allan Murray, Edinburgh
Cowgate Under Fives
Allan Murray Architects – Building
Nursery, Old Assembly Close
Edinburgh’s first purpose-built nursery for some decades has just opened within the heart of the city’s historic Old Town. This important regeneration project is situated directly off Old Assembly Close and provides the Edinburgh City Council Education Department with a 4,300sqft flagship nursery facility for approx. 60 children (aged up to 5 years) and replaces the previous nursery building (sited next to the busy Cowgate road).
Allan Murray Architects were commissioned by Buredi to design this £625,000 new-build project and have produced an ingenious solution to the specific briefing requirements and tight site constraints of this small south-facing courtyard.
The Cowgate Nursery site is bounded to the north by the towering rear elevations of theRoyal Mile Edinburghtenements, and drops steeply towards the 1899 Tron Square housing to the south. The Nursery reinforces the historic grain of the Closes on the east and west of the site and repairs the schism in the urban grain left by the Tron Square housing to the south.
The Cowgate Nursery comprises four classrooms, administrative facilities and meeting rooms; all linked to the outdoor play courtyard. The distinctive patinated zinc curved rear wall incorporates large-scale angular roof lights to bring natural light deep into the plan, and also maintain views through the Closes from the Royal Mile.
The pedestrian route of Old Assembly Close is emphasised by a two storey wing comprising a secure entrance with staff administration accommodation above. The Cowgate Nursery design seeks to provide a spatially exciting environment for the teaching and development of young children, and exploits existing level changes across the site to provide creative play features. The external expression of the nursery reinforces its contemporary nature through a composition of pre-patinated zinc, glass and smooth render.
The New Cowgate Nursery represents the first bespoke nursery to be built in the city centre for some decades. This bold insertion demonstrates a commitment by the City to promote exciting, contemporary educational buildings appropriate to the needs of young children.
Cowgate Nursery – Building Information
Client: The City of Edinburgh Council
Architects: Allan Murray Architects, Edinburgh
Project Architect: Steven McGillivray
Project Managers: Castle Rock Housing Association Ltd
Quantity Surveyors: Ross & Morton
Structural Engineers: Will Rudd Davidson Ltd
Building Services Engineers: Taylor Associates
Planning Supervisor: Faber Maunsell
Contractor: John Mowlem + Company plc
Cowgate Nursery – Under Fives Building PR 2002
More Scottish Architects:
Buildings adjacent to the Cowgate Nursery include St Giles Cathedral
Edinburgh Old Town Buildings – Selection:
Royal Museum of Scotland
photograph © Adrian Welch
picture © Adrian Welch
photo © Adrian Welch
image © Adrian Welch
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Cowgate Under Fives Building : page