Donaldson’s School Apartments, West Coates Property Images, New est End Flats, Architect, Design

Donaldson’s School Edinburgh CALA Apartments

West Coates Housing, Edinburgh Properties for CALA Homes design by Richard Murphy Architects

16 Jun 2019
The Crescent at Donaldson’s
The Crescent at Donaldson’s

18 Dec 2015

Donaldson’s School Edinburgh

Design: Richard Murphy Architects

Plans to transform the building formerly home to Donaldson’s College in Edinburgh into over 100 homes have received planning permission by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh exterior

City & Country will restore and convert the Category A Listed Playfair building, whilst CALA Evans will create a range of contemporary homes in the surrounding grounds.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh redevelopment exterior

The permission allows for 115 new properties sited within the Playfair building, ranging from one to three bedrooms and 84 newly built two and three bedroom homes, designed in a crescent shape to the rear of the Playfair building. The sweeping South Lawn that faces Wester Coates will be retained as an open, landscaped area.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh redevelopment interior

As part of Richard Murphy Architects’ proposals there will be 402 cycle parking spaces for residents, whilst car parking for both the Playfair building and the new build crescent will be sited underground, totalling 364 allocated residents spaces and a further 26 for visitors.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh

Helen Moore, managing director of City & Country, said about the Donaldson’s School building redevelopment: “We are extremely pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council has approved our plans for this truly majestic building.

“City & Country has a long and distinguished history working with incredibly inspiring and challenging architectural assets and the Playfair building is no different, sitting amongst some of the very finest buildings in the UK.

“The apartments will be carefully woven into the historic fabric of the building to provide genuinely unique places for people to live. Sited within the Edinburgh World Heritage Site, we are pleased that our plans demonstrate the ambitions we have to breathe new life into this icon of Scottish architecture and we cannot wait to get started.”

Donaldson's School Edinburgh

Landscape proposals for the former Donaldson’s School site have also been submitted which seek to enhance the mature landscaping at the site’s perimeter. The new build crescent will have private garden areas to the rear, whilst the Playfair building’s internal courtyard will serve as a private open space for residents with the remainder of the open spaces communal.

The proposed alterations to the Playfair building are mostly internal and include the conversion of currently redundant basement and attic spaces. External alterations to the Donaldson’s School building are located on the inner courtyard side including new dormers and roof terraces, a change of windows to doors and the landscape proposals for the internal courtyard.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh entrance

David McGrath, managing director of CALA Homes (East), said: “We’re absolutely delighted that city planners have approved our proposals and are now very much looking forward to delivering top quality homes at very special location.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh

“Donaldson’s is a magnificent site and therefore its restoration is quite rightly a very high-profile project and one which we are proud to have been driving forward for a number of years.

“Throughout the community and council planning consultation process it has been very reassuring to see how committed everyone has been to seeing this site restored.

Donaldson's School Edinburgh

“We held a series of public consultations about the updated proposals, which were first approved in 2007, and listened carefully to extensive feedback. The local community all stated how important it is to see this building secured for future generations and we can now looking forward to making this a reality.”

Donaldsons School in Edinburgh


Donaldson’s School Edinburgh

Donaldson's School for the Deaf Donaldson's School for the Deaf Donaldson's School for the Deaf Donaldson's School for the Deaf
photos © Adrian Welch

New photos of Donaldson’s School for the Deaf, Haymarket, west Edinburgh. 13 Mar 2012

Donaldson’s College

Donaldsons College Livingston

Donaldson’s School for the Deaf Edinburgh

Donaldsons News
Yeoman McAllister replace Richard Murphy Architects on this major Edinburgh building project: Donaldson’s School Redevelopment. Sep 2007

Donaldson’s School Redevelopment architects : Yeoman McAllister

Donaldson’s School for the Deaf, Haymarket, west Edinburgh

CALA Homes have invited Richard Murphy Architects to be their architects for the redevelopment of Donaldson’s School for the Deaf. This Grade A listed building by Playfair (completed 1851) will be available for redevelopment when the School moves to new premises around 2008.

Donaldson's Cala Homes
Flats: image from Richard Murphy Architects

The intention is to convert Donaldson’s School into apartments and build new housing to the rear of the site. A planning application for Donaldson’s was anticipated mid-2004. Simpson & Brown Architects will be advising on conservation issues for the existing building and landscape.

Donaldson's School Apartments
Apartments: image from Richard Murphy Architects

The finance from the deal with Cala Homes will allow the School for the Deaf to move to more modern premises beside the new Queen Margaret University College site at Craighall, Edinburgh. The proposals by Donaldson’s are likely to mean the demolition of a modern block built within the college grounds.

Donaldsons Cala Homes
Flats: image from Richard Murphy Architects

Donaldson’s School Redevelopment : Richard Murphy Architects

Donaldsons May 2005 Update
£14m refurbishment + new-build at Donaldson’s College, West
Coates incl. 63 luxury flats

Donaldson's College
image from Richard Murphy Architects

Richard Murphy Architects’ Donaldson’s proposals for Cala Homes set to meet approval Wed 18 May

Donaldson's College Cala
image from Richard Murphy Architects

Cala Homes, one of Scotland’s major housebuilders, reportedly paid around £15m for the Donaldson’s site in 2003. Little interest has been shown in the entire site by any other public or private institution. Private investment would provide funding to conserve the listed building.

Donaldson’s College, Haymarket Terrace, West Coates is Grade A listed

Scottish Capital Building Designs

Contemporary Scottish Capital Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Royal High School

Scottish Parliament


Another famous Edinburgh School is the Royal High School

Edinburgh Housing

Donaldson’s School Architect : William Playfair

Comments / photos for the Donaldson’s School Edinburgh CALA Apartments Architecture pages welcome