West Port House, Kenmore, Property, Photos, Building, Architect, Images, Design
West Port House, Edinburgh : Architecture
Office Building, Edinburgh by Michael Laird Architects
Photos of Westport Offices Building 29 Mar
Update 9 Nov 2007:
Westport Building Edinburgh
Westport House Collapse
Westport building under demolition collapses, road closed and adjacent properties evacuated 220507
Update 27 Sep 2006:
Planning approval gained for Michael Laird Architects’ new Westport House, for Kenmore Property Group
Background to the development & site:
The existing West Port House was a nine-storey office block comprising of 65,000 sq ft net, constructed in 1971.
The building was formed primarily from repetitive pre-cast concrete cladding panels. Bulky ribbed concrete cores are expressed on the elevations and protrude above the general roofline.
The site of Westport House was occupied by a traditional Edinburgh tenement from the time of the earliest available records, the density of surrounding development increasing with the expansion of the city in the nineteenth century.
Kenmore: West Port House Information 281105:
Kenmore to invest £20 million in Edinburgh city centre
Kenmore Property Group has today (Monday, 28 November) lodged a planning application with the City of Edinburgh Council for a landmark 98,000 sq ft (9,105 sq m) Grade A office development, set to improve dramatically the streetscape of West Port in Edinburgh’s Exchange District, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares leading to the Old Town.
The application proposes demolishing the tired and dated eight storey concrete West Port House building between Lady Lawson Street and Lauriston Street, bought by Kenmore earlier this year, along with two adjacent public houses. A former Post Office headquarters, the building has blighted the area as it has lain unoccupied on this prominent site for 10 years. The Kenmore development team, working with Michael Laird Architects, are set to turn this on its head by investing £20 million in demolition, road improvements and construction of a purpose-built, striking eight storey office building with a sandstone and glass frontage.
This scheme will mark a new era as it cements the recent development in the immediate area, revitalising and connecting adjacent commercial buildings Evolution House, Novotel, Solus Lodge Hotel and student residences. It also enhances permeability across Edinburgh’s business district by linking The Exchange and Saltire Court with the ongoing mixed-use office and residential Quartermile development.
Mary Galbraith, Associate Director of Kenmore, comments: “The new West Port House will be a real breath of fresh air for Edinburgh. It makes good use of a very visible site with strong and simple contemporary architecture to complement its surroundings. As well as ticking boxes such as state-of-the-art facilities and convenient parking, the building will provide some of the most spectacular views of the city and Edinburgh Castle. We are confident that, on completion, it will be recognised as among the best office space in Edinburgh.”
Kenmore has worked closely with the local councillor and community council for the Tollcross ward to ensure that the regeneration of the area serves both residents and businesses alike. Following discussions, the developer has taken on board feedback and revised the proposals accordingly, so that the colonnade forms part of the building itself rather than being a stand-alone entity, and the pavement is extended, allowing freer pedestrian movement. The removal of two of the five public houses on the street has also proved welcome, in an attempt to shift the lingering perception of the area.
Anne Wigglesworth of Tollcross Community Council comments: “We are very happy that there is a new building going up in place of the old one and hope it will be a great improvement. We are keen to see the space in front of the building retained for access and hope it will chime in with the stone of the surrounding buildings.”
Jones Lang LaSalle and Ryden have been appointed joint agents for the property. Head of office agency for Jones Lang LaSalle, Cameron Stott, adds: “This area of Edinburgh has continued to improve dramatically over the past few years thanks to the spread of the city’s financial Exchange District. Coupled with the commencement of development on the old Royal Infirmary site, West Port is set to become a sought-after central location.”
Peter I’Anson of Ryden agrees: “This building will be a compelling option for occupiers as its contemporary design is ideal for either single occupancy or for medium-sized businesses which prefer to take space on a floor-by-floor basis. With activity in the 10,000-20,000 sq ft market on the increase, this will help West Port House stay ahead of the competition.”
The upper level of the building extends to 9,000 sq ft (836 sq m), while floors ground to six measure approximately 17,000 sq ft (1,579 sq m) each. There is also provision for 13 on site parking spaces. Once the planning application is approved, demolition of the existing building will commence immediately, with completion of the project anticipated in spring 2008.
New Westport House – Professional Team
Developer: Kenmore Property Group
Architect: Michael Laird Architects
Structural Engineer: Blyth and Blyth Structural Engineers
M&E Engineer: Rybka Service Engineers
Quantity Surveyor: Thomas and Adamson Quantity Surveyors
Just to the east of West Port House is the Westport Building
building photo © Adrian Welch
Edinburgh College of Art is located behind Evolution House
Westport building – Argyle House
photo © Adrian Welch, Sep 2006
Kenmore is a co-investing, trading and development property group, active throughout the UK and Europe. Investments and developments are held across the UK and in France, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Germany. The company’s aim is to enhance shareholder value through premium investment returns emanating from both trading and active management opportunities within the portfolio. At present, the value of the Kenmore Group portfolio stands at in excess of £700 million, with a development pipeline of approx £150 million. Historically the company has built the portfolio from acquiring opportunities with an average lot size of £3 million. More recently, however, it has demonstrated its appetite and ability to finance larger portfolio deals.
Westport House context – Unite housing
image © Adrian Welch
West Port is one of the historic entry routes to the old town of Edinburgh
The Westport building is officially known as Evolution House
Comments / photos for the Westport House Edinburgh page welcome
Westport House Building : page