Merchiston Apartments, Edinburgh

This plot in Merchiston, a leafy Victorian district of Edinburgh, was originally intended for a large villa similar in scale to those to the North of the property, however, it was instead bought as a gardens for the substantial house to the south.

Villas on the scale of the Victorians rarely get built as single dwellings any more. Instead, a form for multiple apartments had to be found that matched 'villa scale'. This raised the question whether the outward expression of a modern mini apartment building in this particular conservation area context should conceal itself as if it were a building in single ownership, or whether it should express its identity as consisting of multiple dwellings. We chose the latter, and ensured that the form would visually indicate its division into three apartments on each level.

Garden surrounds the perimeter of the apartment building, with parking kept entirely outwith the original victorian plot. This avoids the common compromise of cars parked next to ground floor windows. 

Throughout the project we explored our architectural interest in simple forms which have recessed spaces hollowed from them. The corner terraces recede behind the building's envelope to form pockets of private space.

 

Scottish Design Awards 2015 Finalist