Newly-built tenement block recognised by capital architecture awards

A NEWLY-built tenement block in the Pleasance / Newington area of Edinburgh has been named the overall winner of awards celebrating the best of the city’s new architecture and work undertaken by architectural practices in the capital.

The scheme, designed by Fraser/Livingstone Architects and located on Simon Square, was also a winner of the residential and wood categories of the awards, run by the Edinburgh Architecture Association (EAA).

Say the judges of the development, here: “Simon Square demonstrates how the development of tight urban brownfield sites can offer new, high-quality homes in the city, without compromising on amenity; these are apartments which are light and bright, enjoying dual and triple aspect in many rooms to harness sunlight through the day.

“Of particular interest is the robust choice of materials: the limewash brick exterior contrasting with the warmer cross laminated timber interior. Use of MVHR [Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery],
combined with high insulation levels should minimise energy required to maintain comfort, issues that are increasing urgent and important in the context of twin crisis of climate breakdown and cost of living.

“The building uses cross-laminated timber as both structure and for the internal finish, a first for developer-led housing in Scotland.

“A project of this size could have been built with a conventional timber frame, but CLT brings robustness to the construction and allows for off-site manufacture to speed up construction on site. The use of timber for internal finishes defines the character of the building, creating spaces which are calm and warm, with gentle acoustics.”

Fraser/Livingstone also took the ‘small project’ category, with the Tollhouse restaurant in the Canonmills area of Edinburgh.

The awards ceremony was held at Edinburgh College of Art, with over 100 guests in attendance.

The other winners were:

Large project – Great Tapestry of Scotland, Galashiels, Page\Park Architects;

Conservation and regeneration – Johnnie Walker, Princes Street, Simpson & Brown; and

EAA Ambassador Award – Ardoch Burn Crossing, Doune Castle, Historic Environment Scotland.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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