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Potterrow Development University of Edinburgh Architect: Bennetts Associates Architects Location: Edinburgh, UK Completion: 2008 GFA: 16,000 m2 Photography: Keith Hunter

Bennetts Associates was appointed in 2003 by the University of Edinburgh to design several new academic buildings on a very significant city centre site at Potterrow, Edinburgh. As the major component of the University’s new masterplan for the George Square/Bristo Square area, it replaces a windswept car park with a rich mix of buildings, courtyards and reinstated street lines. The brief for Potterrow was to design academic accommodation which could be constructed in phases. The context was set within a central area masterplan commissioned by the University in the previous year. Approximately two thirds of the total development has now been completed. This comprises the School of Informatics and the Dugald Stewart Building for the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science. The remaining third will follow when funding allows. The scheme also includes a street level visitor centre, shop and gallery.

Section A-A

Dugald Stewart Building

Each of the two primary volumes is planned around an atrium, the they face each other across a shared courtyard, but their form allows them to overlap on the street edges and undulate in height from three floors to eight. A public pedestrian route passes through the courtyard on its way from Bristo Square to Potterrow, echoing the historic alignment of Bristo Street. Much of the accommodation is cellular, so the floorplates have been laid out to ensure that circulation routes engage with a variety of viewing points, open-plan break out spaces and double-height volumes. Construction reflects the simplicity of the plan, with a low energy strategy based on exposed concrete slabs and air supplied from the floor supplemented by opening windows. Externally, the elevations play on the distinction between the stone-faced streets of Edinburgh and the need for more light-reflective surfaces to the courtyard.

Informatics Forum Elevation along Charles Street

The project was rated as BREEAM Excellent. Carbon dioxide emissions are estimated as nineteen Kliograms CO 2/m 2, this is a sixty-five percent of reduction compared to EGC Type three Good Practice. The first phase buildings were completed in July 2008.

Awards: Scottish Design Award, Public Building Award, 2009 Scottish Design Award, Chairman’s Award for Architecture, 2009 Scottish Design Award, Sustainability Award, 2009 RIBA Award, 2009 BCO Award, Best Corporate Office Building, Scotland, 2009 RICS Award, Scottish Building Project of the Year, 2009 RIAS Andy Doolan Prize, Best Building in Scotland, 2008

1. View from McEwan Hall 2. View of Dugald Stewart Building along Charles Street 3. The Informatics Forum along Crichton Street

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University Architecture  

U N IV E R S IT Y A R C H IT E C T U R E DESIGN MEDIA PUBLISHING LIMITED DESIGN MEDIA PUBLISHING LIMITED UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE DESIGN MEDI...

University Architecture  

U N IV E R S IT Y A R C H IT E C T U R E DESIGN MEDIA PUBLISHING LIMITED DESIGN MEDIA PUBLISHING LIMITED UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE DESIGN MEDI...

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