WEST GRANTON ROAD

Client : Port of Leith Housing Association
Location : Edinburgh
Value : Undisclosed
Completion Date : May 2011

West Granton Road provides 17 affordable flats for Port of Leith Housing Association over 3 and 4 storeys on a very tight brownfield site in North Edinburgh, that forms a notional gateway to the Edinburgh Waterfront regeneration project.
The shape of the site and the surrounding context dictate a linear perimeter block solution with the building providing a strong urban frontage along West Granton Road, rising in height to the western end, and forming a protected area to the south, which contains parking and amenity space.
The tapering plan form and proposed areas of glazing at the gable ends will create a varied silhouette when seen in perspective travelling along West Granton Road, giving a strong visual identity to the site. The building form therefore reads visually as a series of parallel 'slices' or 'slots' between the fin walls forming the front & rear facades. The stepped form in plan helps reduce the perception of the block as a solid mass when viewed from the gables and along the length of the street.
The development has a mixture of 1 and 2 bedroom flats with two dedicated wheelchair flats. The proposals were developed in line with the Scottish Homes, Housing for Varying Needs Design Guide, Lifetime Homes, Secure by Design and the City of Edinburgh Sustainability Standards.
In terms of sustainability, the development benefits from Solar Thermal for hot water heating for a proportion of the flats (11 out of 17). The orientation of the site is ideal for making use of passive solar gain, with the building arranged linearly east-west and facing south, with minimal obstructions or shading from existing properties. The outline specification for the various building elements in the development has been made against the BRE Green Guide to Specification, with all elements scoring an 'A' rating and the scheme was one of the first to satisfy and exceed the strict City of Edinburgh Sustainability Standards.
The building is 3 to 4 storey timber frame structure, with an outer leaf cladding of rendered blockwork and facing brick. A simple monopitch roof is clad in low-maintenance aluminium standing seam sheeting.
Port of Leith experienced the fastest uptake for these new flats of any site in Edinburgh, testament to the development providing necessary accommodation in the locale. Previously the site was derelict and open to tipping and vandalism which impacted on the perception of the local amenity. This new and bold building gives a very different impression when approaching the neighbourhood.

Design team :
Quantity Surveyor : David Adamson
Structural Engineer : Wren and Bell
Services Engineer : Max Fordham
Main Contractor : Ogilvie

Credits : Photographs by Keith Hunter