Praise for Charlotte Square after £1m refurb

The  former headquarters of The National Trust of Scotland in Charlotte Square. Picture: contributed
The former headquarters of The National Trust of Scotland in Charlotte Square. Picture: contributed
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HERITAGE chiefs have heaped praise on the £1 million redevelopment of some of the Capital’s most prized Georgian buildings.

Work was undertaken at the former headquarters of The National Trust of Scotland (NTS) on the south side of Charlotte Square in the past
18 months.

The six townhouses that once made up the HQ have been reconfigured into four properties, their period architecture “blended alongside the requirements of new 21st century businesses”.

Developer Corran Properties hopes the refurbishment will reaffirm Charlotte Square’s position as the most prestigious and sought-after address for Scotland’s financial services industry.

The A-listed properties, numbers 26-31, are part of The Charlotte Square Collection, a managed estate of 19 properties around the square.

Designed by Morgan McDonnell Architecture, the works also feature a new four-storey office with underground parking on Hope Street Lane to the rear which is linked to number 28 by an atrium.

All properties are interlinked via a horizontal courtyard
garden laid on top of existing car parking.

The work has been praised by Edinburgh World Heritage (EWT).

Adam Wilkinson, director of EWT said: “The Charlotte Square Collection is supporting the long-term care and use of one of the most handsome squares in Europe.

“It is a key part of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, and embodies the ideals of the Scottish Enlightenment. The restoration and sensitive adaptation of these wonderful buildings really sets the standard for our city.”

Designed by Robert Adam in 1820, the building had lain derelict for over a year after the NTS relocated to Hermiston Quay in Edinburgh Park in October 2010.

However, not all heritage bodies have been complimentary of the plans. The Cockburn Association criticised plans, claiming they were “unexceptional and bland”.

Director Marion Williams: “Our issue was mainly to do with the rear of the properties and the loss of character along the lane.

“On the square the frontage looks very well and they’ve not done any harm there. I look forward to getting a proper look inside though.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com