Edinburgh Park Villa Apartments, Edinburgh

The Villa Apartments project forms part of the wider Edinburgh Park Southern Phase Masterplan.

As opposed to the urban indifference of suburban family houses, with an almost total dependence on the motor car, at Edinburgh Park, with the close proximity of public transport and a seven-storey height restriction due to Edinburgh Airport’s flight paths, an alternative idea suggested itself. Our proposal is in the form of regular blocks composed of ‘Villa Apartments’. A series of independent and linked pavilions of apartments form clusters around shared gardens and concludes in a crescent at the south end. The block is further subdivided by mews houses, in the Edinburgh tradition, for large families. The whole represents a ‘piece of city’.

The Villa Apartments are independent pavilions, seven storeys high, that maintain a direct relationship to the street. The form represents the idea of a large house occupied by many. Towards the rear, each pair of blocks is connected. Two linked villas form an entrance court leading to a shared parking garage; four villas when grouped together define a generous common garden accessible at first floor; and ten such villas comprise the block. Their discontinuity allows for differences in appearance based on orientation. All such variations are within the urban convention of buildings having a base, middle and top. Brick is the common cladding material forming an outer enclosure modified by elementary patterns of projecting balconies and bedroom windows. The intermediate mews houses, on the other hand, are in a particular Edinburgh tradition and provide accommodation for large families. They have direct access to the common garden and to the parking garage below. In this case the shared garden is exclusive to the residences that define it, which is also in an Edinburgh tradition. A crescent of apartments terminates the development to the south.

(Visualisations by Assembly Studios and Dixon Jones)