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Coatfield Lane



RIBA Stage 4


The City of Edinburgh Council


Scottish Design Award 2023 - Planning - Gold

Collective Architecture were appointed by The City of Edinburgh Council in August 2016 to develop proposals for the site at the bottom of the Kirkgate, Leith.

The brief is to deliver a new social-housing development that creates a strong sense of identity, providing a great place for people to live, work, and enjoy; creating a new thriving community that contributes and connects to Leith. The client was clear that to achieve this the highest quality of design must be applied at every stage of the design process.

A key driver in the development of this project was to ensure that the new proposal integrates successfully with the immediate urban setting and clearly links to the wider context and amenities of Leith.

The proposed redevelopment of Coatfield Lane presented an opportunity to re-examine the wider context and to look at how the existing condition related to the Kirkgate, Grade A Linked Linksview House and the surrounding streets, with the aim to bring more movement and activity into the area, to create a more welcoming environment and an improved thoroughfare from Leith Walk to the Shore.

The local community and other stakeholders were given the opportunity to engage with the design process at a series of events both on the Kirkgate and within the local Star of the Sea Church Hall. The project had been positively received by existing residents and CEC stakeholders. Consultation has been an integral part of the decision making for the whole project, engaging on a level greater than statutory public consultation requirements and the usual levels of cross-disciplinary and specialist advise and engagement.

The project aims to provide high quality family social housing in a city centre location. It also provides an opportunity to reintroduce Kirkgates original strong urban edge.

The proposals provide a renewal of the traditional Edinburgh Colonies terrace form, whose family duplex apartment above ground floor flats provide a popular social model for city living. The form is dense whilst providing family homes each with their own private external amenity space. The layout helps redefine the street edge along The Kirkgate. The proposed terraces have been placed to open up long views, promote natural surveillance and negate hidden spaces whilst facilitating a cohesive and meaningful integration of the new residential development within the existing urban fabric.

The layout and character of the proposed streets, buildings and open spaces draw on the surrounding context; its buildings, routes and existing landscape features, as well as its history of terraced streets. The proposed development is comprised of 5 terraces creating a new residential street, with associated landscaping and amenity space. The terraces are all 3 storey with a ground level flat and a duplex apartment above.

The proposal is high-density and low-rise. The aim is to provide vibrant and colourful public space, bounded by a hard and soft edge boundaries. Its starting point is defiantly urban. The proposal allows for 141 people to inhabit the 32 housing units, with 100% of them provided as social rented homes. At the heart of the project is a new pedestrianised street runs north-to-south across the site, giving access to the dwellings on either side and offering a walk-able route to adjacent streets. This new street has an intimate scale and bordered on either side by colony terraces. The scale of the project is complimentary to its surrounding.

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