PROJECT: Academy Lofts
LOCATION: Duke Street, Leith
CLIENT: Sundial Properties
STATUS: Completed on site 2016
DESCRIPTION: Refurbishment and Conversion of Category B listed former Leith Academy Secondary School to residential use.
The original Leith Academy school is an imposing symmetrically shaped building dating from 1931. It has pentagon plan with classrooms around a central courtyard which is dissected by a single storey hall. The building is formidably classical with a sandstone ashlar basecourse and ground floor, red brick upper levels and stone detailing capped with a eaves course, parapet and a clocktower. The courtyard façades are more mundane banded brick courses although the central hall has more intricate brick and stone detailing,
Gilberts originally obtained planning consent for a mixed used development which had the large classrooms converted into 39 flats and the hall retained as an open plan space for office use. The design was later revisited to change the hall into residential use by sub-dividing it into 9 maisonettes with private gardens. The roof of the hall was redesigned as a planned sedum garden on to which the surrounding flats overlooked.
Gilberts obtained building warrant for the project which was then taken forward by Sundial Properties with their customary commitment to refinement and quality. This highly successful development is an exemplary example of proactive developer lead building conservation.