Centre for Sports and Exercise

Client: George Heriot's School

LDN was responsible for the design of the new Centre for Sports and Exercise at George Heriot’s School, as the first phase of LDN’s development masterplan for the school campus.

The objective was to create a first class indoor sports facility for the school to provide facilities currently lacking in the school and allow PE to be taught in custom made, modern spaces. The new teaching spaces provided are: a sports hall; a studio; a fitness suite; and a classroom.

The sensitive site, adjacent to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, is located in the Old Town Conservation Area, bounded on two sides by the historic Greyfriars Churchyard and can be viewed from the Castle Esplanade. Careful handling of mass and material was required with the creation of such large volumes necessary to the construction of the sports hall and studio in this location. The proposals for the zinc-clad building were praised by heritage group, the Cockburn Association, who noted, “the buildings have been sympathetically designed to sit well within the constrained site and they will enhance the setting of this section of the Old Town Conservation Area”.

The site is landlocked by surrounding buildings with the only vehicle access available through a covered pend leading from the Grassmarket. Problems associated with obtaining over-sailing rights for cranes dictated that it was necessary to design all the buildings components, including the primary structural elements, so they could be manoeuvred through the pend. 

The success of the project has led to a decision to let the new facilities out to the wider community.



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