The Patrick Geddes Centre

Client: The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust

The Category A Listed Riddle’s Court in the Lawnmarket of Edinburgh was built as the most prestigious 17th century house in the Old Town. It has been adapted and extended ever since by successive generations and now comprises a complex of buildings set around two courtyards and stretches from the Lawnmarket to Victoria Terrace. The Conservationist Patrick Geddes rescued and restored the buildings in the late 19th century and they have been in the ownership of City of Edinburgh Council for much of the 20th century and have been the venue for many performances during the annual Fringe Festival. In the latter 20th century however they fell into decline but have now been rescued by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust.

Working within the Geddes ethos of “Conservative Surgery”, LDN were responsible for the HLF and Historic Scotland funded conservation and redevelopment of the building as the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning, a multi-purpose flexible events venue. The development work included the re-organisation of support spaces around the key historic rooms; enhancements to accessibility, circulation and fire compartmentation; and comprehensive fabric repairs. A new lift lobby and rooftop extension were also inserted to make each floor fully accessible.

LDN worked hard to improve the environmental performance of the building and whilst it was not acceptable to introduce insulation or secondary glazing in the A Listed building, we have introduced solar panels on hidden slopes of the roof of the building and supplemented the heating system using an air cooled heat pump. The building services have been carefully zoned to ensure maximum flexibility of use and operational economy.

The new facilities were opened in September 2017 by HRH the Duke of Rothesay and the complex now houses a programme of varied events including lego exhibitions; private meetings and receptions and conservation-related lectures and public events.

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