Edinburgh Business School

Client: The University of Edinburgh


LDN Architects was responsible for the creation of a new Business School for Edinburgh University in the Category B Listed Adam Ferguson Building, designed by Robert Mathew in 1964. The project transformed a significant but jaded and unloved teaching block into a light filled, welcoming new faculty complex and illustrates our particular strength in revitalising significant buildings that have lost their usefulness. The development includes lecture theatres, seminar rooms, group study rooms, library, academic offices, administration centre and public café and concourse.

The project is a mixture of re-furbished space and new build accommodation, with a new entrance pavilion giving the Business School a welcoming, reinvigorated identity.

The statutory authorities required us to retain the external design aesthetic of the original building although we were allowed to open the building up at street level to create a more permeable and active façade that enhances street life. A new glazed rooftop extension was also created to create additional useable space and, in doing so, address failures in the original roof.

We introduced natural light and legibility, dramatically improved the thermal performance of existing building fabric and deployed natural ventilation wherever possible. This sustainable approach preserves all massive elements whilst replacing lighter components which no longer perform to current building standards. A central atrium introduces natural light to the interior, allowing natural ventilation in the middle of the plan and creating an interior that is easy to navigate. The project achieved a BREEAM rating of Very Good.

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