University of Edinburgh unveils education hub plans at former Royal Infirmary

University of Edinburgh QuartermileThe University of Edinburgh has submitted plans to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub.

A change of use and restoration application has been filed to extend the A-listed surgical building to provide teaching and learning spaces, a major new public event space, library and cafe and bar.

Spearheaded by Bennetts Associates, the Quartermile initiative will repurpose the historic building to offer 21,300sq/m of floor space, 6,000sq/m of which will be new build.

The architects intend to optimise conservation of key features of the 19th century building including the retention and restoration of the stone walls, slate roofs and entrance hall.

New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Developers will also remove the existing gatehouse directly in front of the main entrance on Lauriston Place to make way for a new entrance square.

Project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould is leading the redevelopment of the project at Lauriston Place, with investment from built environment specialist Scape Group.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, said: “This incredible building has been at the heart of Edinburgh for more than three centuries. Quartermile is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Scotland and through our framework, the university will be able to offer further world-class facilities ensuring that they continue to attract some of the leading academics and business people of the future.”

Detailed designs will be considered by the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning officials, and if approved, work could start by 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021.

An Edinburgh University spokesman said: “We’re very excited about this project and have been consulting with the neighbourhood around the next steps of the development.

“We will be revealing more details in the coming months.”

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