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Exchange Place Public Realm

Edinburgh, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP)

OPEN was commissioned by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) to carry out studies associated with prospective tenant adjustments at Exchange Place, Edinburgh. This piece of work followed members of our team completing the public realm scheme while at EDAW.

Adjustments to the previously completed scheme included the introduction of a parking / drop off area along the access lane. This involved producing material for submission for planning and taking the proposals through tender and construction. The adjustments have now been completed.

As mentioned, members of our team were fully involved in the procurement of the original public realm scheme. Working cre8 architecture, proposals were taken from concept design, through the planning process, and finally managed as a traditional construction contract, delivering the scheme on site.

The site was formerly Edinburgh’s Meat Market, and more recently ‘Fat Sams’ diner, which was left derelict for some years before SWIP acquired the site for redevelopment. The proposed scheme locates three new office buildings on the site, set within a series of new streets and spaces. After a protracted planning process, work on site commenced in 2007 with completion achieved in 2009.

The public realm was realised in high quality materials with the history of the site being represented throughout. This includes the old alignment of the Union Canal represented through a linear lighting feature, and the Meat Market through the retained arches and an 8m x 1.5m etched concrete mural based on historic photography of the site in use as a cattle yard.

Combined with glazed brick feature walls, again representing the Victorian history of the site, the scheme shows a balance between the functional and innovative, creating interesting spaces that will stand the test of time.