Castle Street and Edinburgh Public Realm Strategy

Edinburgh, UK

Edinburgh’s 'Castle Street' redesign is the first major step in the regeneration of the City’s most historic public spaces.

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The re‑design of Castle Street by Gillespies was undertaken to pursue the City’s policy to improve the quality of the public realm in the central core to a standard commensurate with Edinburgh’s international competitors.

Its location in the heart of a UNESCO world heritage site meant that any changes to Castle Street needed to be carefully considered and designed with sensitivity and care, using appropriate materials and finishes.

Whilst respecting the original street pattern and views of Edinburgh Castle, Gillespies’ design redefines the street for a more elegant solution, minimising clutter and rationalising vehicular access to promote pedestrian activity and encourage people to stop awhile. The selection of paving materials had to be appropriate to the historical context and fit for contemporary usage patterns; therefore, the team selected a new blend of five varying granites and Caithness stone. The stone adds to the distinguished and high-quality feel of the area.