Edmonstone Park

Edinburgh, UK

A landscape-led masterplan and comprehensive landscape and visual impact assessment to transform the historic Edmonstone Estate into an 880-home residential development south-east of the city.

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The Edmonstone Estate lies 10km south of Edinburgh City centre and is a registered parkland with a rich history that dates back some 200 years when it was home to the Edmonstone family. Since the mansion was demolished during a fire in the 1950s, the rest of the estate has slowly fallen into disrepair following a period of neglect and misuse, yet the woodland, parklands and outstanding views retained their appeal.

Working collaboratively with a design team including Edinburgh-based EMA Architects, Gillespies are delivering a landscape masterplan that will sensitively transform the former estate into a new residential community that will retain, enhance and strengthen the existing landscape, as well as connect and complement the strategic urban regeneration planned for South East Edinburgh.

The design of the landscape masterplan is sympathetic and responds to special attributes of the historic parkland landscape. Occupying an elevated plateau with fine views northwards to Craigmillar Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh city centre and Braid Hill, the parklands are a prominent feature in the neighbourhood. The masterplan retains the mature woodland and ornamental parkland trees and uses them to anchor and orientate the new development. Historic remnants of the former mansion such as the icehouse, gatehouses and lodges, perimeter stone walls, ha-ha structures and walls within the site, as well as the ruins of the stable block, are protected and establish the vernacular for the new architecture that will impose a dramatic and immediate character for the new neighbourhood.

With new parks and open spaces linked to a comprehensive network of sustainable drainage interventions including rain gardens, swales and stormwater attenuation ponds, the development provides the framework whereby the estate can once again become a valuable and publicly accessible asset in the community and will contribute enormously to this fast-growing suburb of Edinburgh.

With a scheme so rooted in the landscape, Gillespies also authored critical sections of the design and access statement and prepared the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) Chapter that accompanied the Environmental Statement that supported the planning application.