St Andrews Square
Hoskins Architects and Comprehensive Design Architects (CDA)

St Andrews Square

Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland as Facades, Shading

Brushed Nordic Royal copper alloy fins help define a major redevelopment that completes a historic square in Scotland’s capital.

Comprising 9,300m2 of ‘Grade A’ office space, 6,500m2 of leisure and retail, and a suite of luxury apartments, the redevelopment occupies most of the southern edge of St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh’s Georgian ‘New Town’ World Heritage Site. Designed by Hoskins Architects and CDA, the scheme involves a massing strategy of projections and recesses, reflecting the scale of historic plots on this side of the square. A series of metal and stone fins enables the complex to be very ‘open’ when viewed directly, taking advantage of the extraordinary long views and maximising daylight, whilst appearing solid in oblique pedestrian views.

A series of metal and stone fins enables the complex to be very ‘open’ when viewed directly, taking advantage of the extraordinary long views and maximising daylight, whilst appearing solid in oblique pedestrian views. Various metals were appraised for the fins and a group of copper alloys from Aurubis identified for long-term quality and handsome weathering.

Hoskins Architects commented:
‘The idea of a veil of fins was evident in the very earliest sketches. Their materiality, construction and integration into a glazed envelope were key preoccupations throughout the design phase. The design team and client took very seriously the responsibility of selecting the right metal for a distinctive, durable, high quality piece of architecture in such a sensitive urban context.

‘Various metals were appraised. From these we then selected an alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc, offering a distinctive golden colour. But we specified a bespoke degree of ionized finish to give a quick transition to a relatively matt golden hue. This material will change in subtle ways over time rather than dramatically weather, as would mill finish copper or brass. Under northern grey skies the metal offers a welcome and rich contrast to the grey/blonde sandstone of the New Town and, in low sunshine, accords with the autumnal leaves of the square’.

 

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