The Playfair at Donaldson’s


High-end residential development in a prestigious historic environment. A stylish solution to modern day living needs.


The 1851 A-listed Donaldson’s Hospital building in Edinburgh was designed by architect William Henry Playfair inspired by Elizabethan manor houses. The new Crescent development is a contemporary twist on an architectural classic. It comprises of 84 residences wrapping around the open space garden ground to the north of the existing building. Ambitious style combined with an innovative design sets The Crescent apart. Both inside and out.


Due to the historical setting, the height of the building had to be kept to a minimum. This involved careful thought as to the ground levels and the primary structure of the building. A significant part of the brief was also to consider the implications of below-ground car parking and the significant retaining walls required to form this. Deep existing sewers were also a challenge when it came to the foundations. The solution was driven piles with the structure bridged over the existing deep sewers.


A steel frame was the structural answer, with pre-cast concrete floor slabs laid within the depth of the steel beams. This being the thinnest, shallowest floor zone. Enhanced height, floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows make a dramatic statement, allowing a seamless transition from indoors to out, overheating being countered by glass composition and a specialist ventilation system. Contemporary interiors are designed to maximise light and space. The whole development, of course, showcases the panoramic views of Edinburgh’s famous skyline.

Key Facts

Coates, Edinburgh
Client: City & Country
Awards: 2018 Scottish Home Awards – Apartment Development of the Year and Renovation of the Year – Winner  /  2018 Herald Property Awards – The Judge’s Award  /  2018 What Home Award – Gold Award for Best Renovation  /  2019 RICS Scotland Awards – Building Conservation – Shortlisted  /  2019 RICS Scotland Awards – Residential – Winner / 2020 Scottish Home Awards – Apartment Development of the Year – Shortlisted 2020 Scottish Home Awards – Renovation of the Year – Shortlisted




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