Description: Lauriston Place, Edinburgh College of Art, Including Retaining Wall, Gatepiers and Railings
Date Listed: 14 December 1970
Historic Scotland Building ID: 27974
OS Grid Coordinates: 325175, 673182
Latitude/Longitude: 55.9458, -3.1996
J M Dick Peddie, 1906-9. 2-storey and attic symmetrical Beaux Arts school of art with mansard-roofed angle pavilions; later alterations and additions. Red sandstone ashlar. Ground floor channelled from cill height; dividing band between ground and 1st floors; Doric frieze with triglyphs and guttae; broad mutuled eaves cornice. Key-blocked windows to ground floor.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: mansard-roofed centre pavilion with oeil-de-boeuf windows in roof; pedimented tetrastyle Roman Doric portico; 2-leaf timber panelled door with semicircular plate glass fanlight in heavily key-blocked round-arched opening; glazed inner door with fanlight. 8-bay linking blocks, regularly fenestrated (outer left bay has large 2-leaf door with glazed panel above - see Notes). Corner pavilions: paired windows to each floor flanked by giant Roman Doric columns and corner pilasters; stepped blocking course above.
W ELEVATION: corner pavilions: paired windows to each floor flanked by paired Doric pilasters (channelled pilaster strip to outer left). Single storey 5-bay balustraded linking block, regularly fenestrated (glazed door to outer left).
N ELEVATION: segmentally-pedimented mansard-roofed central block. 6-bay linking blocks with large windows and sky-lights to studios. Pedimented corner pavilions with paired windows to each floor flanked by channelled pilaster strips; key-blocked oeil-de-boeuf windows in pediments.
E ELEVATION: mainly obscured by later additions.
INTERIOR: coffered Doric-columned entrance hall leading to double-return stair with stone balustrade lit from lunette windows and octagonal cupola; paired Ionic columns and pilasters at 1st floor. Top-lit double-height (and double-cube) sculpture court: key-consoled arcade at ground floor supports 1st floor gallery with paired Ionic columns. Large-windowed studios on 3 floors to N.
Predominantly 6-pane metal-framed windows. Green slates. Tall stacks with triglyphed frieze and cornice.
RETAINING WALLS, GATEPIERS AND RAILINGS: bull-faced squared and snecked red sandstone retaining walls with ashlar parapet. Tall red sandstone channelled ashlar gatepiers with mutuled cornice and ball finials; low flat-arched footgate with heavy key-console to left; EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART in metal letters above. Decorative cast-iron gates and gate-posts.
Dean of Guild, 6th May 1907. BUILDER 12th Jan 1907 and 21st March 1908. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 258. Rowan TOO GOOD FOR GLASGOW: THE EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART (unpublished lecture).
Built on the site of the Municipal Cattle Market, which was to be moved to a new site at Gorgie. The western section was built from June 1907, then, when the cattle market was vacated, the eastern part, completed in 1912. The view from Johnston Terrace and the Castle esplanade were considered important, and the high French roofs were intended to make a picturesque contribution to the city sky-line. The college was built round 2 rectangular courts, the western court (roofed over 1925) containing a glass pavilion for 'plein air' painting, and a special passage 'for the entrance of horses and other animals;' the eastern the double-height sculpture court, intended to house the collection of Antique casts begun by the Board of Manufactures in 1797; casts of the friezes from the Parthenon line the walls of the corridor. There were separate rooms for life-drawing classes for men and women, 'dressing apartments' for models, and cloakrooms and kitchens in the basement. Professor Rowan suggests that responsibility for the actual design of the building should be attributed to James Forbes Smith, with an input from George Washington Browne. The planning of the building (and its constitution) owes much to the sculptor James Pittendrigh MacGillivray, who prepared a report on the state of art education in Scotland and in Europe, and made a grandiose design for the building. The building benefited from a gift of '10,000 from Andrew Grant of Pitcorthie, MP for the Leith Burghs. The College was built after Robert Morham's adjoining fire station (1897-1901, separately listed) the red sandstone and green slates echoing the materials of the latter.
Source: Historic Scotland
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.