A magical evening was had by all. A group of journalists and bloggers were welcomed on arrival with a glass of champagne and delicious nibbles and invited to meet a mix of the architects, residents, the CALA Homes marketing team and the amazing Ruby Boghal, Great British Bake Off finalist, in their beautiful development: The Crescent. Located in the centre of Edinburgh, in the grounds of the William Playfair masterpiece that once served as Scotland’s national school for pupils who are deaf or who have communication difficulties, known as Donaldsons School, after the benefactor who paid for the building.The school, designed for a Victorian approach to education, needed seriously updating by the twenty-first century and was relocated to modern, purpose built complex in Linlithgow in 2003 and the Victorian building which had housed the facility for 150 years was put on the market.We were fabulously entertained by the beautiful Ruby Boghal who ably demonstrated how to make a lemon meringue pie!Blu Blazer Guy and Jojo Fraser get stuck in!The redevelopment required was major, undertaken by a number of property developers in the end and involved the refurbishment of the original building and the building of a contemporary crescent of luxury residences at the rear of the building, by CALA. They engaged the services of renowned architect Richard Murphy who has not compromised in any direction.
A member of staff from Richard Murphy Architects talks us through the story of the design processHinting at the many historic Georgian crescents in the nearby Edinburgh new town, the new housing is anything but a pastiche, rather, CALA have instead made a radical interpretation of contemporary living. The flats vary in size but are all peaceful and private with access, of course, to the huge grounds.The Crescent contrasts sharply with the original building and is not afraid to. The finishes are sleek and ingenious, but far from clinical: sliding doors on every floor let the sunshine stream in. This extraordinary piece of real estate could not be more central, a short walk from Haymarket Station, yet enjoys its own private park.The flats all have cosy mezzanines, enabling families to feel connected yet, turn a corner and you will find a private, peaceful nook.Seeing a commercial house builder take on the challenge of creating truly contemporary living spaces is an absolute joy and I really applaud CALA’s forward thinking approach here.The apartments are selling fast and most importantly, the residents are loving living here. It is such a friendly community and the flats themselves are enticingly beautiful shells just waiting to be individually furnished.I would love the purchasers to be able to have a quick run through the Interior Design Toolkit and either confirm or discover their personal interior style! I feel these beautiful apartments deserve to be decorated as boldly and individually as possible and even if you are planning to engage an interior designer, being able to share your vision with the beginnings of a mood board that the toolkit enables you to start on would be such a help!Here I am listening with rapt attention to residents imminent decor plans!
Architectural images by Zac and Zac
Event photography by Ian Georgeson