Work on the Old College Law Refurbishment project began in November and the construction team have already made excellent progress. Much of the downtaking work in the Northwest of Old College has been completed and as stud walls, partitions and floors have been dismantled, so much of the original architectural design has been revealed. Hidden gems such as Georgian columns, fireplaces and archaeological gems such as 18th century graffiti have been uncovered.
Scaffolding has been erected around much of the Northwest corner and will continue to around the full length of Chambers Street and on to South Bridge, once the School has decanted in June.
We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some picture of the progress so you can join us on this exciting journey and get a feel for what the new building might look like in 2018.
This is a view of the Northwest corner of the ground floor in what will be the new library octagonal bookstack spaces. This was previously the old Legal Practice Unit (for those who remember that far back) and more recently teaching spaces 164-169 and offices. Many original features have been uncovered in this area. The intention for this space is to reclaim/restore features such as cornicing and emulate the shape of the original anatomy lecture theatre (Lecture Theatre 270) in the proposed library bookstacks.
This view looks down from the first floor into what will be the new octagonal book room in the new Law Library. The space is directly under Lecture Theatre 270 and mimics the original architecture of the space.
This photo shows the Senate Room in the new Law Library. The columns and cornicing were fully revealed as stud walls and floors were removed. They will be sensitively restored and painted in colours used in the original building.
These engravings were found carved into stone that was reused as hearth lintel to a blocked up fireplace on the second floor. The 18th century graffiti seems to show two names ‘Will Blaine’ and ‘I.A. Elphinstone’ and the date May Day 1722 – 67 years before the foundation stone of Old College was laid.
This photo shows the new openings within cross walls, in what was part of the Law School library on the first floor. This will create a continuous corridor, improving horizontal circulation within the building. This is one of the main objectives of the refurbishment. The First Floor spaces will become teaching rooms with new oak teaching wall units dividing the room and the adjacent circulation space. The openings within cross walls will provide an enfilade circulation route.
The original Adam and Playfair staircases are being maintained as part of the refurbishment. Here you can see that the construction company have made all efforts to protect the staircases during the works.
The great view of Edinburgh’s Southside from the scaffolding over the new Law Library.