Edinburgh Photo Library
- Edinburgh City Council Offices
Edinburgh City Chambers (roughly the equivalent of City Hall) has been located on the High Street since the 18th century. As the work of Edinburgh City Council and its officials expanded in the intervening years, additional offices, at various locations across the city, were created. Eventually, it was decided that this was an inefficient arrangement and a fancy new office block on Market Street has been created to house all the staff.
The eight-storey high building (with three below ground), at the junction of New Street and East Market Street, dominates the area to the east of Waverley station at the east-end of the Waverley Station Car Park. It has a floor area of 200,000sq ft and extensive areas of glass and stone cladding. A large atrium in the building looks out onto Calton Hill.
The Railtrack company was selected to develop building which now houses 1800 staff in the so-called Waverley Valley, Edinburgh Old Town. The architects were BDP, Glasgow. The City of Edinburgh Council leases the building from Railtrack on a long contract. Edinburgh Council staff moved into their new HQ in 2007.
The main aim for the Council HQ was to produce a building following "sustainable" principles. Natural ventilation has limited the depths of the floor areas and atriums have been included to provide natural light to the deeper sections. The materials used include natural stone, zinc, aluminium, precast granite and grass (on the roof - as a true sign of "sustainability").
Despite a Council policy of discouraging people working in the city using private cars for commuting to work, the Council HQ has a three storey underground car park, providing 429 spaces, with local roads stretched to capacity. Very much a policy of "don't do as we do, do as we tell you to?"
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