Shrubhill, Edinburgh



Main contractor

Ogilvie Construction

Sub contractor

Clad UK


CAG Architects


Generix Stone Cladding

Natural Stone

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Shrubhill in Edinburgh is a £12.5m student accommodation and retail space on the hillside where the city slopes down to meet Leith. Across five storeys, the building provides 260 bedrooms in a mixture of 'cluster flats' complete with ensuite bedrooms and studios, along with onsite laundry facilities and five retail units on the ground floor. After diligent consultation with statutory authorities and resident organisations, the project included the demolition of previous office buildings on the brownfield land site.

Taylor Maxwell worked with CAG Architects and Ogilvie Construction to specify and supply 2,400 sqm of Generix stone cladding and natural stone to this centrally-located development, in shades complementary to nearby sandstone tenements. Manufactured by Ibstock Futures, Generix stone cladding is exclusively distributed by Taylor Maxwell in the UK.

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Building in a conservation city requires extremely sensitive design. When CAG Architects set about designing Shrubhill, they had to take into account the rich and diverse architectural and cultural heritage of the district. Architect Gregor Small explained the thinking that went into the design of the new building on Leith Walk - the main artery linking Edinburgh and Leith: “It’s an interesting, quite bohemian part of the town with an eclectic mix of buildings and shops. It has its own character and a lot of people have lived there all their lives."

Planners liked the stone finish, but initially insisted the building be clad in solid stone on all five storeys which would have proved too costly for the client, Ziggurat Student Living. Ogilvie Construction, the lead contractor on the project, had approached Taylor Maxwell and other suppliers to try to find a stone cladding system that would meet the financial and planning requirements of the build. Our team put forward a solid buff sandstone for the ground storey and for the upper levels, Generix stone cladding panels fronted with the same stone. We worked with all the teams to ensure the Council had all the information they needed to make a decision on the most suitable materials.

Taylor Maxwell produced stone samples which were essential in getting planning permission from Edinburgh City Council. They provided a 4m2 panel onsite and that was the clincher, it had all the corners and angles as well as some of the solid stone. Their work and endeavour got us over the line in terms of ensuring the planners would be happy with the end result.

Gregor Small
Ogilvie Construction

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Once the planners had seen how similar the stone cladding panels looked to the solid stone, they were given full approval, which significantly reduced material costs and installation time on site. This was important as the project had a strict completion date which aligned with the new intake of students in September. Ogilvie Construction's Project Director Stewart Edgar said, “once the stone was ordered, it was all available on time and in all the right quantities. The overall service from Taylor Maxwell was very good. They pay attention to your needs and they really didn’t put a foot wrong.”

Using the Generix stone cladding system enabled the new building to blend into a historical area - a cost-effective method now being recommended by local planners. A worthy addition to a historically significant part of Edinburgh, the results were so effective that Ogilvie decided to use the stone rainscreen system again on a nearby student block further up Leith Walk in another British sandstone.

To learn more about Generix stone cladding, click here.

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