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Regent Road, St Andrew's House Including Boundary Wall, Lamp Standards and Gates

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9535 / 55°57'12"N

Longitude: -3.184 / 3°11'2"W

OS Eastings: 326166

OS Northings: 674021

OS Grid: NT261740

Mapcode National: GBR 8QF.K9

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.2M29

Entry Name: Regent Road, St Andrew's House Including Boundary Wall, Lamp Standards and Gates

Listing Date: 14 December 1970

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365074

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB27756

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

Thomas Tait, 1934-9. Monumental, symmetrical, Classical Art-Deco office building dramatically situated on sloping hillside with square-plan internal courtyard. Curved S wall and long entrance elevation to N (Regent Road). Central 8-storey, 9-bay block with flanking 6-storey stair towers and 3-storey and recessed-attic wings. Ashlar, channelled to ground, with some moulded margins. Stepped base course, band course, cornice. Wings with curved 3-storey projections to S at outer bays

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: NORTH (REGENT ROAD) ELEVATION: central, vertically emphasised 7-bays divided by 6, engaged, square columns, surmounted by figurative statues (see Notes). Decorative metal panels between 4th and 5th storey windows. Recessed storeys above with few narrow window openings. Central advanced 2-storey, 7-bay, flat-roofed entrance porch with central, massive 2-leaf bronze entrance doors with carved relief, flanking circular columns with carved Scottish Coat-of-Arms above.

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Predominantly metal, multi-pane, lying-pane casement windows, some with top hoppers. Flat roofs.

INTERIOR: (seen 2007). Series of excellent, high-quality Art Deco rooms with fine detailing and timber panelling. 2 full-length, open-well cantilevered staircases with terrazzo risers, metal balusters with horizontal banding and brass handrail. Conference rooms with full length Indian silver-grey wood panelling, fine Art Deco detailing and distinctive rounded stone fire surrounds and hearths. One walnut panelled room. Art deco detailing in door handles and lamps and fire surrounds. Clerestoried restaurant. Majority of remaining space converted to open-plan offices.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATES: to N. Low, curving, ashlar wall with 2 tall, geometric, ashlar lamp standards with round-edged glass and metal lamps. Heavy, metal gates to drives to far right and left. To S and E; 19th century, tall, battered, rubble retaining wall interspersed with castellated turrets.

Statement of Interest

One of the best examples of inter-war architecture in Scotland and among the finest of its date in Britain, this is an outstanding building, designed by an internationally acclaimed architect. The building occupies a spectacular hillside position and takes advantage of the terrain to produce an edifice of dramatic quality which contributes significantly to the cityscape of Edinburgh. The exterior is particularly notable for its fine, well-executed detailing, including the carving on the bronze doors and figure sculpture on the entrance elevation. The interior contains some very fine rooms with excellent Art Deco detailing.

St Andrew's House was built on the site of the 19th century Calton Prison, which had often been considered an inappropriate building for such a prominent site in the city. The idea to erect Government Offices on the site was mooted as early as 1912, but was held back by numerous delays and indecision. WW1 delayed events, as did the choice of architect and design. Tait was eventually chosen as architect in 1933 and the building was completed by 1939.

The sculptures to the central block of the building were designed by Sir William Reid Dick (1879-1961), a prominent sculptor whose previous work had been mainly in London. The figures represent Architecture, Statecraft, Health, Agriculture, Fisheries and Education.

Thomas Tait (1882-1954) was one of Britain's most influential inter-war architects. Born in Paisley, he worked extensively throughout his career with John Burnet and was a partner in the renowned Burnet, Tait and Lorne practice. The practice was influential both in Britain and abroad and Tait was involved in designs including Adelaide House, London, the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1936-7 and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Changed from category B to A in 1987.

List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08.

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