Local specialists help to restore iconic Playfair Building at Donaldson’s

More than 20 businesses from Edinburgh and the surrounding area have been subcontracted to help transform the majestic Playfair Building at Donaldson's. The stunning Category A listed building is being restored and converted into 110 outstanding apartments by award-winning heritage specialist City & Country.

Restore Playfair Building at Donaldson’s   -  City & Country

Work has gathered pace over the past twelve months and the apartments will be released early in 2018.

Helen Moore, Managing Director of City & Country, explains: “Since the beginning of the year Donaldson's has steadily welcomed a range of local construction experts from the city and surrounding area, including scaffolders, joiners, roofers and stoneworkers to name a few. Significant progress is now being made, with the last phases now out to tender. The team are helping us to restore the majestic Playfair building to its former glory and to make it a very special home for current and future generations to enjoy.

Alex Forsyth Ltd, a joinery business based in Whitburn, West Lothian, is one of the local subcontractors currently on site. Its Director, Keith Forsyth, comments: “My team is currently working to install new windows and doors, as well as restoration work to the original sash and case windows. Working on an iconic building such as The Playfair, where its history and architecture is being retained and incorporated to suit 21st century living, is rare. Some of the joinery skills we have used are out of the “normal” scope of standard new-build joinery, which is a great challenge for the tradesmen who are working on the project.

The major conversion is set to be the most exciting residential development coming to market in Edinburgh in 2018, and more than 1800 enquiries have already been registered with Rettie & Co, who are assisting City & Country’s own, directly employed, sales team.

Nick Watson, Rettie & Co’s Director of New Homes, adds: “To own a property at Donaldson’s will be a truly unique experience. The outstanding features of the building have been enhanced to a very high standard, with each apartment carefully and thoughtfully designed to maximise the potential of the space. The interest to date has been exceptional with over 1800 registered parties. We expect that figure to continue to climb as we progress towards the sales launch in January.

Formerly Donaldson’s Hospital, the old college has a fascinating history having been constructed between 1842 and 1851 after its benefactor, James Donaldson, bequeathed all of his property to build and found a hospital for children after his death. The striking design is the master work of renowned visionary architect William Henry Playfair, whose other famous work includes the National Monument and the National Gallery of Scotland.

The new apartments will be available at a public sales launch in early 2018. Prices for studio and one bedroom apartments start from £250,000, two bedroom apartments start from £450,000 and three bedroom apartments start from £750,000.