Holyrood Abbey Church of Scotland

A substantial church project is the new hall accommodation and refurbishment of Holyrood Abbey Church of Scotland. The red sandstone church, on a prominent corner site in London Road in Edinburgh, dates from 1900.

A later hall, added in 1915, no longer provided flexible accommodation for the congregation. A red sandstone clad replacement designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects now fills the narrow gap between the church and the east boundary. This boundary, with a tall retaining wall above an adjoining car park area, provided some challenging foundation conditions. A profiled roof with vertical glazing panels and a large south-facing window provides well-framed views from the double-height main hall, looking out towards the iconic Arthur's Seat landmark.

Ancillary accommodation is on two main levels on the north side, including a projecting first floor corner cantilever window. The new accommodation provides a clear contrast to the carefully restored church interior, the two spaces being linked by tall glazed openings in the east gable.

Alterations within the church included opening up the entrance vestibule by replacing a main load-bearing wall with steel framing to allow insertion of a glazed screen. Additionally, strengthening the floor after pew removal was undertaken for flexible open space use and new under-floor heating.