One of Edinburgh’s most striking buildings, the former Donaldson’s College, is to be redeveloped by CALA Evans and City & Country.

CALA Evans Restoration Limited has reached agreement with City & Country to jointly develop the Donaldson’s College site in Edinburgh.

Donaldson’s College, formerly Donaldson’s Hospital, was named after its benefactor, James Donaldson, who bequeathed his property to build and found a hospital for children. It was designed in the 1840s, in the style of a Jacobethan palace, by the architect William Henry Playfair who is renowned for his other commissions such as the National Monument (1824-1829) and the National Gallery of Scotland (1850-1857).

Initially the building was an orphan hospital before becoming a specialist school for deaf children. The school retained use of the building until purpose-built new campus opened in Linlithgow in January 2008.

Set within 18 acres of elegant grounds, this magnificent Playfair building dominates the skyline and the 124,840 sq ft quadrangular form boasts an attractive internal courtyard, external elevations and a central tower with domed octagonal turrets.

Both CALA Evans and City & Country develop premium residential properties and have long track records in the industry. City & Country, the leading expert in the sensitive restoration of historic and listed properties, will restore the original building while CALA Evans Restoration Limited will retain the north part of the site to construct new build apartments.

The two companies have pledged to consult extensively with the local community and with heritage groups in drawing up a new planning application which will be submitted to Edinburgh Council in early 2015.

Helen Moore, Managing Director at City & Country, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the Playfair Building at Donaldson’s College, a truly inspiring building of immense history and character and our first development in Scotland.”

“Our aim is to create a restoration of which the local community, Edinburgh and indeed Scotland can be proud.  We do not underestimate the challenges ahead, but we firmly believe that we have the best and most talented team available to deliver a successful outcome.”

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