The Waverley Steps project was a key scheme within the redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, creating a new ‘front door’ and presence for the Station onto the city’s iconic Princes Street whilst also addressing the complex problems of accessibility to a station which is situated several stories below street level in the bottom of a valley.
We designed a concept for a dramatic glass and steel roof canopy. The roof is supported by a series of steel ‘trees’ arranged in a line through the centre of the steps enabling the space at pedestrian level to not appear crowded or visually cluttered.
The project was subject to the most onerous statutory constraints for not only was the station itself a Grade A listed structure, but, also, it is positioned within the context of a World Heritage Area. Furthermore Network Rail did not own the adjoining hotel or shopping mall and so sensitivity to the site’s neighbours was key.
The Steps project won the support and approval of Edinburgh’s highly influential Cockburn Society and has been highly praised since its completion in early 2012, being shortlisted for a Scottish Urban Realm award.
The result is a dynamic structure with presence and appeal, but one with a light touch and which doesn’t compete with the grandeur of the sandstone buildings surrounding it.