Historic Buildings

Restoration of Grade A listed Old College, designed by Playfair, stripping out generations of alterations to provide suitable accommodation for the Law School, in phased redevelopment. Structural interventions included a new principal stair and lift, adjusting floor levels to gain level access throughout, and moving the location of the large Law Library. All the works ensured the historic spaces and fabric were preserved through careful interventions, including carefully running all services through existing floors, and separating new structure from existing walls to give the appearance of the original spaces. Images courtesy of Paul Zanre

A complex and iconic project on top of Calton Hill to rescue and open the historic Playfair Observatory compound for the first time in its history.  The project included the careful restoration the Playfair Observatory and Transit House, construction of a new subterranean gallery for Collective, construction of a new restaurant building dubbed The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage and extensive landscaping works.

Conservation and repairs to medieval Chapel. Since 2005 E&Co have been the structural consultants for the preservation and restoration of the scheduled mediaeval chapel, and associated new visitor facilities and improved access. Considerable care has been taken to assess the existing structure and detail the required stonework repairs.

Exemplar refurbishment of Grade A listed building, one of the finest surviving burghal residences on the Royal Mile, dating form C16, providing a significant architectural and social record of the Old Town, to create the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning and Conservation for Scottish Historic Buildings Trust.

Located on the eastern shore of Loch Fyne near Newton, Castle Lachlan was originally constructed in the 13th century but the tower or keep that stands today dates from the 15th. Its design was unique in Scotland, with the large keep containing two large tenements connected along the north side with a shared open court.  ECo have been involve in the conservation of this ancient monumnet involving clearing vegetation, stabilising walls, repointing and consolidation works and protection of wall heads.

E&Co are the structural consultants for the conservation of the home of Sir Walter Scott, cultural icon and father of the Scottish tourism industry, who in the early C19 transformed a modest farmhouse into a homage to Scottish architecture. Domestic in scale, it attracts busloads of foreign visitors; so better access and new visitor facilities outwith the house are also being designed.

Dating from 1783, this first class building in Edinburgh’s New Town became a principal performing arts venue vital to social and artistic life within the City. Today, the Assembly Rooms are far from being a state-of-art entertainment destination. The City of Edinburgh Council has the vision to change this and plan to reinvigorate the venue to its former glory, adding a destination restaurant and upmarket retail offerings as part of a £9m redevelopment.

Following a fire in the Clock Tower, E&Co were called out to assess the structural damage, and the worked on proposals to relocate the castle’s heating systems to a central location. The Clock Tower was rebuilt to house the estate archive and provide a public reading room. Having established a good relationship with the Trustees, we were appointed structural consultants for the repairs to Baron Maul’s roof, and the Great Drawing room roof, dating from 1740s.


Refurbishment of the Re-Washer Building, and alterations to accommodate the National Mining Memorial Centre, within the Lady Victoria Colliery complex. Friends of the Museum wanted to establish a memorial space in the Wash House Extension, supported by a resource area, to remember, record and reflect on the resilience of mining communities.

Restoration of a historic Victorian glasshouse in the grounds of the Newhailes Estate. The window opening mechanism no longer worked and recent storm damage had resulted in the partial collapse of the rear wall. Detailed survey work established how the frame was constructed and the decay state of the timber. Elements were recorded before the frame was carefully dismantled. The frame was reassembled, re-using salvaged materials where possible. Timber elements were repaired using traditional scarf joints or replaced in full where practical and new glazing was installed throughout.

Restoration of harbour-side warehouse for local fishermen. E&Co were appointed as the structural engineers for the restoration of possibly the ‘oldest warehouse in Scotland’, then being used as fishermen’s stores, and surviving in a largely unaltered but very dilapidated state. The brief was to repair the existing structure and redevelop it to meet the needs of the C21st fishermen. Its location on the harbour side dictated the use of materials – limecrete externally, oak for external balustrades, and careful galvanising of the steelwork.

Restoration of one of the most sophisticated Burgh buildings in Scotland, remodelled in 1810 and extended to include the County Buildings. The commission was to improve the circulation strategy, completely removing the poor 1960’s alterations, incorporating a new stair structure around a lift serving all levels. A new extension café/shop area with terrace over was designed to open the building out to the rear garden. The historic principle rooms have been retained and strengthened with new services incorporated for a Community Arts Centre venue for traditional events, exhibition spaces, tourist information office and shop.

E&Co were the structural and civil engineering consultants appointed by the National Trust for Scotland to conserve and restore Newhailes House, with the conservation philosophy to preserve the patina of age while accommodating modern services etc. When we investigated the integrity of the existing structure, we discovered that alterations made to the roof in the late C18 were structurally unsound, so these were addressed and resolved. Considerable time was spent finding routes for the required services that had the least impact of the original fabric. A lift was also inserted. In 2007 we were further commissioned to improve the visitor facilities within the associated Courtyard Stableblock

E&Co were appointed as the structural consultants to convert the redundant Victorian swimming pool complex at Infirmary Street into studios and exhibition spaces with offices for the Dovecot Tapestry Studios, and further office and residential development. The original men’s pool had survived, although unusable, but much concrete was removed to lower the new basement level, while the superstructure was retained. Modern interventions were appropriate replacements to the demolished ladies pool. Interior images from MFA

E&Co were directly commissioned by Historic Scotland for the restoration and conversion of a substantial complex of C18th and C19th textile mills. Over 12 years this work encompassed sensitive conservation of the Arkwright Bell Mill, conversion of the East Mill and part of the Mid Mill into housing (for the Phoenix Trust), associated roads, and infrastructure works, restoration of the lades system and proposals for the reinstallation of one of the water wheels, and finally the development of the Arkwright Bell Mill into storage facilities and a visitor centre, opened in Spring 2008.