Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Edinburgh, City of
Information about this scheme
The existing building was not physically accessible as the original entrance was accessed via a flight of steps. In addition, the original entrance was located on Gilmore Park, a steep side street with narrow pavements difficult to traverse in a wheelchair.
The first key architectural move was to create a new entrance off Dundee St. to provide level access into the building. In addition to creating better physical access, the new glazed entrance provides a view from the street directly into the galleries, reception and shop helping to break down psychological barriers and welcome everyone into the facility. The main entrance doors, as well as the courtyard entrances, are automated making them easy to use for wheelchair users. Internally a simple, effective new circulation strategy ensures that all six levels and half levels of this complex historic building are accessible to all. A large new lift was inserted off the reception area serving all levels. The lift is sized to accommodate powered wheelchairs. A ramp was incorporated in the ground floor back of house area to ensure a slightly lower basement level could be accessed by all staff members. A second ramp connects the print studio to the creative industries units on the first floor, again overcoming the issue of multiple floor levels on each storey. Universally accessible WCs, in both public and staff only areas, are provided on each floor of the building. Accessible showers are provided off the print studio and the lower ground floor staff office area for members to use.
The accessible WC/shower room on the lower ground level has been future- proofed to allow it to be extended into the adjacent storeroom and converted into a Changing Places WC if the visitor demand requires it in future. Hearing induction loops are incorporated at the main reception and café servery counter, alongside the education space to ensure visitors with hearing impairments are catered for. The project has received 4.9 stars out of 5 on Euan’s Guide, an online review platform by disabled people for disabled people providing access reviews and listings for public buildings all over the UK. Edinburgh Printmakers utilise the Welcome app by Neatebox in the new facility.
The Welcome app allows visitors to discretely contact the printmakers ahead of their visit to make them aware of specific accessibility needs. This allows staff prepare in advance of the visit and offer an open and inclusive welcome to everyone.
Interserve Construction Ltd.
Doig and Smith
Will Rudd Davidson
Gardiner and Theobald
Primary Use Class
Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure