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Extensive repairs and alterations to Edinburgh’s leading and largest budget hostel increased its capacity, made it safe, and repaired its remarkable building fabric, all whilst continuously occupied.
The 1844 building was originally designed as a school and teacher training college. Since 1997, it has been run as Castle Rock Hostel and is very popular with visitors from all over the world, providing a fun environment with rooms of various sizes for 40,000 overnight visitors a year.
The main intervention was the insertion of a completely new stair, designed in a theatrical manner, providing safe access to the new accommodation in the attic. This work necessitated major and complex alterations to both the structure and building services. The new stairs and doors are woodgrained and ironmongery and light fittings have been sourced in black iron to fit in with the 'Castle' style.
The contract was carried out in a very short timescale whilst maintaining the hostel in use at all times and despite the constricted nature of the site. The work was phased to suit busy and slack visitor periods and completed within budget.
Edinburgh World Heritage provided financial assistance to a programme of masonry and roof repairs, re-instatement of missing chimney stalks, including the research and replacement of bespoke cast iron chimney ‘cans’, and carved stone finials and urns.