One of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings set to become flats


City-dwellers will soon have the chance to live in one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings.


Two major firms have agreed to jointly develop Donaldson’s College, an A-listed former school, to include bespoke flats.


Previous plans show the renowned building, set in 18 acres of ground, transformed to contain up to 113 new apartments.


Donaldson's College in article image
William Henry Playfair, whose work includes the National Monument and the National Gallery of Scotland, created the Donaldson building in 1851. He is recognised as one of Scotland’s great visionary architects.



The agreement between CALA Evans and City & Country, both premium property developers, means that potential buyers will be able to rent a flat in one of the most prominent buildings in the capital.


Similar luxury apartments in Edinburgh can be rented for up to £4,000 a month.


Ben Brough of Savills, an estate agent in Edinburgh, said: “CALA Evans and City & Country now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop this impressive property into one of the most desirable residential addresses in Scotland, if not the UK.


““There is great appetite for high end homes like this in the very best locations and it has the potential to set new value benchmarks within the Scottish market.”


Donaldson’s College was named after its benefactor, James Donaldson, who bequeathed his property to build and found a hospital for children.


Queen Victoria is said to have been envious of the outstanding building, because she believed it outclassed some of her own palaces.


The impressive architecture is the work of William Henry Playfair, who is well-known for commissions such as the National Monument and the National Gallery of Scotland, and he is recognised as one of Scotland’s great visionary architects.


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.


David McGrath, regional director of CALA homes said: “This is one of the most important buildings in Scotland, and we are delighted to have reached agreement with City & Country to develop the site.


“For our part we understand the responsibility which comes with redeveloping such a culturally and historically important landmark.”


The two firms will consult with the local community and heritage groups in drawing up the planning application which will be submitted to Edinburgh council in early 2015.