Having worked with Greyfriars Kirk since 2004 on various projects Hoskins Architects were asked to extend the existing Kirkhouse in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The successful programmes of wood-work, cookery and art classes run by the Kirk for the homeless community had outgrown their original venue and, in addition, a lettable community hall was requested to provide a vital income stream to fund the social enterprise activities.
The tight site adjacent to the Category A listed Kirkyard was formerly occupied by three derelict industrial warehouses. The aim is to contribute a strong contemporary addition to the World Heritage Site through a building of exceptional architectural merit. Larger double height volumes benefitting from toplight are located next to the 8m high Kirkyard wall with smaller more cellular spaces located around the perimeter. A sedum roof gives the impression of an extension to the Kirkyard, punctured by the monolithic rooflights which are wrapped in the same metal cladding as the perimeter walls.