Sandeman House Garden

Name: Sandeman House Garden

Location: Scottish Storytelling Centre, Hopes Court, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

NGR: NT26097 73726

Classification: Garden

Date: 1999

Landscape Architect: Keith Horner, Turnbull Jeffrey Partnership

Status: not listed

Canmore ID: none


Originally designed as the Turnbull Jeffrey Partnership office garden, and nestled amongst the finest examples of medieval houses in Edinburgh’s Old Town, this contemporary yet sensitive regeneration of the closes, courtyards and garden around Sandeman House developed from a relentless concern with historical context, and how to respond to this in a thoroughly contemporary manner.  The project demonstrates a contemporary sensibility to its surroundings in its formulation of a modern design response fusing history, craftsmanship and invention in relation to a centuries old, richly layered urban grain. 

Sweeping away the existing features of the steeply sloping garden, significant manipulation of the changes in level were made, creating a series of horizontal planes and platforms which emphasise the underlying geometric design layout to the central circular lawn.   Comprising a sequence of individual spaces from High Street to inner garden, visitors are presented with a continuous and varied design narrative as they explore deeper into the hinterland of the High Street. There is meticulous attention to the physical and visual juxtaposition of historic and new materials, all firmly rooted in the artisanal tradition of craftsmanship, materiality and detail.

Within the tightly knit, densely developed pattern of buildings and closes of the Old Town, the Sandeman House garden offers an accessible oasis of calm, contemporary design which respects the outstanding historic heritage of its setting and enriches the evolving urban grain of the city. Text by: Keith Horner. Proposed by: Keith Horner


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