Aesthetics, product quality and specifier support are amongst the reasons behind the selection of Brett Landscaping to supply its premium Piatto block paving for a prestigious student accommodation development at the University of Edinburgh.
Deaconess House is a former hospital dating back to 1894 and the new development retains the frontage of the original building, combined with new modern construction to the rear.
Mace Real Estate acquired the site following the relocation of hospital services by NHS Lothian to a new administrative centre. During the planning process, the University of Edinburgh expressed an interest in using Deaconess House for student accommodation and a deal was agreed.
Given the building’s proximity to Holyrood Park, the planning conditions specified the use of indigenous stone for all paving on the project – initially, the stipulation was as strict as to state that the material must originate from within 20 miles of the site. However, on researching the available options, Mace recognised not only that this was impractical, but that the Piatto range from Brett Landscaping would provide an equally effective and versatile solution to the project’s needs.
“While the plans required a minimalist, aesthetically pleasing paving solution, we were also mindful of the need to install something hard-wearing,” explains Martin Scott, Associate Director at Mace. “Piatto is primarily concrete but features a natural granite aggregate face finish, providing the ideal combination of robustness, durability and good looks.”
The natural aggregate facemix of Piatto ensures colour stability over the life of the product, making it ideal for specification – especially with 12 colours available in textured and ground finishes for maximum design flexibility. For Deaconess House, Piatto has been supplied in Silver Granite and Dark Basalt to provide an attractive colour contrast to the scheme.
This colour contrast was used to create an intricate design of the building exterior, which provided another challenge incorporating two widths (3.6m and 1.8m) in contrasting colours to demark walkways. Brett Landscaping needed to minimise on-site cutting while ensuring consistent gaps between blocks, something it achieved by proposing modern laying patterns that were practical to install and that also accentuated the aesthetic qualities of the Piatto blocks to complement the Deaconess site.
Graham Construction, main contractor of the Deaconess House development, then incorporated the paving into all areas with the exception of the main access road. Brett Landscaping provided the paving pre-cut so as to reduce on-site risk.
“Brett Landscaping has been extremely helpful throughout the project, and both Mace and the University of Edinburgh are delighted with the choice of Piatto to complement the high-quality look of the Deaconess House accommodation,” confirms Martin Scott.