Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

3 GEORGE STREET (INCORPORATING FORMER NO 13), STANDARD LIFELB28829

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
13/01/1966
Supplementary Information Updated
03/12/2019
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25471 74115
Coordinates
325471, 674115

Description

J M Dick Peddie & George Washington Browne, 1897-1901, Palladian office block; former No 13 by W Hamilton Beattie (George Beattie & Sons), 1898, French Renaissance office; substantial additions and alterations by Michael Laird & Partners; phase 1, 1964; phase 2, with Robert Matthew, 1968; phase 3, 1975-8; sculpture and friezes by Sir John Steell and Gerald Ogilvy Laing. Massive office complex formerly of

5 distinct blocks, now seamlessly unified internally.

ORIGINAL CORNER BUILDING FOR STANDARD LIFE ASSURANCE: 3-storey 9-bay neo-Palladian office. Polished cream sandstone ashlar. At ground, channelled rustication above smooth base course containing basement lights with grilles, entablature with mutuled cornice. Upper floor windows with moulded architraves; corniced at 1st floor, lugged at 2nd. Frieze with cherubs and garlands, dentilled and modillioned cornice; balustraded parapet. PRINCIPAL (GEORGE STREET) ELEVATION: symmetrical, with engaged Corinthian tetrastyle portico at centre, accommodated by projecting ground floor, with corniced doorway; fluted columns on panelled bases, frieze dated MDCCCXXV, pediment with carved tympanum representing the Wise and Foolish Virgins, by John Steell. 4-bay return to St Andrew's Square.

Timber sash and case plate glass windows. Modern piended roof; grey slates.

PHASE 1 BLOCK (MYTON BUILDING): to rear, in SE Thistle Street Lane, but visible from George Street. 5-storey block with curtain walls of alternating clear and green glass to N and S; plant clearly expressed on top.

PHASE 2 BLOCK: 5-storey 5-bay continuation of St Andrews Square elevation; vertical ashlar piers linked by horizontal windows, capped by set back steel fascia.

PHASE 3 BLOCK: continues George Street elevation with link to former

No 13; 5-storey 5-bay reworking of phase 2 theme, with bronze frieze incorporating Wise and Foolish Virgins fable, reinterpreted by Gerald Ogilvy Laing.

FORMER NO 13: on corner site fronting St Andrew's and St George's Church (see separate listing); 4-storey and attic early Renaissance. Polished cream sandstone ashlar. Round-headed windows at ground, entablature to ground and 1st floors. 1st floor windows pilastered with cill course. 2nd floor windows with alternating canted bays and segmental and triangular pediments, flat bays with balustraded aprons to windows; 2nd and 3rd floors with giant order panelled corner pilasters; entablature with modillioned cornice. 3-bay GEORGE STREET ELEVATION with engaged granite Doric columns at ground and triglyph frieze; pediment above former 2-leaf panelled door to right. Upper floors with canted centre bay. 3-bay attic storey, diminutive version of ground floor supported by lateral consoles, and surmounted by massive pediment with oculus and 3 statues. 5-bay W ELEVATION with inner bays of upper floors canted. Gabled attic; 3-bay central section pilastered with entablature and parapet, balustraded at centre; round-headed aedicule windows with alternate segmental and triangular pediments.

Timber sash and case plate glass windows. Ashlar coped skews; grey slates.

INTERIOR: rebuilt retaining principal entrance, stair and boardrooms of original block. Panelled Entrance Hall containing straight flight of marble steps to principal level; mirrored aedicule on axis at upper level; groin-vaulted ceiling. Arcaded contrasting marble Hall with Ionic pilasters and 2-bay screen to former Telling Room; black and white marble floor; Baroque broken pediment to Entrance Hall. Principal stairhall and landings with fine timber panelling, pedimented doors; cantilevered stair rises to 2nd floor, with quarter landings, painted stone treads and square timber balusters; lit by elaborate glazed dome. At 1st floor, panelled Boardroom on corner with compartmented ceiling; tiered chimneypiece with acanthus scrolls supporting Ionic capitals and frieze, and upper tier with Ionic columns supporting stepped broken segmental pediment; marble slips and hearth; original furniture and Steell bust, 1865; 3 wrought-iron chandeliers; brass radiator grilles in windows. Managing Director's room similarly finished.

Windows of former No 13 at ground with fluted pilasters.

Statement of Special Interest

The pediment was reused from David Bryce?s building of 1839. Hamilton Beattie?s building was designed for the Royal Insurance Company. Laird?s Phase 1 building interconnects with 13A George Street, known as the Crippled Aid Building (see separate listing). The retention of principal stair and rooms within a major rebuild, was a solution reused by Laird at 28 St Andrews Square, for Scottish Equitable, in an exactly contemporary building also by Dick Peddie & Browne (see separate listing).

References

Bibliography

QJRIAS 1922 no4. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) pp298-9, 323. C McKean EDINBURGH RIAS Guide (1992) p95. Fiona Sinclair SCOTSTYLE: 150 YEARS OF SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE (1984) pp104-5. Valerie Fiddes and Alistair Rowan MR DAVID BRYCE 1803-1876 (1976) pp88-9. Original drawings framed at 3 George Street. Dean of Guild plans 1st May 1838.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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