Frank Wood, 1929-1932. Single-storey, rectangular-plan former purpose-built nursery school with sliding timber and glass doors and verandah to entire S wall (currently reception and archive centre). White painted harl. Brick base course, raised cills.
S elevation, returning to W elevation; full length verandah with canopy and timber railings. Sliding multi-pane glazed panels set in timber frames.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows and 6-pane top-hopper windows to N and E walls. Piended roofs with grey slates.
INTERIOR: (seen 2007). Altered, but with main rooms extant in plan. Timber flooring. Some original details, including low height coat peg nos.
Statement of Special Interest
This is a particularly interesting former nursery school which was built according to the Montessori principles of nursery education. The sliding panels and verandah to the South elevation are a notable feature of the design and the interior, although altered, still retains its two main large, light rooms and the former low height peg numbers. It also conforms to the contemporary ideals of providing plenty of light and air in educational buildings.
The Montessori principles of education are based on a child-centred approach, with each individual child learning at their own pace and with all associated furniture, toilets coat pegs etc., designed specifically for the children.
The Moray House nursery was planned by Annie MacKenzie, the then Infant Mistress in the Moray House Demonstration School and was based on research which had been carried out in Kindergarten architecture in Germany in the 1920s. The full length verandah to the South and part of the West elevation enabled there to be an easy transition from inside to outside.
The first Moray House Nursery School was opened in 1908 in a different part of Edinburgh. This building in St John s Street was erected after the previous structures on the site were demolished in 1929.
The school closed in 1988 and was converted into the reception centre and archive store for Moray House School of Education.
List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-8.
Statutory address updated (2015). Previously listed as 'St John Street, Moray House Reception, (Former Moray House Nursery School)'.