Greyfriars Charteris Centre


Architect: Konishi Gaffney Architects

Client/Owner: Greyfriars Charteris Centre

Structural Engineer: Entuitive / Forshaw Gauld

Main Contractor: SJS Property Services

Joinery Company: Old School Fabrications

Lighting Design: Francis Milloy Lighting Design

M&E Consultant: Irons Foulner Consulting Engineers

Wood Supplier: James Latham

Quantity Surveyor: Thomson Gray

Species: American Maple, Birch faced plywood, Accoya – PEFC & FSC

Location: Edinburgh

Photography credits: ©Nanne Springer

This elegant timber refurbishment and extension of a former church provides a flexible workspace, a community hub, an events space and a non-denominational sanctuary.

The design reconfigured the front of the building to form a new accessible front door, reception, and lobby area, creating an inviting interior and visibility from the street. A timber ‘link’ building inserted between the church and the neighbouring offices block forms a triple-height top-lit atrium with lift access to all levels. White terrazzo panels with a sculptural relief pattern are used in the external cladding and slender weather-resistant Accoya fins which lend rhythm and order to the elevation.

Internally a restrained material pallet characterises and unifies the new joinery elements of the building: American maple, birch-faced plywood and white plaster tie in with the pine ceiling of the main hall. Dappled light filters through a 6m tall delicate Maple screen, along with Maple floors, stairs and built-in furniture add attractive colouring, durability, and consistent grain. This was matched with birch-faced plywood, finished with a whitewash to enhance its light appearance.