RMJM’s post-modern gem facing bulldozers once more

RMJM’s “˜flawed masterpiece’, the practice’s 1985 Balfour Stewart House in Edinburgh, is again under threat of demolition Last February (2008) the early Post-Modernist office block in the West Murrayfield Conservation area was saved from the bulldozers when plans to replace the empty building with 119 homes were thrown out by the city council.

However the architect behind the original scheme Archial (formerly SMC Hugh Martin) has submitted new proposals for the site which had been used by both United Distillers and Scottish & Newcastle. The revised plans for Rumney Manor – the investment arm of Trevor Hemmings, the billionaire who owns, among other things, the rights to Postman Pat- now features just 80 flats.

The move was described as “˜predictable’ and “˜one dimensional response’ by Adrian Boot, a director of RMJM in Edinburgh, who agrees with Historic Scotland’s assessment of the office as a “˜herald of new architectural ideals of the burgeoning Post-Modern period of the early 1980’s.’