Basic Site Details

Name: Midlothian County Council Buildings, Lawnmarket and Melbourne Place
City or county: Edinburgh, Midlothian
Country: Scotland
Status: Unexecuted
Grid ref:
Notes: The 1960 winning entry by Reid & Forbers for new Midlothian County offices on a site fronting the Lawnmarket and Melbourne Place, opposite the existing County headquarters. However, it was never executed as it was rejected as excessively conservative by the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland in March 1961. Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners eventually got the job in 1964 after a second competition was held (see separate entry under Midlothian County Council Buildings for the executed RMJM building).

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1County buildings  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 2Lawnmarket  
Item 2 of 2Melbourne Place  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 426 February 1960 Competition announceddesign competition opened for extension to County Building; open to architects practising or resident in Scotland only; submission deadline 15 March per Builder p403
(refers to fuller details in Builder dated 20 Nov.? - CHECK)
Item 2 of 420 May 1960 Competition designs submitted10 designs received from architects in Scotland per Builder p957
Item 3 of 420 May 1960  winning design proposes Doddington or Swinton stone quoins and old rubble redressed on main elevations; other frontages will have Blaxter veneer dressings with marble or granite trim per Builder p957
Item 4 of 424 May 196030 May 1960Design exhibitedawards as follows:
1st (premium 750 gns): G Reid and J S Forbes
2nd (premium 500 gns): D H Macpherson
3rd (premium 350 gns): Albert D Cordiner
designs exhibited at County Buildings from 24-30 May per Builder 13 May 1960 p957


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 4John Wilson Paterson  26 February 1960 assessor of competition per Builder p403
Item 2 of 4Albert Dick Cordiner  20 May 1960 placed 3rd in competition per Builder p957
Item 3 of 4Donald Hugh Macpherson  20 May 1960 placed 2nd in competition per Builder p957
Item 4 of 4Reid & Forbes  20 May 1960 placed 1st in competition per Builder p957

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1Midlothian County Council BuildingsNew Midlothian County offices on a site fronting the Lawnmarket and Melbourne Place, opposite the existing County headquarters.

Opened by the Queen Mother. Sir Robert Matthew thought this was the practice's best detiaied building.

Approximate cost 1,000,000


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 2Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp25
Item 2 of 2Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp297

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder26 February 1960  'Competitions Open' p403
Item 2 of 3Builder20 May 1960  'Competition News: Extension to Midlothian County Buildings' p957
Item 3 of 3Builder3 June 1960  'Competition Result: Extension to Midlothian County Buildings, Edinburgh' pp1049-1050; includes plan and elevation drawings