Project Reflections : The New Club, Edinburgh

Posted by on Oct 23, 2020 in Building Surveying, Project Management

Project Reflections : The New Club, Edinburgh

In my last blog I reflected on the restoration of Netherby Hall Stables – a unique project including the full restoration of a stable block to bring it back to its former glory and create holiday accommodation. Today’s blog is a different project, different scale, different nature but another truly unique building requiring many of the same skills. Phase 1 has recently completed – the first in a series of phases to refurbish and upgrade the exclusive New Club on Princes Street – so it seems like a good time to reflect.

GLM’s involvement in this project stretches back a few years – we were initially involved with the committee to procure the design and project team. Through this process emerged the project team consisting of Sutherland Hussey Harris (SHH) as Architect, Morham + Brotchie as cost consultants, Irons Foulner as M&E engineers and GLM as project managers.

As I am currently studying for a formal qualification in project management this was a perfect fit for my portfolio with the perfect blend of a challenging assignment, profile and final outcome.

The New Club was originally founded in 1787 and moved to its current location in 1837. In the 1960s the Georgian clubhouse was, somewhat sadly, demolished to make way for the current building which incorporated a Ladies drawing and dining room. The Club was originally designed as a Gentleman’s club and restricted Ladies to the aforementioned areas only. Thankfully time has passed and attitudes have changed and in 2010 ladies were permitted to join as full members and therefore a redesign of the Club was needed to showcase inclusivity, equality and the welcoming nature of the Club as it is today. The first phase of works focussed on the reception area and Bayles Bar which welcomes visitors upon entry to the club. Laurence McIntosh were selected as the main contractor and delivered SHH’s vision to the highest possible standard despite the uncertainty and curveball which 2020 has given to us all. The whole team did well to adapt to the COVID situation as numbers were heavily restricted on site, programme was extended and progress meetings in the rosewood lined rooms of the Club turned into Zoom meetings. Despite the unique nature of the project we still faced many of the usual challenges, including navigating our way through the listed building and building warrant process. The building in which the Club sits is one of only 60 post war listed buildings in Scotland.

The statutory permissions for the second phase of works have already been obtained and it is hoped that phase two can commence on site within the near future.

Prior to the project, I was unaware that the Club existed but it has been a privilege to be involved in. The New Club is located opposite the Edinburgh Trams stop on Princes Street, so next time you’re in the area peer up and you may just catch a glimpse of the craftmanship on display but to appreciate the works in full you’ll have to become a member!

GLM provide the full range of Project Management services. Please do not hesitate to get in contact if you think we can be of assistance.

Neil Dickson

Chartered Building Surveyor