The development of Edinburgh's New Town commenced in 1767. No. 8 Queen Street, one of the earliest New Town houses, was designed by Robert Adam in 1771 for Robert Orde, Chief Baron of the Order of the Exchequer. It was, and remains, one of the most important and grandest houses in the city and the first Edinburgh house to have two drawing rooms.
No. 8 Queen Street passed through the hands of several private owners until it was purchased by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1868. The house was leased to various institutions until 1957 when the Physicians took it back into their own use, linking it directly to the neighbouring hall designed for them by Thomas Hamilton in 1844. A number of inappropriate alterations were made to the house over the years which severely compromised its architectural and historical integrity. An ambitious phased restoration programme was initiated in 1990 and completed seven years later in 1997. Much of the information for the restoration was obtained from the comprehensive set of Adam's designs for Baron Orde's house, now lodged in Sir John Soane's Museum in London.
The first phase of work consisted of the restoration of the main rooms on the Entrance and Principal floors, including reinstating two missing decorative plaster ceilings, recreating four chimney pieces, the reinstatement of the stairs after the removal of an intrusive lift shaft and restoration of the original decorations, joinery and plaster finishes throughout. In addition, new furniture and furnishings have been designed and made to suit the principal rooms.
The second phase restored the rooms on the Chamber and Attic floors and the final phase completed the repair and restoration of the exterior, including completely overhauling the roof, laying a new lead roof, partly rebuilding the chimney stacks and repairing and repointing the stonework to the front and rear elevations.
|Project name:||Royal College of Physicians|
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