The rationale behind the pavement lines is discussed in the previous section on urban design.
It is proposed to use a grey stone to the courtyard which flows out to the building perimeter to identify the pedestrian street and the main entrances. The grey stone also is used in the base of the two atria facing the courtyard to blur the difference between inside and outside. Irregular strips of a much lighter off white cast stone provide contrast and a relationship to the lighter colour courtyard facades.
Charles Street will be primarily granite setts to relate to setts used in George Square. The granite setts however will have a smoother surface than the existing setts to provide a better walking surface (similar to the new Royal Scottish Academy terrace) although thin strips of a slightly rougher texture will help deter skateboarders. Setts will also be used in Marshall Street. The pavements will be a precast slab similar to Caithness stone as approved by City of Edinburgh Council.
The intention is to utilise only trees to provide a high quality urban environment and not use ground cover or shrubs which often become unsightly litter traps. A delicate leafed tree such as a silver birch will not reduce light to the courtyard and relate well to the lighter facades. The Charles Street trees should ideally provide continuity with those further north adjacent to Bristo Square such as Turkish Hazel, or Acer campestre ‘Streetwise’.
Stone benches are proposed in the courtyard and main entrances. Gates will be provided at the street facades to enable the courtyard to be closed for special events and at night.
Detail drawings, specification and samples of all external materials will be provided prior to construction.
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