Centrica, Scottish Gas HQ

Edinburgh, UK
2001 - 2003

The Headquarters for Scottish Gas is the first development within Foster + Partners’ Granton masterplan for Edinburgh and sets the standard for buildings to follow within the scheme. This four-storey, 10,500 square metre building with spectacular views over the Firth of Forth houses a new call centre for the energy company. Situated at the corner of a city block established by the masterplan, the building gives clear definition to the line of the street and to the new public park which faces it.

The building’s entrance fronts a new public square created at the junction of the masterplan’s southern approach route and the park. A transport interchange located in this public square will serve a tramway proposed for the masterplan.

Internally the building is organised around a full-height atrium with open balconies and features exposed internal concrete coffers to the ceilings. Walkways bridging the atrium connect the floors and are staggered to maximise the sense of openness within the building and enhance communication.

Each facade of the building is fully glazed to form a glass box which is then sheathed by a veil of external silver aluminium louvres to provide shading. A displacement ventilation strategy maintains a comfortable working environment and ensures that the building is highly energy efficient.

Roof plant is kept to a minimum and is carefully screened within a compound situated to the rear of the atrium lantern. The site plan exploits a natural fall across the site to create a sunken area for car parking and basement plant to the rear of the building. Sensitive landscaping and generous planting along the perimeter of this area will screen the car park from view on all four sides.


The building's glazed facade is surrounded with a natural silver-anodised 'brise-soleil', which forms a rectangular veil over the U-shaped building footprint. It has been designed to take into consideration the low angle sun that is common in Scotland during the winter months.
An optimised combination of horizontal oval tubular fixed external 'brise soleil' shading and high performance glazing achieves an ideal balance between natural light penetration and solar protection.
Internally, solar control/anti-glare blinds have been installed under tenant fit-out.
Beyond the entrance is an atrium whose high roof is covered with a lantern of white glass, through which diffused daylight fills the space.
40% of the floor area is within 7.5 meters of a window and natural light (at a daylight factor between 2% to 5%).

Location: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=55.97969,-3.24204
Area: 10 568 m²