Chapel of St Albert the Great,
23-24 George Square, Edinburgh

what we did

Following competitive tender Ashwood was appointed Principal Contractor for the refurbishment and new build extension to this A- listed residential Catholic Seminary.

Works included stone façade indents and repairs; rot, slate, lead and cast iron rainwater goods repairs; window upgrades and internal refurbishment of the existing four storey building with a single storey new build Garden Chapel extension incorporating Corten steel feature columns, frameless glazing and a structural timber flat roof with specialist membrane felt covering (critical to ensure water-tightness), a gravel protection layer and Sedum layer of alpine plants and grass.

We provided solutions to replacing stone lintels where difficult access required lifting over the building from front to rear. We produced a detailed method statement identifying risks, designing temporary works for moving new and removing existing lintels using a sliding roller system and specific crane arrangements to minimize lifting distances and affected areas.

The Garden Chapel extension included irregular feature tree-shaped Corten steel structural columns with complex seating arrangements. These were Contractor designed, fabricated and installed meeting all technical requirements whilst maintaining the historical aspects and city garden ambience of the existing site. The controlled saltwater spraying of the finished columns to ensure identically weathered appearance internally and externally we carried out with extreme care over many weeks.

Our equally key joiner works included intricate curved barrel ceilings, a new Confessional and feature finished Sacristy, high quality timber finishes to seating, wall panels, floors, door sets and ornate surrounds.

Traditional and feature elements had to be and were of the highest standard, maintained to the end through continuous inspection, Site Manager sign off as works progressed and zero defect approach.

Design sensitivity was understood at all times and through our craft supervision and trades we delivered outstanding quality – the ‘Chapel of St Albert the Great’ received an RIBA National award in 2013.


These external fabric repairs, internal reconfigurations and new build extension phased works overcame difficult access restrictions and were carefully coordinated around services, prayers, lectures and exam times.

Customer: The Dominican Council, Order of Preachers

Contract Value: £946,000


The Dominican Council, Order of Preachers

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