Mansfield Place Church

Simpson & Brown, Edinburgh, 2002


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Church exterior 

Steward Guthrie (website)     Download Original

  • Church exterior    
  • Renovated interior    
  • The mezzanine level of offices in the undercroft supported on a new structural frame     
  • The lower floor office on the north side    
  • The mezzanine level of offices in the undercroft supported on a new structural frame     
  • Sometimes the existing structure shows through    
  • Bathrooms    
  • The only new openings in the structure, for air inlet and outlet – built with some controversy    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement level plan    
  • Mezzanine level plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • East-west section through offices below nave    
  • Baptistry supported on props    
  • Offices under construction    
  • Detail    
  • Detail    

Restoration of historic Church and provision of offices for Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

Mansfield Place Church in Edinburgh was a redundant church which contained coloured Arts and Crafts murals painted by Phoebe Traquair (1852-1936).

Because the site slopes from north to south, the undercroft had windows to the south but only windows onto lightwells to the north. The church had deep foundations which allowed the lowering of the undercroft floor by a metre to create two tight levels of office space for 40-50 people.

Externally, the focus of work was ensuring a watertight envelope, with new felt and slating, plus repair and replacement of stonework and railings.

Access to the offices is via a spiral stair starting from the existing circular baptistry. This involved removing its foundations and completely propping it while a two-storey drum of masonry was built below.

The offices fill the lower floor with mezzanine balcony above, created with a new steel structure. Columns are concrete-filled for fire performance. Artificial lighting is a permanent feature of the deep office space.


  • Completed: 2002
  • Sectors: Religious, Office
  • Total cost: £4.4M
  • Address: Mansfield Place Church, Edinburgh, EH7 4BL, United Kingdom

Professional Team


AJBL Sponsor

Armstrong World Industries

A global leader in providing customised, multi material ceiling and wall solutions

Find out more