A domestic driveway turntable installed at the front of an architect's house in central Edinburgh is causing a stir with passers-by.
The British Turntable revolve has been installed at the property to make life safer for its owners to drive onto and off a very busy street which lies in Stockbridge, on the northern edge of the Georgian New Town, on one of the main routes to Princes Street and the centre of the city.
Finished with Caithness stone to match the adjacent path, the flush-fitted 4m diameter turntable is a stunning addition to the house, a category 'B' listed Georgian villa built in 1814. The alterations, which included widening the front gate, were combined with restoration of the Craigleith stone front wall and railings.
British Turntable Co to delivered the turntable with the top divided into four quadrants so that the stone tiles could simply be laid in loose on a geotextile on the steel surface. Keeping the Caithness stone pieces small (300 x 150 x 25mm) kept the weight down, and laying them in dry, without mortar, minimised the risk of cracking under the weight of the car. Not a single tile has cracked.
"We are more delighted than we can say with the turntable", say architect James Simpson and his wife Ann, a curator in the Gallery of Modern Art. "We have lived in the house since 1975, when parking was just about manageable, but this, of course, became more and more impossible as time went by. The beauty of the turntable is that we can accommodate the car safely while retaining three quarters of our front garden. We had no difficulty getting Listed Building Consent for the work.
"We decided to finish the top surface with Caithness stone so that it would blend in well with the pathway, and it has become the cause of a great deal of interest. It works wonderfully well, and I have to say the turntable is the talking point of the area. People are amazed when I show them that I can push the car round with my little finger, and older people are always reminded of railway turntables, on which the driver and fireman could push round a steam locomotive! I always refer them to the British Turntable Co website."
The Edinburgh installation has been adapted from British Turntable's standard CU5 turntable to meet the customer's requirements for the stone to be used as a surface finish and to take a larger than average motor vehicle. Once the car is parked on the turntable it can be pushed round quite easily to face the opposite direction despite the added weight of the stone. The driver can therefore enter and leave the property, both in a forwards gear, without the need for multi-point turns, thereby reducing subsequent wear and tear on tyres, driveway surface and driver.
British Turntable also offers a standard manually operated driveway turntable that will suit most domestic requirements. The standard 3.6m diameter DriveAway, as it is called, comes as a complete kit that can be flush-fitted into the driveway itself with the help of a builder or, if budgets are tight, it can be self-installed on top of the driveway surface and accessed by the ramps provided. Other diameters for heavier loads and electrical operation can be provided on request.