Doors Open Day Edinburgh Buildings, Scotland, 2002, Organiser, Information

Doors Open Days, Edinburgh : Architecture

Doors Open Day 2002 : Cockburn Assocation / Scottish Civic Trust

Doors Open Days Edinburgh – 2002

Co-ordinator : The Cockburn Association, Trunk’s Close, 55 High St
Contact: 0131 557 8686

Doors Open Day Edinburgh: buildings for 2010

Doors Open Day Edinburgh: buildings for 2007

Doors Open Day Buildings: buildings for 2006

Doors Open Day Edinburgh is generally in the last week of September.

The Cockburn Association organised Doors Open Day annually

Visiting Glasgow Buildings
Doors Open Day Glasgow is generally in mid-September.
Contact Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT), 42 Miller St, Glasgow

Cockburn Association Comment:

Doors Open Day Edinburgh
Have you ever walked past a building and wondered what lies behind those closed doors? Well here is your chance to find out for free! Every year the Cockburn Association organises Doors Open Day in Edinburgh. Around sixty buildings will be open to the public on Doors Open Day providing a marvellous day out and an opportunity to explore inside some fascinating buildings. Doors Open Day has been running in Edinburgh since 1991, the idea having been imported from Europe. The original idea germinated in France in 1984 with the first Journée Portes ouvertes des Monuments historiques. This established the basic principle of opening up to visitors, free of charge, buildings and heritage sites normally closed or difficult to access. It also gave us the name Doors Open Day.

In Edinburgh Doors Open Day has been co-ordinated by the Cockburn Association since its inception. Then a few hundred visitors made a few thousand visits to the buildings on offer. Doors Open Day numbers quickly grew and now an estimated 10,000 visitors make over 45,000 individual visits. Some people only visit one or two buildings, while the keen (and fit) can clock up an impressive fifteen or more. The Doors Open Day average seems to be five.

There is a fantastic array of buildings ranging form the Scottish Parliament and the City Chambers to Merchants Hall and the Chapel of St John. The difficult choice for you is which ones to visit and here a little research and planning will help your day. To give you a head start here are my five Doors Open Day tips:

1. The exceptional Robyn Chapel at the Thistle Foundation that was designed by John F Matthew of Lorimer & Mathew with the use of exquiste craftmanship to decorate the interior.
2. The Cowgate Under-5s Centre on Old Assembly Close by Allan Murray Architects for Buredi.
3. The fascinating and creepy South Bridge Vaults, a labyrinth of underground passages and chambers dating from the 18th century.
4. Dance Base at the Grassmarket designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects which offers a beautiful and inspiring setting for dance.
5. Finally you should not miss the Mansfield Traquair where the former Catholic Apostolic Church, by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson has been rescued by a charitable trust and restored by Simpson & Brown Architects.

However if you are simply interested in modern architecture then add to this: the Holyrood Park Education centre by Malcolm Fraser, Napier University Computing Centre by Richard Murphy, Greenbank Parish Church Halls by Lee Boyd Architects, Alexander Graham Bell House by Bennetts Associates and the Edinburgh Prison Visitor Centre by Gareth Hoskins.

The Cockburn Association (The Edinburgh Civic Trust) is a registered charity working to protect and enhance the beauty of Edinburgh. We organise Doors Open Day to help raise awareness of Edinburghu2019s built environment and also to highlight the importance of our work. The Cockburn Association has around 1,200 members across Edinburgh and we would ask if you enjoy Doors Open Day that you consider supporting us in our work and become a member.

Further details of the Cockburn and information on Doors Open Day can be found on the Cockburn web site or a printed leaflet can be obtained from a local library or by sending a stamped addressed envelope to Doors Open Day, Cockburn Association, Trunks Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh

Hope you enjoy the day!

Martin Hulse, Cockburn Association Sep 02


Every weekend in September Doors Open Day allows access to built heritage in a different Scottish region. Doors Open Days offer the chance to explore some of Scotland’s most interesting architecture.

Doors Open Days form Scotland’s contribution to European Heritage Days. The first Doors Open Day – La Journée Portes Ouvertes – took place in France in 1984. In 1990 DOD arrived in Scotland, by way of the Netherlands. The pilot projects were held in Ayr and Glasgow. Since then, they have become an annual event across Scotland, co-ordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust, supported by Historic Scotland. Doors Open Days aim to encourage all of us to enjoy and understand our local architectural environment and develop a better awareness of Scotland’s rich built heritage and conservation issues.
Together with Scottish Archaeology Month, these events provide valuable information and experiences.

Scotland: Doors Open Days Region by Region:

Contact: Aug-Sep 0141 248 1188 or
UK Heritage Days (equivalent to Scotland’s Doors Open Days):
European Heritage Days:

Throughout September the public annually get a chance to visit some of Scotland’s most interesting buildings for free.

Scottish Civic Trust
DOORS OPEN DAYS 2003 Information

On weekends throughout September, several hundred of Scotland’s most fascinating buildings – from the mediaeval to the twenty-first-century – open their doors to the public free of charge.
From Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway, from Kintyre to East Fife, Doors Open Days provide free access to a wide variety of buildings, many not normally accessible to visitors. Tower-houses, castles, churches and mansions feature alongside distilleries, factories, football grounds and working artists’ studios. We can explore historic houses and dynamic examples of contemporary architecture; compare traditional industries with today’s renewable energy technologies. Traditions of civic pride are embodied in town houses and municipal buildings large and small. There are also opportunities to learn more about Scotland’s great diversity of living cultures as Mosques, Sikh Temples and a Buddhist Centre are among the buildings opening their doors this year.
Local organisers produce area-specific events, with varied programmes including guided tours, exhibitions, children’s activities, live music, and craft demonstrations. This year’s highlights include a 17C Shetland mansion with a dramatic wartime past, a historic music hall, and a new, environmentally friendly building partly constructed from used tyres.
Doors Open Days are a nationwide annual event, co-ordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust and generously supported by Historic Scotland, an agency of the Scottish Executive. They form Scotland’s contribution to European Heritage Days (EHD), a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union involving millions of people in all 48 nations of the European Cultural Convention.
The EHD motto is ‘Europe: a common heritage’. The initiative aims to develop cultural citizenship, with understanding of and respect for both shared heritage and diversity, and care for architectural and environmental heritage. Scotland was the first country within the UK to take part, initially through programmes in Glasgow and Ayr.
Doors Open Days buildings reflect many aspects of Scotland as a European nation. While a number of Scots architects – most notably the Adams and Mackintosh – gained international reputations, for centuries Scotland’s built heritage has been enriched by the work of architects and artists from other parts of the UK and from the European mainland. One of this year’s highlights in Aberdeenshire, St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Huntly, was built in the Spanish style and hung with Spanish paintings, reflecting its patrons the Gordons of Wardhouse’s ties with Spain. Many Doors Open Days buildings have played a part in the international scene. The 16C French poet Chastelard met his downfall at Rossend Castle in Fife, where he was found hiding under Marie Stuart’s bed, and was beheaded in St. Andrews, declaiming stanzas by his mentor, Ronsard. In the Second World War, Lunna House in Shetland was linked with the activities of the Norwegian Resistance.
Leaflets with details of local contacts and events are available through libraries and information centres. There is also a telephone hotline, 0141-248-1188.
Full programme details are available on line at
Information on European Heritage Days in the rest of the UK can be found at Heritage Days
For the international view, see Council of Europe: EHD
This year’s highlights include:
The Kinnoull Aisle, Perth
The superb monument to the Earl of Kinnoull was erected within the Kinnoull Aisle in 1635. The Aisle has been restored as one of the finest piece of memorial sculpture in the country. The amazingly intricate design celebrates the enterprising career of the Earl as courtier, King’s Chancellor, industrialist and politician.
Lunna House, Lunna, East Mainland, Shetland
A striking hill-top house, built in the 1660s for the local lairds, the Hunters of Lunna. It retains some fine period interiors, besides offering stunning views. Lunna has a dramatic history as the first base of the Second World War ‘Shetland Bus’ – by which Norwegian fishing boats sent supplies to the Resistance in Norway and brought back refugees.
The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, Glasgow
Dating back to 1857, the Britannia is a rare surviving early music hall, and one of Glasgow’s ‘star’ attractions in every sense. Stan Laurel made his stage debut there in 1906, and acrobat Archie Leach performed in the 1920s before finding Hollywood fame as Cary Grant. The interior still contains a balcony, seating, projection box and stage beneath a vaulted ceiling. Effectively suspended in time since 1938, it will be appear in the BBC TV seriesRestoration.
The Old West Kirk, Greenock
Built in 1591, the Old West Kirk of Greenock was taken apart stone by stone in 1925 – every piece numbered to aid in its reconstruction – and moved to the Esplanade to make way for the expansion of Harland & Wolff’s shipyard. It re-opened in 1928. It is notable for its beautiful Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows designed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones for William Morris & Co. in the 1860s.
Drumsheugh Baths, Belford Road, Edinburgh
‘The Drumsheugh Swimming and Turkish Baths Company’ – built in the 1880s as a private swimming club, with an atmospheric and beautiful Moorish-style interior. Stained glass, an arched vestibule and stairs leading down to the baths, which have an open timber roof and 10 arches on cast-iron columns.
Faculty of Health & Social Care, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
The Faculty of Health & Social Care, designed by Ian Fraser, of Halliday Fraser Munro, is the latest addition to the striking collection of modern architecture at the Garthdee campus. In line with the original plan for the campus, the form of the building follows that of the adjacent Faculty of Management, designed by Norman Foster, but it differs in detail. Both, however, contain some dramatic internal spaces.
The Doors Open Days programme features a talk by the architect Ian Fraser about his design.
The Earthship, Craigencalt Ecology Centre, Kinghorn, Fife
The Sustainable Communities Initiatives, based at Craigencalt Farm Ecology Centre, promotes sustainable living. The Earthship is a house built of old tyres packed with earth. The earth-rammed tyres provide structure and thermal mass. Many other examples of ecologically sensitive design are to be seen at the Ecology Centre, and talks will be given.
Vestas – Celtic Wind Technology Ltd Production Factory, Machrihanish, Kintyre
With renewable energy very much in the news, this factory is opening to the public in Kintyre’s Doors Open Days programme. It is the only combined Wind Turbine Production and Nacelle Assembly Plant in the UK, and employs nearly 200 people, mostly local residents.
Visitors will be given a conducted tour of the factory, and can also see video presentations of the V80-2.0 MW turbines in Scandinavia. Refreshments will be available in the canteen.

Scottish Civic Trust Doors Open Days: PR 22 Aug 2003

For further highlights and detailed information about specific regions, visit or contact the local co-ordinator.

The Scottish Civic Trust was founded in 1967. It is a charity operating throughout Scotland and is committed to improving the built environment. It aims to encourage:
· Well-informed public concern for the environment in town and country;
· High standards in architecture and planning;
· Conservation and adaptation for re-use of buildings of distinction or historic interest;
· Informed and effective comment in planning matters;
· Improving the aesthetic quality of environments affected by social deprivation, bad design or neglect.

The SCT is based in Glasgow at the Tobacco Merchant’s House, 42 Miller Street – a restored category A-listed building.

The Chairman of the Trustees is Simon Miller. The Director is Terry Levinthal, and the Doors Open Days Co-ordinator Marianne McLeod Gilchrist.

The SCT is proud to act as national co-ordinator of Doors Open Days/European Heritage Days, which it introduced to Scotland in 1990.

Since 1990, the SCT has operated the Buildings at Risk register on behalf of Historic Scotland, and publishes the annual Buildings at Risk Bulletin.

Further information about Doors Open Days/European Heritage Days is available from The SCT or from the DOD website

For Scottish Archaeology Month events, contact the Council for Scottish Archaeology on 0131 247 4119
Enquiries regarding Doors Open Days / European Heritage Days Scotland to 0141 221 1466


Harvey Nichols

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

The Tobacco Merchant’s House, 42 Miller Street, Glasgow

Doors Open Day – Architecture Link
Scottish Architecture

Doors Open Day Glasgow

Buildings / photos for the Doors Open Days Edinburgh Architecture pages welcome:

Doors Open Days Edinburgh Buildings : page – adrian welch / isabelle lomholt