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Leith Architecture : Buildings

Contemporary Developments in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland

26 Jul 2016

Leith Building – Latest News

Malt & Hops Pub Expansion on The Shore in Leith
Design: GRAS

Malt & Hops Pub Expansion on The Shore in Leith
image from architect

GRAS have recently submitted a planning application for River Craft: a new floating platform that is as an expansion to the Malt & Hops pub on the Shore, Leith, Edinburgh.

The proposal is for the installation of a new floating deck (18.5 m x 6.3 m) to the eastern edge of the Water of Leith basin, directly opposite the pub, which can accommodate additional seating, a servery, storage space and an accessible WC. The expansion will also benefit from additional sunlight for a longer period of the day. Its distinct aesthetic will provide enhanced marketing opportunities to help improve the long term sustainability of the establishment while adding to the creative capital of the area.

Malt & Hops Pub Expansion on The Shore in Leith

15 Nov 2011
GIA Education Award goes to Pro Bono Project from Archial’s Glasgow Office

On 11 Nov 2011, Archial’s Glasgow office picked up an Education Design Award from the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) for its pro bono work on the Vine Trust Barge. The Vine Trust is an international, interdenominational, volunteering charity which seeks to enable volunteers to make a real and significant difference to some of the poorest children and communities in the world.

Vine Trust Barge, Leith Docks:
Vine Trust Barge Vine Trust Barge Leith Docks Vine Trust Barge Leith Vine Trust Barge Edinburgh
photos courtesy Vine Trust

The Vine Trust has two refitted MOD vessels operating as floating medical centres, providing free health check and dental care to some of the poorest communities living along the Amazon river in South America. In addition, they run children’s homes for vulnerable and abandoned children found on the streets of Lima, Peru, providing them with a family environment and safe passage into adulthood.

In November 2008, the charity approached Archial to help them refit a third MOD fuel vessel, this time to be located in a permanent mooring in Leith, Edinburgh, which, in addition to providing a fundraising centre and accommodation for their staff, would also act as an educational teaching base, connecting school children across Scotland with the plight of street children in Peru.

The ambitious project includes teaching areas, a cinema, exhibition space and a multipurpose outdoor performance stage, as well as office accommodation for the Trust. Thanks to the generosity of Forth Ports, the charity has secured free mooring in front of the historic Port Authority Building at Leith Docks for the next 25 years.

In contrast to the heavy, and tired industrial look of the existing ship, new insertions of crisp glass and timber volumes sit within the shell of the old ship, with varying levels of transparency attenuated by western red cedar timber slats. The slats provide both a level of visual accessibility and privacy depending on their viewing angle: the intention is that this will draw people in to investigate the contents, as well as providing a level of solar control to the main space.

As this was a charitable project, Archial’s Glasgow Office donated their services free of charge for the duration of the three year project and encouraged a number of other key consultants and material suppliers from the local area to do the same.

The project was completed in September 2011 and opened by HRH Princess Royal.

Leith Buildings

Areas incl. The Shore, Western Harbour, Victoria Dock & The Water of Leith
Leith Buildings Leith Buildings
photos © Adrian Welch 26 May 2008

Leith History

New Leith building
‘Love Leith’ housing development, Salamander Street:
New Leith building
image © adrian welch 2006

Dr Bell’s Centre by Smith Scott Mullan Architects – Leith building:
Dr Bell’s Centre
photograph: Michael Wolchover / Paul Zanre

For Granton’s buildings see base of page

To reach Leith from the City Centre there are numerous buses, but to reach The Shore use No.1, 16 or 22. On foot it is quite a trek down Leith Walk but if you attempt it don’t miss the famous and original Valvona & Crolla restaurant and delicatessen extraordinaire (new Valvona & Crolla restaurant in the New Town).

Top of the Walk
Top of the Walk
photo © Adrian Welch

Further down Elm Row (the top of Leith Walk) was a theatre:

Queen Margaret University Gateway Theatre
2000
Law & Dunbar-Nasmith
Leith Walk
photo © Adrian Welch
Gateway Theatre – now closed

Hypostyle Architects’ Royal Mail building is on Brunswick Road, off Leith Walk. On the other side of the road is the former LRT bus garage – Shrub Place

Architects’ Studio, 378 Leith Walk
2002
Smith Scott Mullan Associates
Leith Architecture
picture from architect
At the Foot of the Walk, continue through the Kirkgate shopping precinct

Edinburgh Property Centre, Leith Walk
2003
Smith Scot Mullan Associates
Leith Walk
picture from architect

New Kirkgate Shopping Centre, Foot of the Walk
2002
CDA
Foot of Leith Walk
photo © Adrian Welch
Make your way east to the Shore, the Water of Leith

As most Scots will know Leith used to be a rough quarter of town, actually a separate city from 1827 until 1921: cabbies are fond of telling the story about the Boundary Bar half way down Leith Walk (still there, opposite Pilton St.) where punters would cross to the Leith side of the bar after the earlier closing time in the Edinburgh end), but despite the continued presence of the red light district, the area is now teeming with trendy loft apartments and expensive restaurants.

Aerial Map of Leith’s centre – The Shore : Leith Map
The Shore, Leith Edinburgh Docks
bridge photo © Adrian Welch

Leith is fortunate to have kept a sizeable proportion of old buildings and the area around the Shore is fascinating, helped by good refurbishments. Queen Mary (of Guise) had her base here, Charles I was fond of playing golf on Leith Links (1640s) and George IV chose to alight here (plaque on wall opposite grey ship) in 1822.

Leith Architecture
photo © Adrian Welch

However, as you progress around the former industrial areas of the dock towards Newhaven via Victoria Dock there are appearing many new additions of questionable architectural quality.
If you are peckish Leith has a good array of quality restaurants: some, such as Fishers Restaurant and Skippers Restaurant need prior booking. I recommend Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart, 54 The Shore, for sumptuous food in calm surroundings.

Leith Architecture
photo © Adrian Welch

If you look West along the Shore towards the Raj Restaurant you can see Coalhill:

Coalhill Housing, Coalhill
2001
Allan Murray Architects
Edinburgh Docks
photo © Adrian Welch

This Buredi housing project sits on the wharf side in a prominent position looking down the Water of Leith. The crisp white style is typical of Allan Murray Architects

Phase II continues the barrel-shaped river frontage into the area of parkland to the West with a semi-enclosed raised podium to the south.

Ronaldson’s Wharf Housing
2003
Dignan Read Dewar with Fraser Brown Mackenna
The Shore
photo © Adrian Welch

The scheme is four to six storeys high, consists of 120 flats, with retail along the Water of Leith walkway.

Close by is Gregor Shore’s Crescent By The Shore 62 two & three-bed apartments, on Coburg St / Dock St corner

Couper Street Housing
2002
Campbell & Arnott Architects
Leith Architecture
photo © Adrian Welch

St Ninian’s Leith – resoration, Quayside Street
2000
Simpson & Brown Architects
St Ninian's Leith
photo © Adrian Welch

late 16th century Dutch tower, former North Leith Parish Church
Walk back down The Shore and cross the bridge; on the right is the former Customs House, Commercial Street, 1812 by architect Robert Reid (sadly closed to the public, used by the National Museum of Scotland as a store – see small black & white image to right, from McKean’s guidebook), interior remodelled by William Burn,

The Shore
photograph from Charles McKean

Further along is the massive form of Rennie & Patterson’s Warehouses (for wine and whisky, colour image to right) dating from 1810 and renovated in late 90’s to residential and restaurants. Commercial Street marks where the Leith seashore used to be – Leith dock buildings: take a right here

Commercial Quay (pool with fountain; restaurants with attractive canopies) which used to be a Dock and latterly a cable storage area. If you continue up to the old Quay (the old shoreline) you find:
Leith Architecture
photo © Adrian Welch

Infinity, 108 Commercial Quay
2000
Arcade Architects

Fresh insertion by Arcade into the old Leith Naval College; now moved 50m to West (below), amended entry for new owners Infinity.

142 Commercial Street
Arcade Architects
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect

Commercial Quay Leith

To the East is the beige block of the Scottish Executive:

Scottish Executive, Victoria Quay
1995
RMJM
Victoria Dock
picture from the architect
Solid building in symmetrical three-storey shape possibly to recall warehouse that existed previously on the site.
Scottish Executive Leith

Head North through car park

Ocean Terminal, Western Harbour
2001
Conran & Partners
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect
Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre

Britannia Visitor Centre, Western Harbour
1998
Conran & Partners
Western Harbour
photo © Adrian Welch
This building due to become the Cruise Line Terminal

Guggenheim
proposed 2002
Frank Gehry with Farningham Macreadie Partnership
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect
Scottish Guggenheim

Western Harbour
Western Harbour
photo © Adrian Welch
Flour mill & newly-formed land: this area is being developed by Forth Ports plc

The Element
Cooper Cromar Architects
The Element development
picture from the architect

Platinum Point
2003-
Gilberts Architects
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect

Britannia Quay – Lindsay Road
2004
Hackland + Dore Architects
Western Harbour
photo © Adrian Welch

Ocean Heights, Western Harbour
2002-
Holmes Partnership
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect
After Stewart Milne Builders discontinued their involvement, the new developer, Cala Homes, issued revised images 2001: Skyliner

Office Development, Ocean Drive
2001-
Terry Farrell & Partners
Edinburgh Docks
photo © Adrian Welch
Ocean Point, adj. Ocean Terminal, Leith Docks – only one half of scheme built

You can return by the listed John Leckie Bridge – formerly a revolving bridge to allow boats entry – then right past the harpoon gun (interesting historical text, also horses used to race here along the Links) – and past the former Seaman’s Mission, now a hotel:

Malmaison Hotel Leith
Leith
photo © Adrian Welch
An interior refurbishment for the Malmaison Edinburgh has been designed by Jestico + Whiles; Ferrier Crawford were executive architects with the original refurbishment being by Rob Hunter Architects in 1992-94. More images at Edinburgh Restaurants

Adjacent to the Hotel is Fishers – darkly atmospheric pub with celebrated food – under the former Signal Tower (1685, Mylne), a windmill then a defensive position in the Napoleonic Wars:
Leith Architecture
photo © Adrian Welch
Leith was a walled town in the 16th century and the remains of Cromwell’s Citadel can be seen half way along Commercial Street on the left (1560).

Proposed Scottish Parliament, Victoria Dock
1998
Benson & Forsyth
Edinburgh
picture from the architect
One of three sites initially proposed for the new Scottish Parliament:

Port of Leith Housing Association, Constitution St
2002
Lee Boyd
Leith Architecture
picture from the architect
Port of Leith Housing Association HQ

Telectra House, North Junction St
Leith, Edinburgh
photo © Adrian Welch
demolished late 2003 despite campaign by Cockburn Association
a full description of Granton is found at

Edinburgh Buildings + Granton Harbour

Leith Architecture
picture from the architect

Granton Waterfront interview

Contemporary Buildings

Leith Houses

News Excerpts re Leith Architecture & Buildings

Leith Theatre
Design revealed for tower at Leith Theatre complex, part of £9m scheme to refurbish/redevelop six historic Leith buildings incl. Leith Victoria Boxing Club, Lambs House, Citadel Youth Club, St James Church & the Hindu Temple
Apr 2006

TA drill hall, Leith
photo © Adrian Welch

Ciao Leith
CiAO won an invited competition from a shortlist of 5 practices, to design Leith Creative Arts & Education Centre

Crescent By The Shore, Leith by Gregor Shore
Crescent By The Shore
Crescent Housing, Leith image © Adrian Welch

Leith Community Treatment Centre
Leith Community Treatment Centre: designed for Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust. The £;5.5m building by designlab went on site Jul 2002 with Gleesons as contractor, to complete in Oct 2003

Leith Bingo
A Former bingo hall and cinema in Leith is to reopen as a massive Egyptian-themed nightspot. More than £3 m is being spent turning the historic building in Leith’s Great Junction Street into a luxurious haven for clubbers.
Jan 2002

Leith Skyhouse
David Marks, who designed the London Eye, is expected to visit Leith later this week to investigate whether the area is suitable for his new affordable Skyhouse plans. David hosts a lecture on the London Eye in Edinburgh on Thursday. Councillor Elizabeth Maginnis, chairman of Waterfront Edinburgh Ltd, the company responsible for the regeneration project in Granton in the north of Edinburgh, welcomed Mr Marks’ interest in Leith.
May 03

Leith Docks – The Future
Forth Ports Ltd has submitted an outline planning application for a £19m
development of 480 flats and offices on Ocean Drive, Leith – CALA Homes
Edinburgh Architecture News
Albert Dock, Leith image © Adrian Welch

Up to 18,000 new homes – 5,400 family homes and 4,500 affordable properties – could be created at Leith Docks. The proposals are part of a draft framework, produced by Forth Ports in conjunction with Edinburgh City Council, which has set out a 15-year vision for Leith Docks.
Also proposed is a new cruise liner terminal, an extension to the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, a major new civic space around the Imperial Dry Dock, and a marine windfarm.

Leith – Assembly St
Leith Assembly St
picture from the architect
Sutherland Hussey Architects Building: Assembly Street Leith

Views around Leith

Constitution St
Leith Buildings
photo © Frazer Hay

Seafield Sewage Works
Leith Buildings
image © Frazer Hay

Leith : restaurants




Edinburgh Church Buildings

Edinburgh Houses




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