Leith Building, Photos, Housing, Property, Images, History, Docks, River, News
Leith Architecture : Buildings Information + Images
Contemporary Developments in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
15 Nov 2011
Leith Building - Latest News
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: 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.
Dr Bell’s Centre by Smith Scott Mullan Architects - Leith building: 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).
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
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.
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.
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,
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:
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.