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News July 2004
Edinburgh Architectural Developments
New Mart Rd
Uneventful Building – Listing
Historic Scotland put a building preservation notice on the house and decided to list the 1960’s building: post-1945 houses have to be of an exceptional standard to be listed.
The house owners Alistair and Julia White hired architect Richard Murphy but the modern architecture lobby group Docomomo called on Historic Scotland to protect the L-shaped building. Docomomo stands for "documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement" and is convinced the house should be preserved.
In a letter to Historic Scotland this month, Docomomo claimed the Esme Gordon building was a perfect example of "functionalist" architecture in Scotland with its Japanese-influenced landscaped garden. Now the Historic Scotland has given a B-listing to the modern house in Merchiston, which was built in 1968 for the architect and his family.
Mr Murphy hit out at the building preservation notice and claimed the house was not worthy of a category B-listing. Richard Murphy said, if you look at the important post-war architects in Edinburgh, you think of Sir Basil Spence and Morris and Steedman, not Alexander Esme Gordon. The Cockburn Association, backed the protection of the Alexander Esme Gordon house.
The work of Alexander Esme Gordon, who died in 1993, consists mainly of churches and commercial buildings.
BCIA Awards: Prime Minister’s Awards 2004
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Travel Inn Edinburgh
photograph : Steffen Schefer
Edinburgh Conference Centre
photo © Adrian Welch
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Edinburgh Building News Jul 2004 – Building : page