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Appleton Tower : Edinburgh University Architecture

University of Edinburgh building by Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners

post updated 30 June 2023

Appleton Tower Edinburgh

Refurbishment Progress
Appleton Tower
photo © Adrian Welch July 2008

Appleton Tower – Demolition
Channel 4 show Demolition – supported by George Fergusion of the RIBA and fronted by Kevin McCloud – are asking for nominations to demolish ‘ugly buildings’ across the UK.

The Cockburn Association named the Appleton Tower alongside the New Town St James Centre, the Jury’s Inn Hotel onJeffrey Street, and Clifton Terrace, at Haymarket, as one of the Capital’s ugliest buildings. Channel 4 hope to persuade the owners of the “winning” building to take part in a regeneration project which will see the place knocked down; due to be aired in Autumn 2005.

Appleton Tower Edinburgh
photo © Adrian Welch

Student newspaper, The Student, asked people to contact Channel 4 to nominate the Appleton Tower. The George Square building [on Crichton Street] was constructed during a redevelopment of the area by Edinburgh University in the early 1960s.

University of Edinburgh building by Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners

Designed in 1963 by respected post-war Edinburgh architects Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners (latterly Reiach and Hall Architects who are now involved with Bennetts Associates on the new Potterow building – Informatics school, see below link) the Science Facility includes labs and lecture theatres.

Appleton Tower
photo © Adrian Welch

The Appleton Tower provides research, teaching and learning facilities; the Edinburgh University School of Informatics is now housed in the tower following the Old Town Fire, with the neuroscience department.

Appleton Tower Refurbishment
During the summer of 2006, the University is due to spend approx £3m on a major refurbishment of the lecture theatres, teaching rooms and concourse. The design briefing process has begun but staff are being invited to comment. The tower is now rather separated from the vast majority of the Science campus at the Kings Buildings and many have called for its demolition.

Adjacent buildings include the McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Robert Rowand Anderson.

Edinburgh University Library + David Hume Tower

Edinburgh University Buildings

Edinburgh University Library was founded in 1580. The University Library moved in 1827 to William Playfair’s Upper Library in the college building. The collections in Edinburgh University Old College – known as the General Library – moved in 1967 to the purpose-built eight-storey Main Library building at George Square.

Potterrow Informatics at Potterrow for Edinburgh University
Potterrow Edinburgh
picture © Keith Hunter

Commonwealth Pool
Commonwealth Pool
photograph © Adrian Welch

Quartermile Edinburgh
picture © Adrian Welch

Evolution House on Westport
Evolution House
image courtesy of architects practice

Traverse Theatre
Traverse Theatre Edinburgh
photo © Adrian Welch

Scottish Parliament

Comments / photos for the Appleton Tower Architecture design by Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, page welcome