Modern Buildings Scotland photos, 20th Century Scottish architects, Lothian houses images

Modern Edinburgh Architecture

Modernism in Edinburgh & Lothian, Scotland

post updated 6 November 2023

Modern Architecture became linked to a certain genre of building and thus over time wasn’t really ‘modern’ anymore. Thus Modern Houses (or Modernist Houses) suggests a certain style, not simply a ‘contemporary’ or ‘current’ construction.

Modern Edinburgh Buildings

Modern House Edinburgh – Lismhor:
Modern Edinburgh House Modern House Edinburgh Modern House Edinburgh
photo © Adrian Welch

Modern Architecture was associated with some great architects and some powerful countries and companies. It became the equivalent of the Classical Style in the Georgian period, ie the establishment architecture, the status quo. Since the seventies architecture styles have become more fractured and we have – amongst what could be termed contemporary architects – post-modernists, neo-modernists, deconstructivists, contextualists, expressionists and so on.

Modern Edinburgh Houses, Scotland:

Early 20th Century Architecture, alphabetical:

These modern buildings, mostly Modern houses, are dotted around Edinburgh so probably best reached by car, or bus.

Buildings covered elsewhere include St. Andrew’s House, St. Cuthbert’s Showroom (Point Hotel Edinburgh) and Grey Walls.

In many ways Edinburgh fell asleep architecturally from the Georgian era up until relatively recently. None of the buildings below really compare with Glasgow’s stars, e.g. Luma light factory (1936), Gillespie Kidd & Coia’s churches and Cardross Seminary, Alexander Greek Thomson’s churches* or of course Mackintosh’s works.

Avisfield, Cramond, northwest Edinburgh : private house
Date built: 1958
Morris + Steedman Architects
photo © isabelle lomholt
Morris + Steedman house

Craigsbank Church, Craigs Bank, Corstorphine
Date built: 1967
Rowand Anderson Kininmonth & Paul
modern bell tower
photo © Adrian Welch
Echoes of Ronchamp: clean lines, powerful forms with single bell as visible icon over the suburban bungalows. Lots of exposed concrete and rough render. Under refurbishment 2006.

46a Dick Place, The Grange : private house
Date built: 1933
William Kininmonth
The late Kininmonth’s own house. White-rendered two-storey rectilinear volume with focal south-facing bay window; the latter is highly-glazed and topped with a terrace. The roofs are flat but there is no nautical theme here with the roof terrace not even being expressed on the elevation.

George Watson’s Music School, Merchiston
Date built: 1964
Michael Laird & Partners (now Architects)
Modern Building, Scotland
photo © Henk Snoek
George Watson’s : hyperbolic paraboloid roof pitched down to fleetingly touch the ground plane

4 Glenlockhart Bank, Craiglockhart : private house
Date built: 1938
George Lawrence
White, modern, curved bay window; well-balanced composition for artist Helen Thornton.

Lismhor, 11 Easter Belmont Rd, Corstorphine : private house
Dates built: 1933/35
Kininonth & Basil Spence
Modern Houses, Scotland
photo from the owner
Lismhor House : In a series of 1930′s modern houses on this private road

Maybury Roadhouse, Maybury Rd, Gogar
Date built: 1936
Patterson & Brown
Modern Casino
photo © Adrian Welch
Well-known Art Deco casino and hotel on road to airport: white, modern & streamlined with glitzy interior.

A Little House on Blackford Hill, 32 Charterhall Rd, Blackford : private house
Date built: –
Modern House, Scotland
photo from former owner
This Modern Edinburgh House was for sale in Summer 2003, again in Autumn 2008

Mortonhall Crematorium, Howdenhall Rd, Liberton
Date built: 1967
Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson
modern building
photo © Adrian Welch
Mortonhall : assortment of white Corbusian buildings in rolling parkland setting: the crystalline chapel’s interior feels Scandinavian

Ravelston Garden Building, west Edinburgh
Date built: 1935
Andrew Neil and Robert Hurd
A listed, three similar blocks (known as Jenners flats when built):
Ravelston Garden building Ravelston Garden building Ravelston Garden building
photo © Adrian Welch

St Andrew’s Church, Clermiston View, Clermiston
Date built: 1959
Sir Basil Spence & Ptnrs
modern church
photo © Adrian Welch
Landmark modern campanile adrift in trad suburbia

Standard Life Assurance, 3 George St, New Town
Dates built: 1964; 1975
Michael Laird & Partners (now Architects)
Modern Building Scotland
photo © Adrian Welch
Standard Life Building : Office building wraps round an existing corner block

Royal Commonwealth Pool, Dalkeith Rd, Newington, Southside
Date built: –
Modern Buildings
photo from architect
Royal Commonwealth Pool : swimming pool

Adam House, Chambers St, Old Town
Dates built: 1954-55
Modern Building
photo © Adrian Welch
View from Cowgate of Chambers St University building.
The Old Town Fire ripped out the heart of the Old Town’s World Heritage site damaging at least ten buildings. Adam House was built to serve as an examination centre.

The Rink, Haddington Rd, Gifford : private house
Date built: 1963
Campbell & Arnott Architects
Modern Houses, Scotland
photo from the owner
Delightful The Rink Modern home sited in former Manse’s garden.

Southside Garage, Newington, Southside
Dates built: 2002-03
Basil Spence refurbished by Duffy & Batt
Modern House
photo from architect
Southside Garage

Amisfield Park, Haddington, East Lothian
Date built: 1964
Campbell & Arnott Architects
Modern House
photo © Adrian Welch
Amisfield Park : Modern Houses on eastern perimeter of Haddington

Architecture Tours

Modern Houses

Afshar House in Edinburgh, 2003:

contemporary style
photo from architect

On a personal note, my visit to Aalto’s Villa Mairea, finding the owners were on holiday and being shown round by the gardener on a scholarship to study Modern Finnish Architecture in 2001 at the age of 19, has to be the highlight of my student years.
Later, whilst working for Eva Jiricna a group of us went to see the office’s work in Brno – the Lavka Bridge – and to see Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat Villa.

The pictures had never made the house look so seductive but this building has the power of the Barcelona Pavilion, except it was built for a family, for domesticity. The simple red onyx wall designed to glow crimson with the sunset, peppered by opaque stones and small holes, is a tour de force as are the radical full-height windows that dropped into the floor to engage ‘house’ and ‘garden’.

Adrian Welch

Modern Buildings in Scotland

British Home Stores:
Edinburgh, Scotland
BHS image from princes st gardens © Adrian Welch: 2005

New Club, Princes Street:
Modern Edinburgh Building
new club edinburgh – image © Adrian Welch: 2005

Former Scottish Provident Headquarters:
St Andrew Square
photo © Adrian Welch

* St Mary’s Free Church, Broughton St, Edinburgh
competition design, c.1858, by Greek Thomson – but never built.

Buildings / photos for the Modern Edinburgh Architecture in south east Scotland, United Kingdom, pages welcome