Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building listed, East Fountainbridge Postmodern architecture, PoMo Scotland

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building listing

6 December 2023

Tollcross Fire Station listed as a major example of postmodern architecture

Design: Architect Donald William Bain, Lothian Regional Council Department of Architectural Services

Location: Tollcross, east Fountainbridge, Scotland, UK

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building

Tollcross Fire Station building listed news

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has designated Tollcross Fire Station as a listed building at Category B.

Located in Edinburgh city centre, the building has been listed for its significance as a major example of postmodern (PoMo) architecture in Scotland. During its analysis, HES concluded that Tollcross Fire Station was unique amongst contemporary stations from the later 20th century for its exceptional architectural quality, combining the demands of a modern fire station with a thoughtful response to its compact urban site. The building combines a bold and innovative design with traditional materials and references to historical Scottish architecture in a playful and artistic way.

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building

Tollcross Fire Station opened in 1986, replacing the Fire Service’s previous Lauriston headquarters, and remains an operational fire station. The new building was designed by Wick-born architect Donald William Bain, who worked with Lothian Regional Council Department of Architectural Services and on the development of Livingston during the 1960s. The relief sculpture mounted on the front of the building was the result of a design competition, and the winning design was by a then-third-year student at Edinburgh College of Art, David Roxburgh.

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building

Dara Parsons, Head of Designations at HES, said: “The Tollcross Fire Station is one of Scotland’s major contributions to the postmodern style, and it is one of the best examples we have of this architectural style which is rare in Scotland.

“It now joins a very select few other notable buildings of the same era on the list of Scotland’s most important buildings, such as the Dundee Repertory Theatre and Princes Square in Glasgow.

“Anyone can propose a building for listing via our website. We are currently being asked to consider more of the buildings of the later modern period as recent as the late 1980s, as their architectural quality and contribution to our social and economic history is increasingly recognised.”

More information on Tollcross Fire Station and can be found on the HES Portal.

More information about the designation process can be found on the HES website at Listing, Scheduling and Designations | Historic Environment Scotland.

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building

Listed Buildings

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Listing is intended to ensure that what is special about a structure is taken into account in decisions about its future.

How HES makes decisions about listing is set out in the Designations Policy and Selection Guidance.

For more information, visit the HES website.

Tollcross Fire Station Edinburgh building photos / information received from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 06/12/2023

Scottish Capital Building Designs

Contemporary Scottish Capital Property Designs – architectural selection of buildings close by:

Edinburgh College of Art Buildings Refurbishment
Edinburgh College of Art Refurbishment, ECA
image © Hawkins Brown
Edinburgh College of Art Refurbishment

Princes Exchange
Princes Exchange
image © Adrian Welch
Princes Exchange

Point Hotel, Bread Street
Point Hotel Edinburgh
photo : Steffen Schefer
Point Hotel Edinburgh

Evolution House on Westport
Evolution House
image © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh College of Art
image © Adrian Welch
Edinburgh College of Art

Westport House
Westport House
picture from the architect office
Westport House

Scottish Capital Fire Building Designs and Articles

Scottish Capital Fire Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Lauriston Place Fire Station, Museum of Fire, Lauriston Place, EH3 9DE
Design: Robert Morham Architect
Lauriston Fire Station Edinburgh
building photo © Adrian Welch, Sep 2006
Lauriston Fire Station – Headquarters of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

Old Town Fire Edinburgh

Old Town Fire Ideas Competition

Fire Comment


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