Upper Strand Property, Waterfront Edinburgh Apartments, Lothian Flats Photo, Architect Design

Upper Strand Granton, Edinburgh

Housing by Waterfront Edinburgh / Places for People / The Burrell, Scotland, UK, design by Reiach and Hall + Elder & Cannon

post updated 3 July 2023

Upper Strand, Phase 1, Granton Waterfront

Design: Reiach and Hall Architects / Elder & Cannon Architects

Tower viewed from southeast and south:
Granton Strand Granton Strand Granton Strand
images © Adrian Welch using lumix camera 6 Dec 2016

Upper Strand Granton

Upper Strand, Phase 1, Granton Waterfront, Edinburgh : Scottish Design Awards 2007 – Regeneration + Residential Shortlist

Comment by Adrian Welch:
Stark white brick modelling of form, deep punched apertures and defined frame make this housing unusual for Scotland. The gentle rhythm of punched windows on the flank elevation to the east have been seen before – very fashionable – but the sculpted stepped back tower is unusual and thought-provoking. the fenestration on the west flank is composed from elegant vertical strips. Towards the top of the tower the form modifies and steps back in an elegant way.

Tower viewed from west; streetscape looking north; blurred Tower detail:
Granton Strand Granton Strand Granton Strand Upper Strand
images © Adrian Welch 061216

Criticised for being too stark this mass of white and grey sticks out a mile in this windswept landscape. Someone should plant some trees. But once the density increases of course this building will soften. At present it looks a little lost. On the four occasions I’ve stopped by in the last year it has always been blowing an icy wind on this ‘raised beach’ (strand is norse / danish for beach) which makes me feel that the microclimate needs sorting whether by planting or additional/variant modellling of the built environment.

Just like Westport did a few years back this building utilises an intelligently-modelled elevation – neither the old ‘form follows function’ nor the recent fad for surface architecture and instant icon. I’ve not been inside the building yet but the impression externally is of a clever building that is in need of some fairly dense neighbours!

Almost a decade ago Charles McKean suggested the white rendered Moderne of Coalhill by Allan Murray Architects represented a positive new expression of Scottish architecture. With Caer Amon and Upper Strand completing in the coming months, and recent housing by Malcolm Fraser Architects (modelled in black) and gm+ad architects (modelled in brick) all in Edinburgh it would surely be fair to say that Scottish residential architecture is refreshingly wide-ranging in style. This eclecticism is in my view healthy and encourages both discourse and a better end result, not to mention a wider choice.

Upper Strand Granton Upper Strand Granton Upper Strand Granton Upper Strand Granton
building photos © Adrian Welch, Sep 2006

Whether this range of contemporary residential architecture will prove popular with buyers – witness the quick sales of the traditional terrace at Caer Amon compared to the contemporary properties – is debatable. But eventually it appears developers and housing suppliers are turning the corner and it can’t be too long before more of the public – especially young urbanites – desire a range of ‘contemporary’ properties that match the feel of their ‘contemporary’ cars.

Views welcome: info(at)edinburgharchitecture.co.uk

“I like the lower four storey ‘affordable’ housing element. The stark aesthetic works well here unlike the taller block which really needs the irregular form to be palatable. It contrasts dramatically with the lower block which is redolent of early modernism with the touchy feely romantic twist of the lincrusta cast plinth.” Gordon Duffy, Studio DuB

Granton Strand – main page

Images released to Edinburgh Architecture 240505 by The Burrell Company:

Waterfront Edinburgh Places for People Burrell Company

Granton Strand, Waterfront, north Edinburgh, Scotland

The Upper Strand architects are Reiach and Hall. This architects practice is based in central Edinburgh, in the New Town off Moray Place.

Developers: The Places for People Group & The Burrell Company
Architects: Reiach and Hall Architects + Elder and Cannon Architects + Ushida Findlay Architects

Upper Strand Property
Places for People Edinburgh Burrell Granton Waterfront Edinburgh
Apartment tower images provided from Burrell Company Jul 2005

Granton Strand
Granton Strand: image provided by Reiach and Hall Architects

Upper Strand Granton
image provided by Saltire Awards 08 Nov 2008

Upper Strand : Scottish Design Awards 2006 – Proposed Place Making Award
Architects Commendation

Granton Building Designs

Contemporary Granton Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Granton Harbour

Granton Masterplan

Madelvic Granton

Wm Morrison Granton

Granton School

Scottish Capital Building Designs

Contemporary Scottish Capital Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Project
Greendykes net zero affordable housing
image courtesy of EHDP
Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Project

Rowanbank Gardens Edinburgh Property
Rowanbank Gardens Double Height Apartment interior
image courtesy of Artisan Real Estate
Rowanbank Gardens Edinburgh Housing

Comments / photos for the Upper Strand Granton property design by Reiach and Hall Architects, Edinburgh, and Elder & Cannon Architects, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, page welcome