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Is Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage Status Under Threat?

"A spectre," writes Kevin McKenna for The Guardian, "thought happily to have been exorcised from the heart of beautiful Edinburgh, is stalking the city’s old wynds and crevices once more." To put it more bluntly, the "formal recognition of [the Scottish capital] as one of the world’s most beautiful cities is under threat, amid a battle for the soul of its most historic quarter." As the UNESCO inspectorate moves in to determine whether the city's World Heritage Status should be renewed McKenna laments, through a series of case studies, the potentially bleak built future of one of Britain's most loved urban centres.

Making Space for Making Art / Sutherland Hussey Harris

© Sam Proctor Courtesy of Sutherland Hussey Harris Courtesy of Sutherland Hussey Harris © Keith Hunter

Regency Dormer / Konishi Gaffney Architects

© Alan Craigie © Alan Craigie © Alan Craigie © Alan Craigie

Heathcote Examines The Architecture Of Scottish Independence

Scotland have voted against independence.

Arguably there are only two architects in history that have become almost completely synonymous with one particular city - Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Glasgow and Antoní Gaudi for Barcelona. Indeed, a Catalonian architect, Enric Miralles, designed the Scottish Parliament Building in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The fact that both of these cities are part of large enclaves who are seeking, or have sought, independence is perhaps just a coincidence. Architecture, often used as a symbol for the identity of nationhood, will certainly be part of a wider dialogue about the Union of the United Kingdom following yesterday's referendum.

7N Architects Unveils Masterplan for Edinburgh's Fountainbridge Site

7N Architects have revealed their designs for the 8.2 acre Fountainbridge site, one of the largest city centre developments in Edinburgh, where they plan 350 homes, a range of workspaces, a 130 room hotel, canalside retail and café space and two arts buildings. The intention for the former industrial zone is to offer "enhanced canalside features, open space and paths for both pedestrian and cycle use."

More on the proposal after the break

Feilden Clegg Bradley to Design Biological Research Labs in Scotland

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new facility hub and two laboratory buildings at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences. The commission, FCBS’ first in Scotland, will also include the modernization of an existing 10-story laboratory tower which was built in the 1960s at the University’s Kings Building Campus.

Could Mobile Technology Help Us Define "Good" Architecture?

Architecture researchers in Edinburgh have completed a breakthrough study on brain activity recorded in situ by using mobile electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which records live neural impressions of subjects moving through a city. Excitingly, this technology could help us define how different urban environments affect us, a discovery that could have provocative implications for architecture. Read the full story on Salon. Also, check out this article from Fast Company about how a similar mobile technology could show us the effects of urban design - not on our brains, but on our bodies. 

AD Classics: The Scottish Parliament / Enric Miralles

  • Architects: Enric Miralles
  • Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Architect: Enric Miralles
  • References: Caroline McCracken-Flesher, Charles Jencks
  • Project Year: 2004
  • Photographs: Dave Morris, Andrew Gainer

AD Classics: The Scottish Parliament / Enric Miralles AD Classics: The Scottish Parliament / Enric Miralles AD Classics: The Scottish Parliament / Enric Miralles AD Classics: The Scottish Parliament / Enric Miralles

The Composting Shed at Inverleith Terrace / Groves-Raines Architects

© Dan Farrar
© Dan Farrar

Edinburgh-based Groves-Raines Architects shared with us a recently completed project of a small composting shed in a private garden, which was awarded an American Institute of Architects Excellence in Design Award. The structure is an organic extension of the garden and the woven edging to the paths from which it springs. Its origins are derived from basket weave or hazel hurdles using woven rebar and Corten Steel.

More images after the break.

The Japanese House / Konishi Gaffney Architects

  • Architects: Konishi Gaffney Architects
  • Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Architects: Konishi Gaffney Architects
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Alan Craigie, Kieran Gaffney

© Alan Craigie © Alan Craigie © Alan Craigie © Kieran Gaffney