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 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 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.
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.
The ‘Green Bridge’ design by biomorphis in Leith Walk, one of the key thoroughfares in Edinburgh, Scotland, aims at bringing a lightweight structure with low embodied energy. Construction materials based on plant products represent the way forward in terms of diminishing our dependence on hydrocarbons. Leith Walk, which unfortunately acts as a major divider, needs a bridge which would link the East cycle paths to the West of the city. It would redirect the ever-growing flows of bikes and pedestrians and also become a landmark for the community. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Emmett McNamara, a student of the Edinburgh College Of Art, has shared his House of Tapes with us. The project is an exercise in re-use as emphasis was placed on developing a new function for an abundant waste material. McNamara gathered over 7,000 tapes from charity shops, friends, and tape dealers in the local vicinity to construct the structure.
More about the project after the break.
Ten years after its completion, the reputation of the Scottish Parliament Building is finally being redefined. Among architects and the academic elite, it has long been heralded as a masterpiece of abstract modernism and perhaps the finest work of Enric Miralles‘ all-too-short career. For the general public, however, it was initially known mainly in infamy for being overdue, over budget, and for having its commission awarded to a non-Scottish architect. Only now is it beginning to receive the public acceptance it deserves, as the genius of the architecture emerges from the shadow cast by its mired construction process.
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.