Edinburgh Art deco Architecture II

We knew we could not do justice to Edinburgh Art Deco architecture scene with just one story, and so many of our readers messaged us with suggestions for a second post. We listened, and here are some lesser known or more remote architectural treasures from the Art Deco movement in Edinburgh.

Architectural refurbishment projects in Edinburgh

In a previous article about architecture at risk in Edinburgh, we discussed buildings that are still waiting for their second (or third!) chance. Here we review a few notable successful architectural refurbishment projects in Edinburgh. Let’s take a look at what happens when existing buildings no longer fit our modern needs.

Social housing buildings in Edinburgh before WWII

In 2020, an exhibition named “Housing to 2040” is set to “help to inform the Scottish Government’s final vision and route map for housing over the next 20 years”. The portable exhibition will travel around Scotland, providing a public platform for the public to engage in the conversations about housing and places of the future.

Most beautiful interiors in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has on average 124 rainy days a year. So, if you can’t spend time outside, you might as well spend it in the most beautiful interiors of the city. To help you figure out where to go next time the weather foils your plans, here is a selection of the best interiors in Edinburgh open to the public.

Unbuilt Edinburgh

With motorways going through the city, different buildings serving as landmarks, or even a different castle, Edinburgh could have been a drastically contrasting city with what it is today. By exploring what the Scottish capital could have been, we can make sense of the cityscape that we know. Alternatives help to explain decisions made and understand our current built heritage. Therefore, it is interesting to examine unbuilt architectural projects.
Here is a selection of the most interesting schemes proposed for Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Doors Open Days 2019

Every year on Edinburgh Doors Open Days, buildings usually closed to the public open their doors. This is a great opportunity to discover some of Edinburgh’s best architecture. This year on the 28th and 29th of September, over 130 places will be open in the Scottish capital. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of options, so we have put together a selection of tried and tested places to visit.

Edinburgh Art Deco Architecture

It’s easy to imagine Edinburgh as just a medieval Old Town alongside a Georgian New Town. But our city was never one to stand still, especially during the inter-war period. Our burgh contains numerous hidden 20th century gems that should be admired. Last month we looked at the brutalist heritage of the 1960s. Today let’s jump a few decades earlier and discover the Art Deco Edinburgh of the 1920s and 30s.

The future of Edinburgh’s architecture

When walking through Edinburgh, it may seem like the city has been set in stone for centuries. But as William Morris wrote, “All continuity in history means is (…) perpetual changes”. Our city is constantly evolving and is currently building numerous exciting new projects, all enriching Edinburgh’s history. Here is a selection of the most promising upcoming designs.

Brutalist legacy in Edinburgh

Brutalism is an easy movement to hate on aesthetic grounds. Its bare concrete buildings can stand out in a uniform sandstone city like Edinburgh. The lack of decoration on its block-like structure has fallen out of fashion since the 1970s. Prince Charles even famously qualified a brutalist proposal as a “monstrous carbuncle”. But in order to fully appreciate and understand the style, it is important to understand the moral and historical implication of such movement. Edinburgh has a great legacy of brutalist architecture, offering us a wide range of examples, such as social housing blocks, university buildings or office constructions.


Standardisation was used as a tool against the threat of fire. However, this method was not completely successful in stopping fires in the old town. Disastrous fires in Edinburgh prompted large scale urban planning projects in the Old Town, which allowed for wider, cleaner, uniform streets.