Basic Site Details
|Name: ||Leith Fort Housing |
|Town, district or village: ||Leith |
|City or county: ||Edinburgh |
|Country: ||Scotland |
|Parish: || |
|Status: || |
|Grid ref: || |
|Notes: ||Won Civic Trust Commendation in 1966. |
Two 21-storey point blocks, courtyard housing and an extensive 7-storey deck-access group.
Housing development, Leith Fort, Edinburgh: results of competition
Architect & Building News
Title: Housing development, Leith Fort, Edinburgh: results of competition.
Journal title: Architect & Building News
Citation: 1958 Feb. 5, p. 180-189.
Contents: 1st award: John E. Baikie & Associates -- 2nd award: Robert Matthew & Johnson Marshall -- 3rd award: R. Wilson, A. Abbott & M. J. Blanco White.
Contents: Assessors (Sir Leslie Martin & A. Steele) and winners report.
Subject: Housing: Great Britain: Leith Fort: Edinburgh
Designer/Person subj: Wilson, R.
Designer/Person subj: Abbott, A.
Designer/Person subj: Blanco White, Margaret Justin, 1911-2001
Designer/Person subj: Matthew, Sir Robert Hogg, 1906-1975
Designer/Person subj: Johnson-Marshall, Sir Stirrat, 1912-1981
Designer/Corp. subj: John E. Baikie & Associates
Cairngorm and Grampian House tower blocks part of Phase I of construction (Both now demolished)
Information from Bill Cantley, 2016:
"I worked, from 1960 to 1963, as a young Chartered Quantity Surveyor, in James D Gibson & Simpson, a leading Edinburgh QS practice of that time.
The project was the subject of a design competition, won by three young architects, who set up in practice to realise their winning design.
Gibson and Simpson was a very strong and successful practice at that time and worked with all the leading Scottish architects of the time. Peter Dixon was a partner of the firm and had a well deserved reputation for professionalism and the pursuit of excellence. He was particularly good at helping a new architectural firm to find its feet and I think Shaw Stewart, Baikie and Perry must have owed him a great debt for his guidance in bringing this project to realization".
|The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:|
| ||Name||Current name?||Notes|
|Cairngorm House|| ||part of the Phase I construction - now demolished|
|Grampian House|| ||part of the Phase I construction - now demolished|
Building Type Classification
|The building is classified under the following categories:|
| ||Classification||Original classification?||Notes|
|Housing|| || |
|Housing scheme|| || |
|The following street addresses are associated with this building:|
| ||Address||Main entrance?||Notes|
|Lindsay Road|| || |
|Lindsay Street|| || |
|The following date-based events are associated with this building:|
| ||From||To||Event type||Notes|
|1957|| ||Plans prepared, construction not yet begun|| |
|21 June 1957|| ||Proposed||'Corporation of the City of Edinburgh invite architects, practising or resident in Scotland...to submit in open competition designs for the development of land at and adjoining Leith Fort, Edinburgh, for residential purposes...designs must be received by November 30, 1957' per Builder p1115|
|November 1957(?)||January 1958||Competition designs submitted||1st: Design No. 28 (750 gns.): John E. Baikie, ARIBA, and Associates, 76 Inverleith-row, Edinburgh, 4.|
2nd: Design No. 22 (500 gns.): Robert Matthew, CBE, FRIBA, and Johnson-Marshall, CBE, ARIBA, 31 Regent-terrace, Edinburgh, 7.
3rd: Design No. 21 (350 gns.): Rachel Wilson, Albert Abbott and Margaret Justin Blanco White, AA/RIBA, 10 Dundonald-street, Edinburgh, 3.
Three schemes prepared by the following are mentioned by the assessor as having special features: Ian Burke, BA, ARIBA, AMTPI, 11 South-street, Dundee; I. E. Haig, ARIBA, 16 Colville-place, Edinburgh and K. R. Marshall, ARIBA, 58 Clermiston-grove, Edinburgh; Alison and Hutchison and Partners, 73 George-street, Edinburgh.
per Builder 31 January 1958, p214
|November 1957(?)||January 1958||Competition designs submitted||winning design - '...four building elements: (1) the raised platform at the lower end of the fort area, accommodating ...garage space, electricity substation and district heating plant; (2) ...three 14-storey slab blocks framing the view [Blocks A 1, 2 and 3]; (3) ...pinched-in area of the fort site ...one-and-a-half-storey court houses [Blocks C 1-16 - each made up of two four-apartment houses, a three-apartment house and a two-apartment house]; (4) ..seven-storey 'spine' buildings [Blocks B 1-12 - seven-storey maisonettes and flats]...Total est. cost is £1,500,000, of which £300,000 is taken for demolition, special foundations, site works and services.' per Builder 31 January 1958 p223|
|6 May 1960|| ||Proposed||two 21-storey tower blocks per Builder p894|
|1 July 1960|| ||Proposed||two 21-storey blocks and 38 lock-up garages and podium; applications to City Architect per Builder p37|
|8 September 1961|| ||Contract offered||City Architect accepting applications by 11 Sept for phase I of Leith Fort redevelopment, consisting of a 7-storey block of 157 houses and 48 courtyard houses per Builder p463|
|22 December 1961|| ||Build/construction||£569,186 tender for erection of 205 houses awarded to J Smart and Co (Contractors) of Edinburgh p1205|
|1967|| ||Won award or awards||Commendation award from Civic Trust (Amenity Awards)|
|1993 *|| ||Proposed||Scheme to let out flats as student accomodation for 7 year period prior to later refurbishment and sale of flats. Development to include leisure complex in basement, shops, committee room, student cafe and swimming pool.|
|1994 *|| ||Damage||Damage to the derelict Cairngorm and Grampian houses and the adjacent occupied properties. "Gangs of youths" have been accused of breaking off chips of masonry, smashing windows and general anti-social behaviour.|
|September 1994|| ||Tenders submitted||for demolition of the Grampian and Cairngorm houses|
|1998|| ||Destruction/demolition||Cairngorm and Grampian demolished|
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Design and Construction
|The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.|
| ||Name||Role||Partnership Group||From||To||Notes|
|Shaw-Stewart Baikie & Perry||Architectural practice|| ||1957||1966||Won competition and awarded contract. NB Competition entered by John E A Baikie & Associates which changed to Shaw-Stewart Baikie & Perry after this.|
|(Miss) Margaret Justin Blanco White||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with Rachel Wilson and Albert Abbott - 3rd, per Builder 31 January 1958 pp214, 221-223|
|Albert Abbott||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||along with Rachel Wilson and Margaret Justin Blanco White - 3rd, per Builder 31 January 1958|
|Frank Perry||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with John E. Baikie and Associates, Architects. Awarded first prize in 1958|
|Iain Dewar Haig||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with J R. Marshall - special mention, per Builder 31 January 1958 p214 (NB Builder gives name incorrectly as I E Haig )|
|Ian David Burke||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||special mention, per Builder 31 January 1958 p214|
|James Robertson Marshall||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with I. E. Haig - special mention, per Builder 31 January 1958 p214|
N.B. Builder gives 'K R Marshal' but this is an error for J R Marshall.
|John Edgar Alexander Baikie|| || ||November 1957(?)|| ||John E. Baikie and Associates, Architects - 1st (awarded contract)|
|Michael Shaw-Stewart||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with John E. A. Baikie and Associates. Awarded first prize in 1958.|
|Rachel Wilson||Architect|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||with Albert Abbott and Margaret Justin Blanco White - 3rd, per Builder 31 January 1958 pp214, 221-223|
|Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall (RMJM)||Architectural practice|| ||November 1957(?)|| ||2nd prize.|
|Alison & Hutchison & Partners||Architectural practice||G||November 1957(?)|| ||special mention - per Builder 31 January 1958 p214|
|Robert Forbes Hutchison||Architect||G||November 1957|| ||special mention - per Builder 31 January 1958 p214. Other partners may have been involved as well. |
|Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)||Architectural practice|| ||6 May 1960|| ||accepting applications per Builder p894|
|The following books contain references to this building:|
|Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M||1984||Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland)|| ||Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd||p480|
|Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A||1996||A History of Scottish Architecture|| || ||p594|
|Glendinning, Miles||1997||Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75 || ||Tuckwell Press Ltd||pp20, 29, 123, 160-1|
|Glendinning, Miles||2008||Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew|| ||RIBA Publishing||p248,249|
|Glendinning, Miles and Muthesius, Stefan||1994||Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland|| ||Yale University Press: New Haven and London||p380 Gazetteer 2|
|Whiting, Penelope||1966||New Single Storey Houses|| || ||p166-9|
|The following periodicals contain references to this building:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Architect and Building News||5 February 1958|| || ||p180-189|
|Architects Journal||6 February 1958|| || ||p205-216|
|Architectural Review||January 1961|| || ||p32-4|
|Architectural Review||March 1965|| || ||p218-23|
|Builder||21 June 1957|| || ||'Competition News: New Housing Development at Leith Fort, Edinburgh', p1115; includes details of desired scheme, for example 'density of 140 persons per acre', and a site plan|
|Builder||31 January 1958|| || ||'Housing Development, Leith Fort, Edinburgh,' pp214-223; includes verbal description of top 3 schemes and site plans, floor plans, sections and elevations of designs that placed first, second, and third|
|Builder||7 February 1958|| || ||p261|
|Builder||28 February 1958|| || ||'Leith Fort Housing, Edinburgh,' p391; includes two perspective drawings |
|Builder||6 May 1960|| || ||p894|
|Builder||1 July 1960|| || ||p37|
|Builder||8 September 1961|| || ||p463|
|Builder||22 December 1961|| || ||p1205|
|Builder||7 April 1965|| || ||p837-48|
|Capital Tenant||1997||7|| ||Winter 1997/1998|
'Crane Spotting' Front Page
|Edinburgh Herald & Post||7 January 1993|| || ||p4|
|Edinburgh Herald & Post||1 September 1994|| || ||p1, p9|