Saturday, 31 March 2012

Neglected Portals

There's something about a doorway. Even if,  especially if, it has fallen into disuse.  Here's some of my favourite Edinburgh portals with changed uses :

My personal vote goes to this gateway in Colinton Road:

Just up the road, and probably of more historical significance are the two lions couchant of Merchiston Castle, home to the Napier family and now Napier University. The gateway has been moved from it's original location and is no longer used.

One that is used a lot but looks a bit fragile and neglected is the entrance to Greyfriars Kirk Yard of "Greyfriars Bobby" fame.

Here a recent translocation. The Edinburgh Meat Market moved out to Sauchton and has since moved on again, but the old entrance has been restored  and relocated so as not to impede the "Exchange" development. It looks a bit redundant I would say.

Another very recent development has been the Museum of Scotland.  The steps lead to the old entrance, now nailed shut. The lower ground level entrances take you in conveniently through the museum shop.  Much better for wheelchairs and buggies.

Old Museum Entrance

My last portal is one which has been lovingly restored at the cost of millions. Once again it goes up and down to allow canal boats entry to Lochrin Basin.  Before it was fixed and no longer locked in the down position there used to be a through road across the bridge which was a handy route if you knew it. vehicular access was stopped when the bridge mechanism was restored.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Seven Swans a Swimming

 This is the end of the Union Canal in Edinburgh and the beginning of a redevelopment pushing outward from the financial zone "The Exchange"  via "The Quay" into the suburbs. You will notice all the buildings are new. Now that Scottish and Newcastle have been taken over and moved out of Fountainbridge there is plenty of "brownfield" resource to rebuild on.  Myself,  I prefer my swans live.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Hot Art

This is a public work of art in Edinburgh that is 'underlooked' by many. I didn't notice it, although I have passed it many times over years. Many cars pass it, but it is on a junction where you need to keep your eyes on other traffic. And if you are a pedestrian... it kind of passes over your head:

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Quarter Mile - Clash of Style

From one side...

... or the other

...this is an abomination. No wonder UNESCO has threatened to withdraw Edinburgh's status as World Heritage Site when this plan was approved back in 2008.

They backed down, but I wonder if they regret that now!

the new blocks are just plonked between the Victorian blocks of the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary  effectively doubling the concentration but without the slightest concern for "fitting in".

The modern dominates:

The latest phase looks worse than the rest:

Whatever this is, it's not "sympathetic".

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Lauriston Place - On the fringe

Here's a horrible building. Built in 1977 The Hunter Building is one side of the Edinburgh School of Art

Hunter Building - Edinburgh College of Art
 The red sandstone material is the only redeeming feature of this brutal building. It draws on the Victorian Fire Station (now a museum) next door to it (1897-1901). There the similarity ends.

Lauriston Place Fire Station
 Next building along the Novotel, also red sandstone. Built within the last decade, I'd say it had as much merit as the Art Collegel!
Novotel Lauriston Place

There are even more extreme contrasts popping up on the other side of Lauriston Place, which I will post about next.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Safe Routes to School

Which route would you choose?  The busy roadway or the canal towpath?