Five architectural gems in Edinburgh according to an architect

Five architectural gems in Edinburgh according to an architect

Edinburgh Pavilion

Kieran Gaffney of award-winning Edinburgh practice Konishi Gaffney Architects selects his top five architectural hidden gems in the city

The architecture of Edinburgh has many unique characteristics that make it recognisable the world over. From the glorious juxtaposition of the capital's Old and New Town to the many modern builds popping up in recent years, Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage status is a direct result of its exceptional style and authenticity.

The Festival of Architecture, part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, has served to highlight some of the city's best architectural design through events and exhibitions that have taken place throughout the year. One such event, the Pop-up Cities Expo, invited cities across Scotland and further afield to design temporary pavilions that could be enjoyed by members of the public for a month during summer. Konishi Gaffney Architects, the winners of the Edinburgh Pavilion competition, succeeded in designing a structure (pictured above) that was both innovative, efficient and highly practical.

The award-winning practice was set up in 2009 by Scottish architect Kieran Gaffney and Japanese designer Makiko Konishi, who approach projects with a Japanese sensibility in mind and an aesthetic that is intelligent yet beautifully simple.

As the Festival of Architecture draws to a close, we asked Kieran for his insight into the buildings that you may just miss amongst Edinburgh's more notable landmarks.

Out of the Blue Drill Hall – 1901 (renovated 2010) – Sir Robert Rowand Anderson – Renovation City Architecture Office
'Our first studio space after moving office from our home was on the first floor of this renovated army drill hall. The character of the Victorian arched shell is retained and the architects inserted a series of small pods to form studios that sit entirely within the existing building. Great café too.'

Dublin Street Lane Housing – 1999 – Richard Murphy Architects
'The height of late 90s architectural chic, this truly hidden housing scheme is cool. Whilst of its time it still represents an unusual and interesting insertion of modern architecture into the heart of Edinburgh's New Town.'

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop & Extension – 2012 & 2015 – Sutherland Hussey Harris
'The new sculpture studios in Newhaven are really worth going to see. The best view is at night from the cycle path as the functionless but dynamic tower looms out of the harr. Architecturally, this is a really interesting building.'

Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit, Western General Hospital – 1963 – Peter Womersley
'Thankfully, Brutalism is coming back into fashion again and this is one of Edinburgh's best hidden examples by Scotland's greatest architect since Mackintosh. Slightly constrained now by contemporary extensions to the hospital, the original photographs are something to behold.'

Sillitto House – 1959 – Morris & Steedman
'The best modern house in Edinburgh, a piece of abstraction given form. The house has the principal living spaces on the first floor with a view over Edinburgh. A private house, it is hard to visit but can be seen from the 38 bus.'