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Sir Basil Spence Archive Project

Canongate housing. Presentation drawing showing Canongate elevation, 1965. SC792276

CANONGATE FLATS

// EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

In April 1959 Basil Spence & Partners were contracted by the City of Edinburgh Corporation to design a housing development towards the bottom of the Royal Mile. This was at a time when 18th and 19th century slum tenements in the area were being demolished to make way for better housing. The development was part of the ongoing regeneration of the Old Town by the City of Edinburgh Corporation.

Spence was very particular about achieving a satisfactory design for this sensitive and prominent site. He identified that a good amount of open space on the site was needed so that residents could appreciate the historic views.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to get vitality back into the Royal Mile.”

- Sir Basil Spence

The outcome is modern in appearance but in a scale and design appropriate to the Old Town. The development consists of three blocks containing one- and two-bedroom flats, two of which face onto the Royal Mile. There are two shops and Jenny Ha’s, a public house, at ground level.

The practice completed the development in 1969.

Images

  • Housing at 2 Brown’s Close, showing staircase detail. SC923721
  • Canongate facades, 1968. SC684956
  • Presentation drawing showing Canongate elevation, 1965. SC792276
  • Elevations, 1965. SC879291

Crown Copyright © RCAHMS 2014