This new building provides 190m2 of studios shared by zone architects and three other artists. The building was developed by the architects on a steep left-over piece of land behind the house where the partners live. The embankment was created by Victorian engineers when the broad sweep of Granton Road was formed to link the city to the coal harbour. This is the main road leading from the city centre to a waterfront area which is currently undergoing regeneration.
Edinburgh is primarily seen as a city of stone; brick is the material that was used expediently yet sometimes eloquently as the fabric of common buildings. We wanted the building to carry a memory of the nineteenth century built articulation of Leith and Granton, a reminder of Victorian industrial buildings which are now being removed, and for the building to offer some urban coherence within an sub-urban condition.
The context is a mixture of nineteenth and twentieth century housing stock and gardens on the coast edge. The building is conceived of as an elegant workshop/shed which sits behind a pronounced masonry boundary wall. The plan of the building is simple: a single-storey rectangular volume with an offset, which forms an entrance from the street and allows light in and seaward views out from the meeting area. A retaining wall at the lower level creates two further rooms in the underbuilding which address more intimate garden spaces. The character of the main ground floor studio is defined by clerestory lighting from the south, a north facing strip window to the sea, and the rhythm of timber roof joists/ exposed timber soffit which continue over the entrance and meeting areas.