Port of Leith Housing Association & City of Edinburgh Council
RIAS Award 2018
Saltire Housing Award 2018 - Multiple Dwelling
Saltire Housing Award - Saltire Medal
Edinburgh Architectural Association Award - Large Project - Commendation
Leith Fort is located in Leith, to the north of Edinburgh City Centre and is in close proximity to the Waterfront and Leith development areas. The site is approximately 1.7 hectares and sits within the historic confines of what was once Leith Fort. The project is surrounded by an an existing category B-listed stone wall, the remains of the former Leith Fort. The housing consists of 94 new-build residential units and a communal green space. Planning consent was originally obtained by Malcolm Fraser Architects who ceased trading in August 2015.
The new housing reinterprets the form of colonies housing, a traditional social housing typology found in many neighbourhoods across Edinburgh, with a ground floor single storey flat, and a 2 storey duplex apartment located directly above. This typology not only provides a dense mix of housing, but provides each flat with its own front door and its own private south facing garden. The shared fore-stair and grouped gardens encourage interaction and familiarity between neighbours in the same terrace, whilst the dual entrance arrangement to the front and rear of each terrace, encourages interaction between neighbours of adjacent terraces.
The new community green sits at the heart of the development, a positive focal point for the housing, optimising the principal community connections of the site to each adjacent street. The new green acknowledges an existing amenity space at the adjacent Hamilton Wynd housing, and a pedestrian route is created between the two to connect them, thereby opening up the site and helping to stitch it into the surrounding neighbourhood. It also provides a safe and convenient route through the site, helping to connect the surrounding streets and wider context. The orientation, location, and massing of the new housing is considered in relation to the community green.