25 October 2021

Last week Edinburgh Studio lead Paul East attended a Design Sprint to reimage future uses for the historic Gas Holder as part of the Granton Waterfront masterplan. JMP are already working in Granton where we are developing designs for the National Galleries of Scotland’s new collections facility, The Artworks. The Design Sprint was organised by Buro Happold, who are also our partner on The Artworks, and Collective Architecture, who have developed the overall vision of the masterplan with the The City of Edinburgh Council. Together our team developed ideas to incorporate the Gas Holder structure into a new centre for knowledge and learning.

Using the large internal volume we imagined the Gas Holder would become the centre for construction excellence during the building of Granton’s new masterplan, drawing upon the skills and knowledge of the local community and providing a testing and training place for new emerging sustainable construction technologies. The centre would also incorporate a series of other skills and learning spaces including a ‘Repairs Workshop’ and a local food and catering space, which in conjunction with the external spaces surrounding the Gas Ring, would allow local residents the opportunity to grow their own food and understand its value in the local community and economy. 

The volume would be encased in a circular glass house to allow local plants, vegetation and wildlife to thrive, and all internal suspended workshop and learning pods would be accessed by a continuous circular ramp spiralling up through the large volume to allow building users to understand the centre, whilst being enclosed by the living wall.

Finally, we saw the centre would act as a ‘Sustainable Barometer’ measuring Granton’s sustainability and energy use and targets, so individuals could see how they could positively respond to the challenges we all face.

Our team included members from Buro Happold, The City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh College, The University of Edinburgh's Faculty of Architecture, National Galleries of Scotland and Smith Scott Mullan Associates.