Gesturing at the rich heritage of the fish and timber trades of Leith, an intervention of sibling buildings become a fishmongers and a woodworkers. Cradling an existing masonry shell with timber structures, a residual courtyard garden is formed to hold them in tension.

Inserting four turrets at particular moments in plan, new circulation routes and solar evolves, informing the overlapping of daily activities, focused on evening sharing of food and skills of local trade in the smallest of the turrets. Elevating the notion of everyday activities aims to give back an edge of Leith driven by local, human scale.

Exploded axonometric
1:250 Exploded axonometric model showing material composition

Stimulating the tension between rawness and produced; the marine heritage of Leith saturates traces of its industrial past. The dexterous integration of individual characters working around the docks with the intensity of import and export which is etched into the urban grain, create a sense of heightened tension, an edge condition, where the raw fish and timber are docked, gathered, redefined and sorted into newly organised streams for production. This compression of activities and materials necessitates threads of release, dynamic zones which feed and transport these materials to the city. This industrially indeterminate space is residually carved, often ever changing factory spaces, interstices where raw becomes refined.


It is the features of tangle and extension which are addressed in the nook which runs north south besides John’s lane. Informed by features of topos, two quotidian interventions, a fishmongers and a timberyard, each containing residences, pull away to the north and south, leaving a central cavity whose blurred use sets up the jack and jill relationship and holds one to the other. Gently make sense of what it means to be distinct in programme while thoughtfully dependent, this pair of charged volumes aim to test the definition of mixed-use; through stereotomic variation, delivery, views and material distinction according to use.

Group map
Five lenses; five industries
images of map-making
A tapestry of the scale of trade in Leith
1:5000 map
1:5000 Mapping leith through a fishwife's lens
Development sketches
Developing a series of 'charged spaces'
development maquettes
Maquette iterations
Plan at 1:250
1:250 Plan showing existing condition and the proposed intervention
1:50 plan
Landscaping the residual courtyard
Sectional drawings 1:100
Along the turrets and through the fishmongers and woodworkers
1:50 section
1:50 section of the fishmongers
Five construction diagrams
Construction phasing
Exploded axonometric
1:250 Tectonic Components
Final model elevations
Elevations of final concept for John's Lane
Rendered section
Rendering John's Lane; the north- south section

Structurally and crucially, the existing c.18th factory running the vertical length of the site will root the sibling interventions as one body, from which each separately soaks out through the more flexibly broken down west façade. The east facing wall will activate the intervention’s ‘spine;’ a continuous timber-framed or woven element drawn in and out of the existing brickwork to tighten and cradle the two wings. Considering the hidden quality of the site, careful consideration is spent on the come- and- go of the public-facing fishmongers and more infrequent visitor interaction with the timberyard. Through creating a relationship between the existing shell and new infra- structures, the value of its cobbled past will be elevated alongside the new functions the site houses.


This aims to be a project challenging attention, through the lens of interactions facilitated between disparate programmes, which address the way users perceive humble details. It encourages raw human movements which are sometimes lost when faced with the richness of the urban grain. The tectonic condition is a response to being on the edge, contextualising the import-export heritage and using micro-industries to de-tangle and create delicacy in the urban density.

Watercolour sketches
Winter and Spring seasonal sketches
Model image
Through the turret and into the woodworkers' residence
Project description

The fishmongers and the woodworkers proposal grew from the five week group explorations of the rich industrial tapestry of Leith. 

Unit One aimed to address the edge conditions found at this tension point along the Firth of the Forth, with the culminating interventions hoping to consider and caress its delicate and palimpsest nature.

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