Project description

The project considers the proposed demolished building on 72 Newcraighall Road as the starting point of extracting untapped potential of existing building elements for use in new buildings. The presence of this project is built up by establishing a ‘material bank’ and activating a circular material supply chain that can constantly extract ‘Nutrients’ [building resources] from demolished buildings to ‘feed’ the construction projects in Edinburgh City.

The new building programme on this site is a confluence of material warehouse & sorting centre, street market, and community services with a vision to encourage circular systems thinking to provide economic, social, and environmental merits for urban inhabitants looking to improve the quality of life.

'Modern Infrastructural Ideal' or 'Broken World Thinking'?

The economic growth driven by the combined effects of urbanisation, industrialisation and globalisation leads to the current ‘take-make-dispose model to feed consumer appetites.[1] This linear consumerism results in natural resources are easily extracted/mined, manufactured, and then used before being disposed of at the end of the value chain.[2] This project’s ecological design philosophies emphasise reusing, repurposing, and upcycling building components and materials into buildings with higher circularity to replace this ‘end-of-life’ concept and material-intensive production and consumption.


[1] Sadhan Kumar Ghosh, Circular Economy: Global Perspective (Singapore: Springer, 2019), 1.

[2] World Economic Forum, "Circular Economy in Cities: Evolving the Model for a Sustainable Urban Future," World Economic Forum, White Paper (March 2018): 7.

Steel manufacturing process
Establishing Circular Material Supply Chain

The project creates a “Nutrients [Building Resources] Flow” in Circular Urban Metabolism by channelling used building materials and components to new building sites. 

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Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, Kirsten A. Foot, Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014), 74-75.

establish a circular material supply chain
Reinventing Existing and Waste Products

Apart from reconfiguring steelwork to roof trusses and reclaiming bricks for cladding, the project locates troublesome waste material, which is quickly filling up landfill sites and is difficult to reuse material, such as broken metal. This material then is reprocessed into a functional, perhaps reusable product.

Reuse Strategy1
Architectures of Reuse

The project itself is responsible for collecting and sorting building materials and components at the city level. It offers a unique opportunity to map building resources and collaborate with businesses and residents in closed loops through urban-industrial symbiosis or mediated information exchange.

Retained structures- 11.5%

Reused building materials and components- 29.7%

Reused resources from other demolished sites-  41.3%

New building resources- 17.5%

Architectures of reuse
Initiating Innovative Business Models

The project affords opportunities to expand circular economy into new areas such as collection and reverse logistics, remarketing, component remanufacturing and refurbishment. Reducing use of virgin material reduces exposure to price volatility and supply shocks due to natural disasters or political imbalances. Implementing circular economy concepts promotes wider re-evaluation of supply chains, which can lead to improved resilience.

Building Programme
Site Planning

To improve the street permeability and connectivity, the pre-existing warehouse on 72 Newcraighall Rd is partially demolished for new pedestrian and bike road. A pilotis is further created to free space under the building for street market.

A Boulevard Corridor is designed to connect the building complex directly to the Newcraighall train station for increasing the site accessibility.

1:250 GF PLAN
GF Detailed Layout - Part1
Detailed Plan
GF Detailed Layout - Part2
Detailed Plan 02

69a-73 Newcraighall street elevation and permeability [Top]

View from Regius School and street market access [Bottom]

Plan de coupe 1
Plan de coupe 2
Plan de coupe 3
Wall Details 01
Reuse_Wall Detail1
Wall Details 02
Wall Details 02
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