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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 29/11/1990


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Planning Authority: Edinburgh
  • Burgh: Edinburgh

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 19109 70886
  • Coordinates319109, 670886


1949-50. Stewart Sim, architect of the Ministry of Works. Structurally innovative and economic functional Modernism on a large warehouse block, using pioneering techniques for pre-stressed concrete frame construction (see note), and anodized aluminium cladding. 3-storey, with 2 suspended floors; grid of flexible pre-stressed floor beams with sandwich-plate anchorages on reinforced concrete load-bearing pilotti columns. Ribbed concrete base; plastic interior partition walls; continuous steel-framed windows between aluminium panelling for natural lighting into storage floors.

Asthetics not ignored: long symmetrical lines pinned down on end elevations by vertical glazed stair bays; concrete stairs cantilevered out around (blue) concrete newel, exposed through apsidal glass frames, and steel canopy porches on steel ros props at (stair) entrances. Deep concrete canopy at loading bay at south. Punched aluminium 'parapet'; portholes in cubic lift-shaft blocks centre at rear (north). Rainwater and service pipes concealed, the former taken down centre of beams. Columns on each floor originally painted in 3 pastel colours. Pair contemporary flagpoles in front of entrance/loadng bay front (south), and short cubic gatepiers (concrete) at eastern entrances.

Statement of Special Interest

Controversial and internationally high-profile opening ceremony 9 December 1950. Press release referred to the warehouse as "the first multi-storeyed building to be erected in Europe in pre-stressed concrete".

Architect, Stewart Sim; Pre-stressed concrete contractors, Costain Ltd; Structural Engineers, Webster and Pearson.



HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, including "Note on the Construction", by the Scottish Headquarters of the Ministry of Works, 1950.

EVENING DISPATCH, 9, 11, 15 December 1950.


THE SCOTSMAN, 11 December 1950.

SUNDAY EXPRESS, 10 December 1950.

SUNDAY POST, 10 December 1950

DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11 December 1950

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at