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Area Coordinator

Marion Williams
The Cockburn Association
Trunk's Close
55 High Street
Tel: 0131 557 8686

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DOD 2014 Edinburgh programme

Area Programmes

Edinburgh:  27 September 2014 – 28 September 2014

The Cockburn Association (Edinburgh's Civic Trust) organises Edinburgh Doors Open Day. Now in its 23rd year, the event has become one of the capital's most popular free days out. This is your chance to explore some of Edinburgh's most architecturally, culturally and socially significant buildings. Many venues feature behind the scenes tours, activities, exhibitions and/or talks which bring the history of the building, garden, cemetery or monument and its everyday use to life. Some sites organise additional free activities for children and families. 


We are pleased to announce that Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2014 will take place on the 27th & 28th September.

The 2014 TALKS SERIES will be taking place in the week running up to Edinburgh Doors Open Day from 22nd to 26th of September. The list of talks, held at RCAHMS, 16 Bernard Terrace and Riddle's Court, 322 Lawnmarket, can be found on page 4 of the attached brochure. Advanced booking is advised via

The WALKS SERIES 2014 will also be running over the Doors Open Day weekend of the 27th & 28th September. Please see page 5 of the attached brochure for the list of walks and information on meeting points and bookings.

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2 Caiystane View
28.09.14 (11.00 - 16.00)
2 Caiystane View, Fairmilehead,  EH10 6SQ

This 4 bedroom house was built in 1959 by McTaggart and Meikle. It has been retro-fitted to improve its energy efficiency. In addition to cavity wall insulation and deep cover in the loft, there are both hot water and electricity generating panels on the south facing roof. A wood burning stove makes it possible to keep warm without using fossil fuel. Graphs showing electricity and gas use for recent years will be available. The owner is a member of Transition Edinburgh Pentlands and the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership.

ACTIVITIES: information leaflets/notes.


Limited disabled access. 

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31 Heriot Row
27.09.14 - 28.09.14 (10.00-18.00)
31 Heriot Row , Edinburgh,  EH3 6ES

A stunning interior staircase and lightwell, used by the young James Clerk Maxwell for balloon experiments, is now given new purpose by artist Angus Reid through the installation of silhouettes and poetry on a giant scale. See a Georgian interior made over for the 21st Century. 

Domecstatic is the third in a series of large-scale installations of words and imagery that explore personal social and political issues in Scotland in 2014. It is a new work by an innovative Scottish artist.

Questions of identity, community and place are at the heart of Angus Reid’s work. In 2012, he installed 6 Peaks at Axolotl Gallery, placing the Pentland hills in a Georgian interior. The account of climbing the six peaks it took to walk away from heartbreak translated into a work that read directly and simply, to an audience that share this nearby landscape. Link: 6 Peaks

In 2013, Call for a Constitution, placed the formula for a people’s constitution in 25 public spaces across Scotland in anticipation of the government’s recent pledge to have a written constitution. These locations ranged from Mike Forbes’ famous anti-Donald Trump barn in Aberdeenshire to the STUC headquarters in Glasgow; from a bus stop in Harris to the Scottish Parliament itself. This project became the book A Modest Proposal, published by Luath Press in April 2014. Link: Call for a Constitution

Now, the third in the series, Domecstatic, brings it all back home to the four-storey stairwell of an Edinburgh townhouse. In this unusual setting for public art, larger-than-life silhouettes are framed by four poems that seek company as they climb towards the light.

“… These poems and this installation reclaim the architecture of a private house for the imagination,” says the artist. “They invite everybody into what is otherwise a private space.”

The four poems invite the visitor to negotiate a journey from dark to light, from a narrow threshold to an expansive light-well. They have, as a visual counterpoint, the outline of those that have stayed in the house or passed through as visitors, over the course of one month this year. To fix this fleeting presence has been to pay homage to the history of visitors to this house, and to trace the shadow of something otherwise invisible: the idea that the house has a memory. After all, this same hall was used by the young James Clerk Maxwell, the father of modern physics, and his cousin, Jemima Wedderburn, for experiments with balloons.

“The great characteristics of this stairwell are the height, the light and the acoustics. It is a place capable of generating joy. Joy is the unexpected visitor: it is a necessary co-ordinate in the here and now, from which come generous meanings and values.

Critics on previous installations:

Angus Reid’s installation shows how well art and poetry can work together…

Susan Mansfield, The Scotsman ****

Poetry climbs to great heights, emotional, physical and spiritual… the work of Angus Reid deserves to be better known… Giles Sutherland, The Times ****

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Advocates Library
27.09.14 (10.30-16.00)
Within Supreme Courts EH1 1RF

The Advocates Library was inaugurated in 1689 and held the national collections for Scotland until the formation of the National Library of Scotland. The present library building, designed by William Playfair, was opened in 1833 and is the private library of the Faculty of Advocates. The Advocates Library tours are part of a whole range of events taking place in Parliament House for Edinburgh Doors Open Day and arranged by the Court of Session. Please book tours of the Advocates Library on arrival.

Architect: William Playfair
Building Date: 1833

Guided tours, information leaflets/notes, visual displays.

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Alien Rock
27.09.14 - 28.09.14 (10.00-19.00)
8 Pier Place, Granton, Edinburgh,  EH6 4LP
Alien Rock - Image 1
Built in 1852 for the Newhaven fishing community and serving as a Free Church of Scotland the tower and spire were added in 1882. Given a new lease of life in April 1994 the building was turned into Scotland’s first dedicated indoor climbing wall. By making use of a free standing structure, the architect succeeded 
in meeting the needs of the current owner without interfering with the structure of the building itself.

Building Date: 19C

ACTIVITIES: information leaflets/notes, visual displays.

Limited wheelchair access.


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Anatomy Museum & Lecture Theatre
27.09.14 (10.00-16.00)
University of Edinburgh, Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh,  EH8 9AG
Anatomy Museum & Lecture Theatre - Image 1

This magnificent steeply-raked lecture theatre, based on that at Padua and still in use, was designed by Robert Rowand Anderson in 1877. The remnants of what was once a three-storey medical museum are now located on the top floor, where historical and contemporary material used by anatomy students is displayed. You will also find elephant skeletons, a whale’s jawbone and a large collection of death masks of historical figures. Also on display is the skeleton of the infamous murderer William Burke who was condemned to be hanged, dissected and put on public display. There will be 20-minute talks on the hour from 11am-3pm.

Architect: Robert Rowand Anderson
Building Date: 1874

Lectures/talks, visual displays, stewards/volunteers at key points.

Assisted wheelchair access.

Image (c)

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Arcadia Children's Nursery
27.09.14 (10.00-16.00)
63 WEST MAINS ROAD, , Edinburgh,  EH9 3JE

Designed by award-winning architect Malcolm Fraser and inspired by the concept of ‘free play’, Arcadia Nursery is Edinburgh’s newest and most innovative nursery. Building on research on the importance of outdoor play, the indoor play rooms initially lead to a babies’ garden lined with grassy steps and sensory planting, before giving way to mini-allotments and a water play area for older toddlers. 

For the more adventurous children (and adults) an elevated walkway leads to a tree house.

Guided tours
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Assembly Rooms
27.09.14 (10.00-15.00)
54 George Street, Edinburgh,  EH2 2LR
Assembly Rooms - Image 1
For almost 230 years, the Assembly Rooms has played host to hundreds of thousands of events. From royal banquets to talent contests, conferences to ceilidhs, the building also welcomed authors Dickens, Thackeray and Scott for public readings. The 18-month refurbishment project has breathed new life into the Assembly Rooms, resulting in modernised spaces which retain the building’s character and beauty. The work is in keeping with its history seeing the A-listed building return to its 18th century splendour, but with the inclusion of 
modern technical infrastructure to improve its capabilities as a premier venue for contemporary events. Architectural details have been repaired and enhanced, with 22 carat gold leaf and a fresh neutral theme throughout providing a stunning backdrop for any event, from performances to conferences 
and weddings.

Architect: William Burn, David Bryce
Building Date: 1787, 1843

ACTIVITIES: guided tours, information leaflets/notes, performances, stewards/volunteers at key points.

Limited wheelchair access.

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Assembly Roxy
27.09.14 (10.00-16.00)
2 ROXBURGH PLACE, Edinburgh,  EH8 9SU
The Assembly Roxy is a year round venue for theatre shows, events and functions. Run by Assembly Theatre Limited, the building houses three popular Edinburgh Festival Fringe spaces during August. A former Church known as the Holy Trinity Church and latterly Lady Glenorchy’s Parish Church in 1862, the building retains a number of original and beautiful features.
ACTIVITIES: guided tours, information leaflets/notes, stewards/volunteers at key points, musical recitals.
Limited disabled access.  
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Benjamin Tindall Architects
27.09.14 (11.00-16.00)
17 VICTORIA TERRACE, , Edinburgh,  EH1 2JL
Built on part of the City Wall, Benjamin Tindall Architects’ office has seen re-use over 4 centuries as a tannery, an Institute for the Relief of Incurables, sweet manufacturing, a bomb shelter and a copper etching works. See work of the Practice and fine views across the Grassmarket to Heriots and other institutions on the City’s Southside. A tour through the building, via a garden, emerges in the West Bow.
ACTIVITIES: information leaflets/notes, visual displays, architectural models, stewards/volunteers at key points
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British Geological Survey
27.09.14 (10.00-17.00)
Murchison House, West Mains Road, Edinburgh,  EH9 3LA
Murchison House is the Scottish Headquarters of the British 
Geological Survey, the oldest national geological survey in the world. Purpose built, in a cruciform shape, the chamfered corners and glazed stair lights were designed to echo the facets of a crystalline structure. The architect was Allan Pendreigh of Property Services Agency and the building opened in 1977, winning Build in Brick and Bonny Brick awards. There will be a host of exhibits and activities to suit all ages, covering everything from James Hutton, one of the founders of geology, to the techniques employed in modern 
geosciences. Discover more about BGS’s involvement in the 
quest for new sources of energy and the efforts made to mitigate against environmental impact. Hands-on displays of minerals, rocks and fossils, demonstrations of mountain building, glaciers, earthquakes and volcanoes and origins of the Northern Lights. The popular programme of talks will run 
throughout the day covering the diversity of the work of the survey and its collaborators.

Architect: Property Services Agency
Building Date: 1977

ACTIVITIES: lectures/talks, information leaflets/notes, behind the scenes access, children’s activities, visual displays, stewards/volunteers at key points, video/audio presentations.

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 121 results by building (A - Z)
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