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Edinburgh, 40 Torphichen Street

Office (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 40 Torphichen Street

Classification Office (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 302176

Site Number NT27SW 4674

NGR NT 24391 73307

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (25 May 2001)

Two steel fin / leaf shapes at ground level enclose a vertical ladder-like steel frame which runs floor to ceiling, and contains seven glass 'windows' of varying height. Each 'window' panel contains pieces of broken glass, some white or clear, others mix these with various green shades. The three shallow panels contain glass fragments collected from beaches in East Lothian (Longniddry, Yellow Craigs and North Berwick) by the artist, architects and assistants. Many pieces have lettering: 'Edinburgh', 'Leith', 'Made in England'. All the glass was reclaimed: wine and beer bottles, windows and plate glass.

A sand-blasted fin / leaf runs up through all the panels on the outer side, emerging as a steel tip at the top. Darker tones are concentrated in the lower panels "to exaggerate perspective".

The forms and colours suggest both the organic: fins, leaves, growth, landscape, seascape; and the architectural: windows, supporting pillars etc. Reference to the old incorporated in the new, the fragmented made whole and beautiful, deliberately echo the renewal of the building itself, and incorporate references to its local context and the land beyond. The panels of broken, collected glass filter the light and create an almost liquid ambience.

RMJM were the architects of the refurbishment of the building.

Inscriptions : None

Signatures : None

Design period : December 1999 - April 2000

Year of unveiling : 2000

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0331)


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