Edinburgh Airport extension ‘worst building’

Edinburgh Airport's expansion was given the Zit accolade
Edinburgh Airport's expansion was given the Zit accolade
8
Have your say

Edinburgh Airport’s 
£25 million eastern terminal expansion has netted a top award – for being Scotland’s worst building.

The recently completed block – the first step in a £150m investment plan that will transform sections of the airport over the next five years – was handed a Zit accolade in the annual Carbuncle Awards, celebrating the worst in architectural design.

The awards also saw Edinburgh City Council handed the Pock Mark Award for worst planning decision after it demolished the B-listed Scottish Provident building in St Andrew Square last year.

The Carbuncles are run by architecture and design magazine Urban Realm and honour the worst of Scottish building projects, with two of the magazine’s three prizes this year handed to Edinburgh.

Aberdeen scooped the gong for the most dismal town in Scotland.

Marion Williams, director of heritage group The Cockburn Association, said this year’s results were “spot on”.

She said: “With the demolition of the Scottish Provident building, the whole way the process was carried out was a nightmare. It was a listed building of huge importance. Some people loved it and some people loathed it, but that’s what architecture is about.

“What’s the point of a listed building if it can just be knocked down?”

She added: “The airport extension is certainly a good contender for Scotland’s worst building. It’s such a disappointment that places like the airport and Haymarket station are such uninspiring points of arrival into the city.”

The former Scottish Provident building – a B-listed modernist landmark in one of the city’s top tourist spots – was knocked down last year to make way for a £75m development featuring a shopping mall, offices and rooftop flats.

Edinburgh Airport’s eastern terminal extension, meanwhile, was unveiled in 
October.

An airport spokesman said: “Every award is special but to win the Zit Award is a real honour. Our terminal extension was carefully designed to help us accommodate growing passenger numbers.

“It also blends in rather well with our 1970s terminal and multi-storey car park. We don’t think that Urban Realm has hit the spot here, but a zit is part of the growth process and we will take this one on the chin.”

A council spokeswoman said the original planning decision to knock down the Scottish Provident building was made “on the assumption that the facade be retained”.

She added: “After we made this decision, the building was removed from the statutory listed buildings register.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com