Posted on 11/14/2010

Photo taken on November 13, 2010

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Architect Basil Spence Architect Basil Spence


Great Michael

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Great Michael Rise, Newhaven

Great Michael Rise, Newhaven
The anchor at the entrance to Great Michael Rise. The flats have balconies rather than private gardens and the communal open space was an important feature of the overall design. Tenants have formed the Great Michael Gardens Association and plan to plant apple, plum and hazelnut trees as well as flower bulbs. www.facebook.com/groups/258601774176975/#!/pages/Great-Mi...

Annfield, Great Michael Rise and New Lane flats (1957) designed for Edinburgh Corporation by Basil Spence & Partners (including Peter Scott Ferguson, Andrew Renton, John Hardie Glover and Bruce Robertson). Designed to be modern yet in keeping with existing townscape. Features washed harling, grey slate and stone, all traditional Scottish materials. Granite setts, said to have been salvaged from the roads during redevelopment, were incorporated.

Photo on Scotland's Places site: www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/search_item/image.php?service=...

The Great Michael scheme at Newhaven dates from after Spence’s Edinburgh office’s 1954 development at Dunbar, also an east coast fishing port, and there are similarities. Both combine modern designs with vernacular features and both won Saltire Society awards (Great Michael in 1959).

The port at ‘New Haven’ dates from the reign of King James IV and was where the sailing ship the Great Michael was launched in 1511. It became a busy fishing port and for much of the nineteenth century most of the families living there were involved in the fishing industry. The domestic architecture was similar to that found elsewhere on the east coast of Scotland. By the mid twentieth century fishing had declined and parts of the village were redeveloped to provide better quality dwellings. It became a conservation area in the late 1970s.