Walking up Lady Lawson Street in Edinburgh, I stopped for a closer look at Argyle House, an office block dating from 1968, designed by the architectural practice of Michael Laird & Partners. The building has many critics and is often described as an ‘eyesore’ and one of Edinburgh’s ‘ugliest buildings’. It appears to exist under a constant threat of erasure from property developers, and the City of Edinburgh Council, proposing new (re)development schemes.
The façade which borders the north side of West Port and the junction of Lady Lawson Street is very much of the brutalist box style. All right angles, rectangular windows and the material heft of concrete and harling.
Today, walking in behind the building, I see it from a different angle. The hidden curves, the windows as light reflecting scales. It takes on the appearance of some brutalist insect, flexing its wings, as if about to fly.
Now playing: Asva – Futurists Against the Ocean.
4 replies on “The Brutalist Butterfly”
Did you ever see this documentary?
I did. Always good to hear Meades’s take on things.
There are some rather similar buildings beside the tracks between Waterloo and Vauxhall – I’m going to keep an eye out next time I take the train that route and see if I can spot an animal or insect in them!
Who knows – good luck!