Architecture: The slow ruin of Edinburgh; Owen Hatherley; Prospect Magazine

UK – Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

The planting of a “Golden Turd” in the heart of the city reveals grotesquely skewed planning priorities.

If you go down to the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, and turn left onto Leith Street, you’ll find a very worn 1960s building at the centre of a construction site. The building in question—the St James Centre, a widely disliked shopping and hotel complex—is being gradually demolished in favour of something you can see depicted on the hoardings in front of you: a routine glass and stone-cladding mall, around a new hotel which is wrapped in a coil of orangey-gold fabric, in a style which can only be described as excremental.

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