Banana Flats: More than a 'Trainspotting' Location

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Viewing Edinburgh’s post-war redevelopment area of Leith from the air, one block stands out for its striking shape: Cables Wynd House. Nicknamed the ‘Banana Flats’, the distinctive curved block of social housing was completed in 1965.

In 2017 the housing was ‘A’ listed by the Historic Environment Scotland for its ‘excellence in modernist urban design’.

Most famous as the ‘drug estate’ that housed Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson in ‘Trainspotting’, there is definitely more to this raw concrete construction. In 2017 the housing was ‘A’ listed by the Historic Environment Scotland for its ‘excellence in modernist urban design’.

Cables Wynd House, aka 'Banana Flats' in Edinburgh. ©Matt Brown

Indeed the architects, Alison & Hutchinson & Partners – following the example of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation – designed a landmark of the new brutalist style. With its underfloor heating, lifts and innovative ventilation system, Cables Wynd House took living standards in post-war Edinburgh to the next level. Leith Banana Flats remains a monument of Scottish modernist architecture and technological progress to this day.

Illustration of the 'Banana Flats' facade. ©Zupagrafika
Most famous as the ‘drug estate’ that housed Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson in ‘Trainspotting’, there is definitely more to this raw concrete construction.

Images shown in this post are part of the book Brutal Britain. © for the images: their respective authors (see captions)

Written by
David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka

© Zupagrafika

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