The Art Works

The Art Works is our project to deliver a sustainable new facility to care for, research and share Scotland’s renowned art collection.

As a key part of the Granton Waterfront development, the building and surrounding land will be a cultural focal point for the local community, offering new spaces for all to share and enjoy.

Not only will we future poof how we care for our nation’s treasures, The Art Works will be open to everyone, from specialist researchers to international and local visitors.

This exciting and transformative initiative supports Scotland’s green recovery by delivering the largest building in the country designed to the Passivhaus environmental standard.

Children from Edinburgh College Nursery enjoy a trip to the mobile orchard (owned by local business, Soilutions), that sits on The Art Works Site. Picture credit: Roberto Riccuiti

Connecting Communities

The Art Works will be constructed on a brownfield site within the Granton Waterfront development, bringing together existing and new communities to the north and south.

It will be instrumental to the delivery of the culture and learning strategies for the area, offering new resources and multi-purpose spaces inside and outside the building for all to engage with.

Our journey has already started. Several projects with local partners are underway, including a collaboration with local charities and social enterprises to make 1000 art-themed face coverings for local people, and visits for nursery groups to enjoy the community orchard which is currently on part of the site.

Machinist and designer, Francia Frank in front of Samuel John Peploe, ‘Tulips - The Blue Jug’ (about 1919), displayed at Granton Art Centre.
Visitors at Granton Centre for Art

 A Collection for Everyone

The Art Works will allow everyone to explore, discover, and engage with Scotland’s national art collection. The facility will offer an additional 10,000² of quality space – the equivalent of two playing fields – to make the collection more accessible to the public than ever before.

Alongside a vastly improved digital offering, The Art Works will deliver a modern environment in which students, researchers and members of the public can engage with the collection.

The facility will also provide modern studios for conservation and research, and support the expansion of Scotland’s national art collection over the next two decades and beyond. It will also house the ARTIST ROOMS collection (jointly owned with Tate), parts of the Royal Scottish Academy collections and the Demarco Archive.

Conservation staff caring for the collection

The Design

Our design team is led by internationally-renowned architect John McAslan and Partners. They are working to a brief that will support the delivery of a positive and inspiring future for the Granton area, as well as providing a world-class hub for looking after Scotland’s national art collection.

The Art Works will be designed on Passivhaus principles. As the world’s most rigorous energy and comfort standard, this development, as one of the largest Passivhaus buildings in the world, will be of international significance.

A Home from Home

The Art Works will be much more than a world-class building to care for Scotland’s national art collection.

We are creating a place both inside and out with the needs of the local community at its heart. Inside there will be social spaces and amenities for visitors’ comfort and enjoyment while outside there will be opportunities for activity areas and bringing the environment to life.

The Location

The site for The Art Works sits between Waterfront Avenue and West Granton Road in North West Edinburgh.

The B-listed Madelvic car factory is at the eastern edge of the site. Madelvic House is immediately to the east and close by The United Wire Factory buildings. The southern edge of the site is formed by a selection of retail units including Lidl.  Two other Granton Development Strategic  Partners National Museums Scotland and Edinburgh College are situated nearby.

The proposed site for The Art Works at Granton