Written by Helen Fowler
The annual Edinburgh Doors Open Day (Sept 26-27) gave people the chance to see for free dozens of landmark city buildings, ranging from police stations to dance studios, monuments to geological surveys, and caves to paper-making premises. Many of the buildings are normally out of bounds to the public or would charge for entrance, so this was a rare opportunity to explore more of Edinburgh's heritage.
Among the buildings participating this year was Dovecot Studios, a firm of Edinburgh tapestry weavers who have taken over the disused Victorian baths in Infirmary Street in a £8 million refurbishment project led by architects Malcolm Fraser. Visitors were able to admire from a viewing gallery the huge looms on which weavers were creating tapestries, in what was once a popular city swimming pool.
Although the workshop was open on Doors Open Day only as a one-off, Dovecot Studios has a permanent exhibition space with a programme of events running throughout the year and it's worth keeping an eye on their website to see what's happening. The building itself is also well worth a visit as an example of successful civic conservation work that the Cockburn Association, who run Doors Open Day, are working to promote.