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In line with The City of Edinburgh Council’s vision for a more sustainable future, architectural practice and its role within our cradle-to-grave waste culture must be re-evaluated. In 2030, Craigleith’s Steel Emporium and adjacent recycling facility sits atop the now defunct retail park. A REuse and REcycling ideology has been adapted into the material lifecycle of steel in order to achieve economic and environmental ‘degrowth’. Recycling tackles the pervasive waste issue within Edinburgh’s construction industry by breathing new life into architectural componentry; and the Emporium’s public-access facilities create new spaces and opportunities for educational initiatives in the realm of creative recycling practice. Local start-ups are welcomed into the space to innovate the steel upcycling process, market their products to the local community and redefine the role of the modern ‘craftsman’. Recycled steel trusses, columns, and beams from the retail park site, including structural steel dismantled from ‘Sainsburys’ and ‘Marks & Spencers’ provide the foundations for the new structure. The REuse Centre hopes to foster social activity, learning and a renewed sustainability that is ingrained in the architectural fabric of society.
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