Cables Wynd House, commonly referred to as the ‘Banana Flats’, is an elongated 10-storey concrete-slab block of 212 flats with private and public access balconies. It is located within the Kirkgate area of Leith, Edinburgh. The development of Kirkgate is bounded by Tolbooth Wynd (north), Cables Wynd (west), Yardheads (south), New Kirkgate (southeast) and also includes the slightly later Linksview House.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, Leith was the focus of slum clearance programmes, which resulted in the construction of a number of large public housing schemes. Cables Wynd House was built between 1963 and 1965. At the time, it was the largest block of flats in Edinburgh and was possibly the most accomplished architecturally, characterising the ‘New Brutalism’ style, laying bare the essential materials of a building’s construction. It also closely follows the then-emerging theoretical interest in community planning, using external access decks as a way of recreating the civic spirit of traditional tenement streets.
Cables Wynd House has gained popular interest after it featured in Irvine Welsh’s internationally acclaimed novel, Trainspotting. The building and its location have frequently been chosen as a subject for architectural photography and filming. In 2007, the block was used during filming of the television drama ‘Wedding Belles’, also by Irvine Welsh.
In January 2017, following a period of public consultation, Cables Wynd House was listed at category A. Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historical interest is recognised by law. The Statement of Special Interest for Cables Wynd House is available online, together with other supporting documents.
View Cables Wynd House on GoogleMaps.