My interest in the Main Stand peaked significantly after plans were finalised for replacement of the structure towards the end of 2016. As a student of Architecture and lifelong Hearts fan, the significance of the 103 year-old building was of particular interest to me and I started to delve slightly deeper into the background of the stand that had served generations of Tynecastle crowds.
Until relatively recently I was quite unaware of stadium architect Archibald Leitch, at least by name. Surprising, considering the way his work and innovative approach to spectator experience so heavily influenced the way football has developed in the UK across the last century. His design for the stand at Tynecastle bears many of the trademarks of his work at the time although the omission of a decorative gable sets it apart from it’s closest contemporaries, the Johnny Haynes Stand at Fulham’s Craven Cottage one of the few surviving examples of this.
Copies of Leitch’s original drawings accompanied many of the published case studies of his stadium architecture that I came across, although this was not the case for the Main Stand at Tynecastle. In line with this, a request for information from the Edinburgh City Archives revealed that no plans were held for the site of Tynecastle and that they had potentially been missing for many years. In the interest of preserving an accurate architectural record of the familiar façade, I decided to document it as it appeared shortly before demolition began.
The result is an artistic adaption of a traditional architectural elevation. Stylised for commemorative print, it displays white line work against a background of maroon and features individual brick and signage detail. The print will hopefully serve as a way to mark an historic moment in the history of Heart of Midlothian Football Club and hold sentimental value for those who harbour fond memories of the long-serving stand.
View the print at the link below: