The appleton tower, at first glance, is an architectural oddity. For no apparent reason, the ground floor1 is one floor above ground level and is accessed by a flight of stairs, leading up to a large balcony (you can walk straight in to the basement...) .

Looking out from the balcony, across the NCP car park, the potterow/health center/business school is visible. Strange, it seems to do the same weird balcony thing. Some kind of failed grand plan?

What happened was back in the 70s, the university decided it would have to get rid of all these old tenements, before the costs of getting them compliant with health and safety regulations went through the roof. The plan was to knock down a lot of them, abandon/sell others, and create a new campus/complex built around george square. Tenements were knocked down, the David Hume Tower and Appleton Tower were built, and to the north the Potterow complex was constructed. All that was needed now was the administration building, which would house all the offices that had been uprooted from the tenements, and provide a nice raised walkway between the two 'balconies'.

And then they ran out of money.

And then they leased the land to NCP

Which is why the building is so inexplicably deformed, and there's a hideous looking carpark in the middle of a university campus.

1 - first floor for all you merkins...