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Simpson & Brown dust off Perth City Hall plans

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May 11 2012

Simpson & Brown dust off Perth City Hall plans
Simpson & Brown Architects have welcomed a decision by Historic Scotland to block moves to raze the B listed Perth City Hall – and dusted off their own proposals to secure the long term future of the Hall by transforming it into an indoor market.

This would attempt to safeguard the historic fabric of the 1911 building whilst introducing significant alterations and modern interventions, including a new entrance on the east side to create a ‘promenade’ through to the adjacent St John’s Kirk.

It envisages transformation of the central hall into a triple level emporium lined by retail and display galleries arranged around a central atrium space. Contemporary bars and restaurants would also be inserted into the roofscape to provide new perspectives on the surrounding cityscape.

James Simpson of Simpson & Brown Architects said: “It is good news that consent for the demolition of Perth City Hall has been refused.

“When the proposed demolition was first publicised a group of individuals established the Perth City Market Trust, believing that the City Hall could be converted into a modern market hall and that such a market in the centre of Perth would do more for the economic regeneration of the city than the creation of an open square.

“They believe, moreover, that a market project could be independently funded, without the need for major public expenditure. Retention and re-use of the building would also avoid the disruption which demolition and the carting of rubble through the surrounding narrow streets would cause: the square project had the potential to become the Perth equivalent of the Edinburgh tram!

“Demolition would also be likely to have major archaeological consequences, the cost and time implications of which may not have been adequately considered.”

Backed by Perth City Market Trust; whose trustees include Vivian Linacre, a resident of central Perth with long experience of town centre and retail development, Chris Cook, an authority on voluntary sector finance, Denis Munro, former Director of Planning and James Cormie, former Chief Executive of the Perth & Kinross Council, the practice now intends to lodge applications for Planning and Listed Building Consent “at as early a date as possible”.
A rectangle of glass would be inserted into the roof to draw light to the interior
A rectangle of glass would be inserted into the roof to draw light to the interior
Work on the project could be completed in as few as 18 months if approvals are granted
Work on the project could be completed in as few as 18 months if approvals are granted

6 Comments

Trombe Wall
#1 Posted by Trombe Wall on 11 May 2012 at 13:21 PM
Sensible. Although the plans could do with a review into how the market stallls would occupy the space. This has fantastic potential, the English Market in Cork is great example of how internal markets work in large volumes. It would however, be a shame to lose the animation that the market brings to the streetscape.
Peter
#2 Posted by Peter on 11 May 2012 at 13:33 PM
Ahhhh.......... a market. Only the least creative and most overly pumped idea and first and last refuge of every talentless student of architecture in Scotland. Well done S and B, right up your street too as the least creative , most overtly conservative architects anywhere. Perth can be assured that the re-use of the building and a positive future is safe in your hands
Steve
#3 Posted by Steve on 11 May 2012 at 13:43 PM
These are the best plans I've seen for this building. Provincial french towns have a tradition for central market 'halles' which are open sided covered structures. Perth City Hall is sited and orientated such that an indoor Scottish version could be an excellent asset to the city.
David L
#4 Posted by David L on 11 May 2012 at 17:07 PM
The previous scheme to re-use the building for retail was abandoned because the developer could not make it economically viable - hence the proposal to demolish. I look forward to seeing the business case that demonstrates the viability of a daily indoor market. The monthly Perth Farmers' Market organisation certainly believes it won't work - there is neither sufficient year round produce or demand. But why let that get in the way of a good drawing!
David
#5 Posted by David on 11 May 2012 at 17:09 PM
The previous scheme to re-use the building for retail was abandoned because the developer could not make it economically viable - hence the proposal to demolish. I look forward to seeing the business case that demonstrates the viability of a daily indoor market. The monthly Perth Farmers' Market organisation certainly believes it won't work - there is neither sufficient year round produce or demand. But why let that get in the way of a good drawing!
annie mckenzie
#6 Posted by annie mckenzie on 12 Dec 2013 at 23:13 PM
I think this is a damnd disgrace that the perth council feels the right thing to do ,there is one thing they have no sentiment for any thing old in this town.it seems to be not the council that is running the council it seems to be one man as well who is hell bent on getting it down.i thaught the council was to listen to the public ,but no once they are elected don't bother what the public thinks.it is a disgrace that we cant get the indoor market as I think it would bring people to the town,not a big empty space annie McKenzie 12.12 2013

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