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National Museum plaza plan to go before planners

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December 17 2012

National Museum plaza plan to go before planners
Plans to remodel Edinburgh’s Chambers Street into a new public performance space in front of the National Museum of Scotland could get the go-ahead this week when presented to planners.

The scheme has been drawn up by Gareth Hoskins Architects, the practice behind the Museum’s recent remodeling, on behalf of Edinburgh University and will entail repaving an area of on-street parking with Caithness stone to form an outdoor stage for theatre and music.

A new statue commemorating architect William Playfair has been commissioned to overlook the space, alongside the relocated statue of William Chambers.

This will result in the loss of 39 parking bays although disabled parking will remain in-situ and shifting an existing bus stance forward to the new street line.

Future phases of work could see this public realm extended eastward to unify the Museum and University Old College within the streetscape.

Museum director Gordon Rintoul said:  “All major cities have a quality public realm and what this proposal will do is vastly improve Chambers Street for the benefit of the public and will make for a far better setting for the NMS. In other major European cities, a building like ours would always have a public presence out the front. What this plan amounts to is the creation of a new square – a focal point for the area and the city.”
Chambers and Playfair will face off across the new public space
Chambers and Playfair will face off across the new public space
Priority is currently given to the car on Chambers Street
Priority is currently given to the car on Chambers Street

3 Comments

The flâneur
#1 Posted by The flâneur on 17 Dec 2012 at 14:04 PM
Tsk Tsk. Edinburgh get with the programme. Don’t you learn anything from Glasgow? How dare someone commission a new classical figurative sculpture for a revitalised city centre public space (and judging from the accompanying hand drawn sketch the commission has gone to Sandy Stoddart who seems to be far more welcome in the east than the west) when you’re meant to ditch what you’ve got in the nearest regeneration area? Good god anyone might think the intention is to encourage people to linger and appreciate these two statues and their surroundings! We wouldn’t want an outbreak of that sentiment in the west - Heaven forfend!
wonky
#2 Posted by wonky on 17 Dec 2012 at 17:39 PM
In Glasgow we have the Buchanan Galleries "redevelopment" promising to extract the stairs at the Royal Concert Hall...to banish the malingerers, workshy, and shifty plebs from slothing around the steps...these types fritter away lunch times loafing and loitering when they could be maximizing productivity charts...why is Edinburgh so yesterday in its modus operandi? George Sq should be surrounded by aggressive drivers, barbed wire hedging and people cattle prodded into watching "regenerative multimedia happenings" in a vast concreted events "hub"!
We'll show auld reekie how to do it.
Robert
#3 Posted by Robert on 19 Dec 2012 at 04:57 AM
Museum director Gordon Rintoul said: “All major cities have a quality public realm".
A merited dig at the George Square debacle?

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