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Royal High School project team claim public support for upmarket hotel

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February 20 2015

Royal High School project team claim public support for upmarket hotel
The project team behind plans to transform Edinburgh’s Royal High School into a five star hotel claim the public are on their side in a battle to secure planning permission for the sensitive site.

More than 580 people attended a recent public consultation to hear more about the plans, with just over half of these sharing their opinions via a feedback form. Of these some 79 per cent were in favour of the development, with 75 per cent agreeing that a hotel was an appropriate end use for the building.

When it came to the removal of ancillary buildings support was even higher, with 83 per cent agreeing that the school’s setting would be improved following selected demolition.

Gareth Hoskins Architects are drawing up plans for the build which aims to open up Calton Hill and reveal an original Thomas Hamilton designed retaining wall and tower which has remained obscured since 1884.

David Orr of the Urbanist Group, said: “It was good to see so many people taking the time to look at our initial proposals and then discuss these with members of the project team.  We are delighted that an overwhelming majority of people support the proposals and we are taking on board all comments as we go through the design process.”

David Ingram, a former pupil at the school, added: “Something has to happen to this building.  I personally love the proposals for the gallery reception in the old assembly hall where we had prayers every morning and I am pleased that the original rooms will be restored as public spaces such as library lounges and bars.”

Some £55m of private investment has been committed to the build although it will remain in public ownership on a 125 year lease with Edinburgh City Council.

Further developed proposals will be presented during a second exhibition at the old Royal High School on the 5th and 6th March.
Fresh prominence is to be given to the primary facade by decluttering the environment
Fresh prominence is to be given to the primary facade by decluttering the environment
New wings of accommodation will form a gateway feature
New wings of accommodation will form a gateway feature

11 Comments

public
#1 Posted by public on 20 Feb 2015 at 11:32 AM
Modernist Concrete Brigade 1 - Big Chantelle 0
public2
#2 Posted by public2 on 20 Feb 2015 at 11:57 AM
I went to open doors day and the feedback form didn't exactly provide an open for completely against, it was more along the lines of, "we are doing something what shall it be, we want a hotel". Out of the 3 proposed designs only 1 was 'worthy' and the other 2 were clearly an after thought, you can see the 'worthy' proposal above.
Methilated Spirits
#3 Posted by Methilated Spirits on 22 Feb 2015 at 21:55 PM
These proposals look horrendous - the concrete boxes look like the worst possible solution imaginable, completely 'unworthy' accompaniments to one of Edinburgh's most iconic classical buildings. Surely a better solution to the future use of the old Royal High School can be found! The results of the 'public consultation' exercise are dubious; if they're not, and, heaven forbid, they get planning permission, we may as well give up on this architecture and planning lark!
Big Chantelle
#4 Posted by Big Chantelle on 23 Feb 2015 at 07:18 AM
@public post #1

It speaks volumes that you'd say such a thing. The built environment isn't about what I want -- when great architecture is demolished in careless acts of vandalism, and this is such a case, EVERYBODY loses out.

Concrete modernist brigade:1 Built environment:0
Hingwy
#5 Posted by Hingwy on 23 Feb 2015 at 10:11 AM
I feel myself siding with Mad Chantelle on this one.

Minecraft: 1 - Built Environment: 0
Art Vandelay
#6 Posted by Art Vandelay on 23 Feb 2015 at 10:23 AM
Erm - #3...I don't think those are actual proposals. Massing studies, no?
public2
#7 Posted by public2 on 23 Feb 2015 at 15:14 PM
#6 there are three proposals. The one above is the 'best' of the three...
the sultan of brooneye
#8 Posted by the sultan of brooneye on 23 Feb 2015 at 16:20 PM
No one actually thinks the above is intended to be the final proposal, do they???? how humiliating to pass judgement on a massing model imagining it to have been a complete and considered design proposal #You'llBeChangingYourUsernameThen

Peace out.
StevieSteve
#9 Posted by StevieSteve on 24 Feb 2015 at 17:15 PM
Just what Edinburgh needs, another hotel. Such a shame. One of the best historical buildings now for the rich to enjoy. I don't mind the massing or redevelopment but a hotel? Travesty... It should be a museum. Duh!
Vic Ferrari
#10 Posted by Vic Ferrari on 24 Feb 2015 at 18:30 PM
It's easy to confuse the massing model with a final design when so many contemporary designs and built structures bear such a close resemblance to the images in the visualisations. Such is modernism.
CADMonkey
#11 Posted by CADMonkey on 26 Feb 2015 at 13:50 PM
I think this massing looks fine except for the two grey flanking wings.
For some reason I always thought this was a listed building.

Had to laugh at "Gareth Hoskins Architects are drawing up plans for the build which aims to open up Calton Hill and reveal an original Thomas Hamilton designed retaining wall and tower which has remained obscured since 1884."
Woopeedoo.
Lets not lose sight of the big picture here chaps.

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