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Observatory House

Observatory House

Collective - the centre for contemporary art on Calton Hill have revived Observatory House set on their iconic site overlooking Edinburgh, as a unique destination for visitors.

The 18th century historic building designed by James Craig and formerly used by leading astronomers of the age is now available to book as a short term holiday destination. Observatory Observatory House forms a prominent corner of the City Observatory site redeveloped by Collective in 2018, is a residential house dating back to the 18th century. To support its charitable mission to bring people together around new art, Collective have upgraded the house and transformed it into a self catering space creating a new, unique hilltop retreat at the heart of the Scottish capital. Booking for the main house opens today with a new apartment space in the basement becoming available to visitors in early 2022.

Collective appointed Collective Architecture to lead the restoration of Observatory House. The award-winning Scottish architects previously led the redevelopment of the rest of Collective’s site, which was shortlisted for the RIAS Best Building in Scotland Award in 2019. The architects have blended a mix of natural finishes, Harris Tweed accessories, Lusso stone, sandstone, wool, leather and rich walnut and brass accents to complement the artist commissions. The restoration of Observatory House also follows Collective Architecture’s design of The Lookout, the unique new hilltop restaurant run by Collective’s restaurant partners the Gardener’s Cottage. The Lookout is just a short accessible walk from the new accommodation, allowing visitors to experience both during a visit. Observatory House, with extraordinary views overlooking the city and a short walk from the centre, yet peaceful and close to nature is also the oldest surviving building on Calton Hill.

The house has multiple aspects from each room giving 360 views taking in the geological crags of Arthur’s Seat, the medieval Old Town and castle, the Georgian New Town, the Port of Leith with the Firth of Forth and beyond, the Kingdom of Fife. As well as being available to hire, Observatory House will host artists visiting Collective as part of its programme of international art commissions from artists who have never shown their work in Scotland previously. The House will also be opened to the public for special events such as Doors Open Day, which are open to everyone to attend. Collective are a charity and the income from Observatory House will go directly back into supporting the arts in Scotland.

PROJECT: Observatory House
LOCATION: Calton Hill, Edinburgh
CLIENT: Collective
ARCHITECT: Collective Architecture
Observatory House
Observatory House
Observatory House

Observatory House
Suppliers:
Photographer:  Anna Henly
Photographer:  Scott Clark

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