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Scottish Ballet shortlists five

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September 19 2005

The following Scottish architects have been shortlisted to design the extension of the Tramway in Glasgow in order to house Scottish Ballet: Malcolm Fraser, Nicol Russell Studios, and Reiach and Hall. The three practices have extensive experience of designing arts facilities. However, Malcolm Fraser has specific experience of dance, having designed the Scottish Design Award-winning Dance Base. Nicoll Russell too has recently completed an extension to the Dundee Rep Theatre for the exclusive use of a national dance group, the Scottish Dance Theatre.

In addition, the English practice Grimshaws and the Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen from Copenhagen have also been included. The Danish practice made its name with the acclaimed extension to the Royal Danish Library, providing it with a new façade onto the Copenhagen waterfront. Grimshaws are the architects of the hugely popular Eden Project and the Bath Spa. Grimshaw was for a time engaged in a protracted legal dispute over major snagging on the Spa.
According to the brief, Scottish Ballet’s site will be bounded by an existing Episcopal Church to the north, a railway cutting to the south-west and the Hidden Garden and Tramway to the west. The area schedule provides for what is essentially a purpose-built extension for Scottish Ballet. 4374sq m of the project is proposed as new build, with only 756sq m of the existing Tramway to be converted into changing facilities and offices.

Cornelius McClymont has not been shortlisted for the Scottish Ballet project at the Tramway. The architects behind the conversion of the Luma Building were initially charged with developing the brief of the project with £75,000 of Scottish Arts Council money. However, when the interview and selection process designated by OJEC kicked in, they didn’t make the shortlist. “We felt that we had built up a full picture of our clients’ needs during the two and a half years we spent working on the proposal. However, we didn’t make the shortlist and we are pretty sore about it. Now is not the time for us to comment on what we think about OJEC,” said Duncan Scott, senior architect with Cornelius McClymont.

It is anticipated that the submission for Stage 2 funding from the Scottish Arts Council will take place towards the end of 2005 with an approval being received mid-2006. To date there have been a series of informal discussions with the relevant planning department. However, there have been no submissions to GCC Planning Department or Historic Scotland. The completion date for the project is mid-July 2008.

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