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Consultation launched for Royal High School hotel conversion

February 5 2015

Consultation launched for Royal High School hotel conversion
Developers behind plans to convert Edinburgh’s Royal High School into hotel accommodation are to throw open the doors to the landmark building, disused since 1969, for a public consultation detailing their development vision.

Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Group plan to invest £55m in restoring Thomas Hamilton’s Greek revival set piece, whilst adding new build extensions to either side designed by Gareth Hoskins Architects.

David Orr of the Urbanist Group commented, “As we develop our proposals we want to be sure the public have their chance to appreciate how Hamilton’s building and vision has been compromised by later buildings on site. 

 “The new buildings designed by Gareth Hoskins Architects, will open up a more generous view from the west of the only accessible route to Calton Hill as well as the views to the north façade of the building and Hamilton’s original retaining wall and tower which have been hidden or partially obscured by ancillary buildings. As part of our vision for the site we are keen to restore, reveal and frame these important features of Hamilton’s original design.”

The consultation will take place from 12:00 to 19:00 tomorrow and 11:00 to 17:00 on Saturday with an exhibition of further developed proposals going on show between 5-6 March from 12:00 till 19:00.
Initial sketches of the planned work will be on display
Initial sketches of the planned work will be on display


Stevie Steve
#1 Posted by Stevie Steve on 5 Feb 2015 at 13:12 PM
Personally, Im fundamentally against converting this building into a hotel. Its one of the best surviving pieces of greek revival architecture and one of the most historically important buildings in Edinburgh. It should be converted into a public building for everyone to experience not just the super rich in some boutique hotel? Look at Berlin, most of their big classical pieces of architecture are now museums for the public. Wouldn't that be so much better?
#2 Posted by Sven on 5 Feb 2015 at 15:25 PM
Agree with Stevie Steve, public use would be far superior. I wrote to the Culture Minister some years ago asking how feasible it would be to use the High School Building as a museum. The exhibits would come from pieces normally held in storage across Scotland, thus opening up what we already own. The museum would not be thematic or fancy - a real mishmash of pieces. I think it would be a success as having a room full of plant exhibits, coins, paintings and vases next to stuffed animals is exactly what the original collections that became our museums looked like.
Jimbob Tanktop
#3 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 5 Feb 2015 at 18:22 PM
I seem to recall a plan from the 00's for the building to be used as a National Photography Museum, which was quietly kicked into the long grass by the McConnell government/cooncil, presumably on the grounds it was far too interesting an idea for Edinburgh to handle.
#4 Posted by Andrew on 6 Feb 2015 at 08:39 AM
problem is gents that there is no public money available for such things at the moment. The principle elements of the main building will remain open to the public as part of the hotel.
#5 Posted by Sven on 6 Feb 2015 at 10:09 AM
"presumably on the grounds it was far too interesting an idea for Edinburgh to handle."

Reminds me of St.Andrews. An old cinema on North Street, the 'Cinema House' was offered free, together with a backlog of 70 years of film, to the university to create the national film archive. The university said no way and the old cinema was knocked down and turned into a block of flats and the archive sold and lost to the public...
#6 Posted by Euan on 6 Feb 2015 at 11:39 AM
"problem is gents that there is no public money available for such things at the moment" #coughs Dundee V&A?
david hogg
#7 Posted by david hogg on 6 Mar 2015 at 10:02 AM
Those in favour of its retention as a public building of some sort might wish to test the public by starting a subscription for that purpose? There is a precedent just a little bit further up the hill.

David Hogg

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