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Scottish Chamber Orchestra detail plans for new Edinburgh home

November 17 2016

Scottish Chamber Orchestra detail plans for new Edinburgh home
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has teamed up with charitable trust Impact Scotland to propose a new base at St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, with a new 1,000 seat auditorium as its centerpiece.

Housing education space and conference facilities the venue would offer a range of rehearsal, recital and recording facilities on land behind the A-listed Dundas House, former headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which will continue to operate as a standalone branch.

Malcolm Buchanan, RBS Scotland board chairman, said: “We have been a part of the fabric of Scottish life for nearly 300 years and this latest venture is a fantastic opportunity for the Royal Bank of Scotland to play a major role in supporting the arts and education in Scotland. While we will be retaining our historic branch at 36 St Andrew Square we will be assisting in the build by making available the land around the building and 35 St Andrew Square to help make this project a reality.”

Made possible by a ‘substantial gift’ from the Dunard Fund the arts hub would be complemented by a new restaurant, café and bar. Impact Scotland will oversee construction and management of the complex and will invite expressions of interest from architect-led design teams early in the New Year.

35 St Andrew Square will be repurposed as staff accommodation for Impact Scotland, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and other arts bodies.


#1 Posted by Terra on 18 Nov 2016 at 10:02 AM
Given the organisations involved and the dominant architectural style in the area I very much hope they build something classical, in keeping with it. Fingers crossed!
#2 Posted by FHM on 18 Nov 2016 at 11:08 AM
I sometimes wonder what year we are in? According to Terra it could be 1771.

What on earth do you mean by: "build something classical" - construct a building similar to The Parthenon?
#3 Posted by Egbert on 18 Nov 2016 at 12:12 PM
I think there's a been a substantial missed opportunity here. This could have sat at the centre of the St James' Centre redevelopment and formed a meaningful civic centrepiece to the new quarter, rather than the dreadfully tawdry and vacuous 'ribbon' hotel now going ahead there. It would have given the orchestra's home much better presence and visibility than this tricky backland site, which will inevitably be constrained by its necessary subservience to Dundas House. This sort of thing is the reason we need meaningful civic planning, rather than the timid and developer-led system we have at present which really isn't up to the job of shaping our cities.
#4 Posted by Terra on 20 Nov 2016 at 01:12 AM
Thought my post was pretty clear, FHM. Don't quite understand what your getting at. Care to elaborate? What I meant is that it would be great to see a new build Greek/Roman style development. I don't know about you but from what I've seen the last building to be built in that classical vein, in Edinburgh at least, is a EU building called Adam House on Chambers Street in the 1950's. It's a sober, minimal building but very stylish and tasteful. Point is; is the timeless, gorgeous Greek/Roman classical style suddenly not good enough in some way for modern architects? I do find it sad that there are precious few examples of new builds being done in this style; that's all I was saying, mate. I mean as someone, I presume, who takes an interest in architecture wouldn't you agree that that is odd and maybe a bit sad?

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