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David Chipperfield makes an Impact with Edinburgh concert hall

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March 15 2018

David Chipperfield makes an Impact with Edinburgh concert hall
Initial designs for a purpose-built music venue and performance space in Edinburgh have been unveiled by the International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust, to accompany the latest public consultation on the planned scheme.

The Impact Centre has been designed by David Chipperfield Architects (with Reiach & Hall acting as executive architect) as a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and will include a 1,000-seat timber lined auditorium defined by its acoustic performance, a 200-seat rehearsal space, cafe and community outreach centre.

Connecting the New Town to a redeveloped St James Centre with new public through routes the performance venue has been split into three key components, with a curving standalone concert hall framing the historic Dundas House at its heart.

A central arrivals space underneath this hall will double as a circulation hub, offering an active ground floor to surrounding streets and unify newly created public realm. This will be flanked by two ancillary buildings, lower in scale, to house supporting functions and better relate to the existing urban landscape while maximising light, air and privacy.

Chipperfield commented: “We are very excited to be working on the new music venue in a city renowned around the world for its arts and culture. The setting, within the context of Edinburgh’s historic New Town, is also both stimulating and challenging. The new music venue will not only provide a modern performance space for Edinburgh but also create a new public place in this somewhat hidden corner of the city.”

Gross Max are overseeing the landscape strategy which will include Caithness paving and scattered deciduous trees.
A network of public spaces will thread together St Andrew Square and St James Square
A network of public spaces will thread together St Andrew Square and St James Square
Retractable seating in the studio will maximise flexibility
Retractable seating in the studio will maximise flexibility

The precise dimensions of the performance space were calculated with Nagata Acoustics
The precise dimensions of the performance space were calculated with Nagata Acoustics
Vertical surfaces are crossed by horizontal 'strata' to optimise sound qualities from the stage
Vertical surfaces are crossed by horizontal 'strata' to optimise sound qualities from the stage

4 Comments

StyleCouncil
#1 Posted by StyleCouncil on 15 Mar 2018 at 15:53 PM
Looks very good indeed, from this small glimpse that is. Looking forward to seeing more.
Aren't HES and WH pooing themselves silly about the height?
Graeme McCormick
#2 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 15 Mar 2018 at 16:45 PM
I prefer Richard Murphy’s inclusion of Dundas House as the stunning entrance and foyer
lanarklad
#3 Posted by lanarklad on 15 Mar 2018 at 23:06 PM
It still has a link built through to Dundas House like Murphy. But whilst it remains a functioning bank available only for special events, the design has to stand alone in the meantime.
Bonvivant
#4 Posted by Bonvivant on 16 Mar 2018 at 11:10 AM
I take it that the dead left-over spaces around an incongruously shaped building and acting as a wind tunnel, magically become a 'network of public spaces' by virtue of adding a handful of plastic chairs and 'scattered deciduous trees' to the illustration.

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