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Gyle Shopping Centre turns inside out in response to changing retail landscape

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June 13 2019

Gyle Shopping Centre turns inside out in response to changing retail landscape

Significant change is on the cards for The Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh with its owners bringing forward plans for the most significant changes to the retail destination since its construction in 1993.

Responding to a radically different retail environment as well as the recent addition of a tram stop the proposals seek to turn the mall inside out, ditching the ‘insular’ nature of the current enclosed environment of blank gables and service yards in favour of a pedestrian-focused frontage of new retail and leisure units.

This would be anchored by new leisure uses such as a cinema together with a revamped public realm to provide new urban spaces, improved pedestrian permeability, event space and a redesigned entrance.

Threesixty Architecture wrote: “The architecture is arranged in a symmetrical composition, consistent with the formality of the layout of the existing centre. A proposed ‘colonnade’ is extended across this new outward facing façade, creating enclosure to the new central civic space and is of sufficient scale to rise above the landscaping – a visible new presence for the centre.

“A limited palette of materials that complements the existing building is proposed. These provide a more contemporary face for the Gyle with the introduction of elements of steel mesh and limited areas of decorative gold mesh and ‘green walls’ within the colonnade. This selected material palette also draws on those used in the recently completed interior mall refresh in order to provide consistency and a relationship between the interior and exterior spaces being created.”

A perforated gold feature ‘totem’ will serve as an entrance marker.

A new colonade will improve the kerb appeal of the dated destination
A new colonade will improve the kerb appeal of the dated destination
A perforated metal skin will allow the centre to glow by night
A perforated metal skin will allow the centre to glow by night

Cureent bus and taxi ranks will be relocated to facilitate the changes
Cureent bus and taxi ranks will be relocated to facilitate the changes
The new look centre will be modernised both inside and out
The new look centre will be modernised both inside and out

4 Comments

Sven
#1 Posted by Sven on 13 Jun 2019 at 13:00 PM
The Gyle certainly needs improvement as it has been slowly dying over the past decade, and noticeable over the past 2. The central entrance is a dead spot because it is a bus depot in but name. The food court is also lacking any sense of anything and feels unwlecoming but that seems to have been killed off in the images as most seating is now gone. Certainly adding leisure with retail is a winning formula but it still lacks a game changer and the design looks like a lot of other retail parks such as Pentland Retail Park in Straiton.
Astis_Boy
#2 Posted by Astis_Boy on 13 Jun 2019 at 14:19 PM
Interesting to see what comes out of this - we can but D:Ream I guess, as things can only get better for the Gyle.
Damp Proof Membrane
#3 Posted by Damp Proof Membrane on 13 Jun 2019 at 16:22 PM
If you look at the actual design of the Gyle, from the layout, interior finishes and critically the landscaping the mall is generous, well-designed and ageing well. Banning smoking in it from the outset probably helped the finishes. Sure, the centre needs updated and yeah maybe it's best to move the bus drop-off (to where? it was hard to find in the D&A). However, the proposals to plop two unarticulated hulking phat masses right in front of it is pretty dire. Their siting is fine, really, but the forms and particularly the materials are very, very poor. Real copy / paste schtick. As noted above, the Gyle is actually pretty good as malls go. It deserves better than this re design.
Daniel
#4 Posted by Daniel on 17 Jun 2019 at 15:16 PM
Wish they had a bit more ambition about this - look at repurposing it as a mixed-use town centre rather than a slightly updated out of town centre. It's near loads of workplaces, there's two tram stops right there...

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