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Old November 16th, 2016, 03:29 PM   #1
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The IMPACT Centre | New Town | £45m | Planning

I remember belle's rumour about this from a couple of years back. Great to see it come to pass.

Edinburgh to get £45 million New Town concert venue

Edinburgh Evening News - 16th November 2016

Quote:
Edinburgh is set to finally get a new concert hall under plans to build a £45 million complex in the heart of its New Town.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is spearheading a bid to create a permanent new home just off St Andrew Square.

The 1000-capacity venue, earmarked for a gap site behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s historic head office, would be available for the Edinburgh International Festival each summer.

The venue will be also be designed to make it suitable for rock, pop, electronica, jazz, folk and chamber concerts, as well as dance events.

Other features will include rehearsal and recording rooms, conference and event spaces, and cafe, bar and restaurant facilities.

The SCO has joined forces with a new charitable trust, IMPACT Scotland, to draw up the plans for the “world-class arts centre.”

The entire project is being bankrolled by the Dunard Fund, a trust set up by American philanthropist Carol Grigor, which is one of the key financial backers of both the SCO and the EIF.

The SCO said the new building is being located, conceived and designed so as to complement, rather than compete with, the city-owned and operated Usher Hall, to provide Edinburgh with additional possibilities for cultural expansion.”

However the plans for the new venue will inevitable raise new concerns about the future of the Queen’s Hall, in the south side, which is used extensively by the SCO and the EIF.

SCO chairman Colin Buchan said: “With this wonderful support from the SCO’s long-term supporter, Dunard Fund, this project provides a fantastic opportunity for the SCO to provide an open, welcoming and unforgettable audience experience in a much-needed mid-sized performance venue with stunning acoustics in the heart of Edinburgh.

“Not only will it provide our internationally renowned orchestra with a splendid new home, it will also enable the SCO to reach out in ways that have not been possible in the past.”

The board of the Queen's Hall, which has been hosting concerts since 1979, welcomed the SCO's announcement and said it would help to improve the city cultural infrastructure - but insisted they would be pressing ahead with their own refurbishment plans.

Chair Nigel Griffiths said: "The Queen's Hall is proud to have been the home of the SCO for the past 37 years.

"We have just signed an agreement to host the orchestra for performances and rehearsals for another 5 years which will ensure that there is no disruption in the superb concerts we will continue to provide together for dedicated classical music fans, including the 12 concerts already penned in the diary next year.

"Now that the news of a proposed new concert hall has been made public it helps us to plan for the future of our own building.

"The Queen's Hall is about to embark on a major fundraising exercise to refurbish and expand our facilities to celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2019, and to commemorate this historic building's 200th anniversary in 2023."

The new SCO project is earmarked for RBS-owned land surrounded by the new St James and Registers development in the east end of the city centre.

The Dunard Fund has purchased an empty bank office building between the Harvey Nichols department store and the RBS headquarters, which it has owned since 1825.

RBS Scotland chairman Malcolm Buchanan said: “We’ve been a part of the fabric of Scottish life for nearly 300 years and this latest venture is a fantastic opportunity for us 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.”

Plans for the new venue have been revealed following mounting concern about the city’s cultural infrastructure. The last major new venue built in the city centre was the Traverse Theatre in the early 1990s.

Edinburgh is believed to miss out out on major touring acts because it does not have the kind of suitable medium-sized venues that are available in Glasgow.

EIF director Fergus Linehan said: “It is very important to the future development of the festival that all our venues are of the best international quality.

“We would adopt the new complex not just for our much loved morning concerts but as one of our principal, all-day performance venues.

“It would also deliver creative learning and participatory opportunities, releasing individual potential and enabling local residents, as well as visitors, to share in the city’s remarkable artistic achievements.”

The Dunard Fund is already committed to bankrolling plans to transform the former Royal High School on Calton Hill into a new home for St Mary’s Music School.

A spokeswoman for the Dunard Fund said: “Edinburgh has long awaited an iconic, acoustically superb mid-sized performance hall and we are proud to participate in this exciting project. The new venue would not only benefit the city’s Festivals and the SCO, but would also be a magnet for international touring groups representing all aspects of the performing arts.”

Ken Walton, music critic at The Scotsman, said: "This is very interesting and exciting - it seems like exactly the right sort of venue in the right part of town.

"Not only will it provide the SCO with the facility it deserves, but also the EIF. I can see it being attractive to visiting orchestras and ensembles.

"I could also imagine the BBC SSO finding it potentially of interest as an Edinburgh venue more suited to its size and needs than the Usher Hall."


Read more at: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.co...enue-1-4291170
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Old November 16th, 2016, 07:32 PM   #2
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Some further details from the SCO press release (pdf).

On 35 St Andrew Square:

Quote:
Dunard Fund will purchase the adjacent office building at 35 St Andrew Square, where the staff of IMPACT Scotland, the SCO and other arts bodies will be housed.
Contrary to the EEN article, the Dunard Fund aren't bankrolling the entire project so it's not yet fully funded:

Quote:
Dunard Fund, a long-term supporter of the Arts in Scotland has committed a substantial gift. Further individual gifts have already been pledged and further fundraising will be undertaken as part of the project.

[...]

Initial discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government on possible public sector partnerships have been positive and are ongoing
And a timeframe for the design team appointment:

Quote:
IMPACT Scotland will shortly start the process of inviting expressions of interest from architect-led design teams, as well as an acoustic expert, with the intention of making appointments early next year.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 11:28 PM   #3
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The info about 35 St Andrew Square being office space for organisations makes more sense. I was wondering about its relevance to any concert hall to the rear of the bank.

I'd assumed the concert hall idea was to incorporate the bank at No. 36. As a sort of ultra grand front of house. But if it's to remain a bank at least for now - maybe the venue would have a main entrance on the back lanes. No bad thing if it helps open them up even more.
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Old November 17th, 2016, 09:24 AM   #4
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How genuine is the invitation for expressions of interests from architect lead teams? RMA surely has designs ready to roll.
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Old November 30th, 2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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A new hall for Edinburgh must be fit for more than one orchestra

The Herald - 30th November 2016

Quote:
A fortnight ago the Scottish Chamber Orchestra announced a plan that’s been hatching backstage for years. It will get its new concert hall in Edinburgh. The statement comes now, the orchestra’s Chief Executive Gavin Reid told me, because next step is to launch an architecture competition and he’d be hard put to do that in secret.

Major details are yet to be finalised, but here’s what we do know. The venue will be located behind the Royal Bank of Scotland at 36 St Andrew Square. (A 1960s RBS office block will be flattened to make way.) The land will be leased long-term from the RBS to a charitable trust set up by the new hall’s major donor Carol Grigor and by Ewan Brown, former deputy chairman of the Edinburgh International Festival. This trust is called IMPACT Scotland and it will own and run the hall; the SCO will effectively be a tenant.

The space will include a 1,000-seat main auditorium plus a rehearsal studio that might or might not double as a public venue. Initial guestimates put the capital cost at £45 million, a "sizeable" chunk of which comes from Grigor’s philanthropic Dunard Fund and the rest of which will be raised through private donations and public funding from Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government. The orchestra’s notion is that the hall will be self-sustaining in the long term through various lucrative activities including conferences. I’ve heard mention of completion dates in 2020 or 2021.

All sorts of questions arise from the above, the most fundamental being whether the SCO actually needs a venue. The argument is that that the Usher Hall swamps a chamber orchestra and the Queen’s Hall is outdated: bum-numbing pews, cramped foyers, dingy backstage. “Having a hall with fantastic acoustics will allow us to increase our range of repertoire and will bring management and musicians under one roof,” Reid said. “It will allow us to reach new audiences and make new partnerships." He stressed the new central location, with its tram links and “proximity to Harvey Nichols”, though didn’t elaborate on why an orchestra should be associated with luxury shopping. Neither did he mention the status factor: that in certain circles, usually moneyed circles, there is still cultural clout attached to an arts organisation with its own real estate.

There is a bigger debate to be had around the notion of "need", about whether that sense of classical music entitlement is justifiable and whether an orchestra enshrined in an expensive box is a relevant, sustainable and exciting model in the 21st century. Certainly a new arts venue in the heart of commercial Edinburgh could be a marvellous statement about what culture brings to the city – socially and economically, locally and internationally – but only if the venue becomes a genuinely vibrant and useful place. To be that, it must open up to musicians and audiences beyond one orchestra alone.

The SCO has stated that it wants other musical groups to use the space. Actually, this isn’t so much a voluntary choice as an imperative: one condition of National Company funding in Scotland is that the orchestra uses its resources to foster the cultural community around it. Yet the seven-strong board of IMPACT as yet includes only representatives from the orchestra and other classical-music people – nobody from the popular, jazz or folk communities that the SCO says it wants to get through the door.

So what do those other communities make of the proposals? What kind of venue do they want and need in Edinburgh? Alfonso Leal del Ojo, Chief Executive of the period-instrument Dunedin Consort, welcomed the prospect of a new performance space but worried about an ‘it’s-our-turf’ attitude. “You see concert wars going on,” he said, “with institutions getting territorial over their audience, their repertoire, and, if they’re lucky enough to have one, their venue.”

John Harris, artistic co-director of contemporary music ensemble Red Note, said he struggles to programme concerts in Edinburgh because the city lacks a flexible and well-appointed 300-seater. Same goes for other kinds of music. The Herald’s jazz and folk critic Rob Adams said that both a 1000-seat and a 300-seat hall could be useful, so long as they had excellent in-house PAs and could adapt to feel intimate for smaller acts and audiences. “Even better would be a promotion budget for the venue to receive tours and market gigs,” he added.

Jane-Ann Purdy, folk music manager (Shooglenifty, String Sisters) and co-organiser of Soundhouse concerts, agreed that the inclusion of a second hall is crucial to improving folk and jazz provision in Edinburgh. She dreams of recording, rehearsing and hot-desking facilities, and of the venue becoming “a real hub for music and musicians”. For that to happen, she says, “It needs to feel vibrant. The bar should have sessions and affordable drink prices. It can’t be too sleek and corporate. It has to have soul.”

Look at the SCO’s most visible member, she added, meaning the inexhaustibly eclectic cellist Su-a Lee. “If you could design a building equivalent of Su-a, that would be ideal.”

Inclusivity does not have to mean compromise. One excellent model is the Sage in Gateshead, whose main auditorium is routinely cited as one of the finest concert venues anywhere –conductor Lorin Maazel declared it one of the top-five halls in the world. What’s interesting is that it was built for a traditional music organisation, Folkworks, as well as for the Northern Sinfonia: its success is thanks not only to orchestral acoustics and that gleaming steel-and-glass Norman Foster facade, but also to the fact that, from the off, the Sage managed to make a proper range of musicians and audiences feel like they belonged.

Ros Rigby is a founder of Folkworks and was the first programme director at the Sage. “We came in as musical partners with the Northern Sinfonia from the start,” she told me. “We had an equal seat at the table at design stage, even before architects were involved, which meant we were there talking about how to make the acoustics work for amplification, where to put a sound desk and so on.”

Did the Sinfonia worry about ceding control? “I think they had their eye on the prize. They needed a business plan to make the building sustainable and they knew classical music wouldn’t be enough. They also recognised that most people don’t listen to just one kind of music, and they wanted the place to feel alive and their audience to be as broad as possible.”

The impact of that partnership has been tremendous. The Sinfonia got its glamorous new home and folk music provision in the North East of England was transformed, resulting in more touring bands, more local acts, more education, and even the launch of a folk music degree at Newcastle University which, says Rigby, “came directly out of the association with a prestigious building.”

Could that happen in Edinburgh? A couple of days after our initial conversation, Reid phoned me to say that the board of IMPACT would be looking for trustees from outside of the classical community. Would he be open to partnerships, to sharing the building? For example, could the hall be a centre for traditional music – something that Edinburgh or indeed Scotland does not have – as well as a home for the SCO? “Certainly I’d be open to it,” he answered.

Reid also acknowledged that a venue designed for and presided over by an orchestra is a different beast than one intended as pluralistic from the start. Alasdair Campbell, director of Counterflows and co-curator of Tectonics, a festival that has been notably successful at gathering orchestral and alt-pop music audiences under one roof, had voiced concerns to that extent. “Even if I could afford to hire the new place, would my audience come?” he questioned. “Probably not if the hall was seen as SCO territory, if we’d been invited as an afterthought, or to tick some kind of funding box.”

It’s now over to the SCO to make good on its word and for Edinburgh’s various music communities to present the orchestra with viable partnership plans. Like the Sage, the right ethos of pluralism needs to start before any designs are set in stone: specifically, that means before the parameters of an architectural competition are declared. The new hall must be for many, and many must be involved in making it theirs.

A final thought goes to the dear old Queen’s Hall: can it survive as a venue after its most regular tenant has decamped? In a nutshell, yes, says QH development manager David Heavenor. “We’re not going to roll over and give up the ghost. It’s too loved. The acoustics are too good, the history is too rich.”

The SCO moving out might just make way for more lucrative acts with audiences who are thirstier at the bar. EIF relocating its morning recital series would be “a bit of a blow,” but Heavenor says that “also frees us to become a full Fringe venue. More comedy acts and so on.” In the long term there are plans to refurbish the bar, snazz up the foyers, and possibly turn the backstage into a second venue. But that’s a story for another day.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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Design competition launched for the concert hall. Full details here.

Interesting that it will be directly connected to Dundas House.

Quote:
IMPACT Scotland : a new world class concert venue


Purpose of the competition

This is a competition to find a design-led team that can conceive and deliver a stunning design for a new, world-class concert venue in the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. The aspiration is acoustic perfection and an open, inclusive welcome that focuses on people.


The site



From both a cultural and architectural perspective, Edinburgh is a city of global importance, which fully deserves its designation as a World Heritage Site. A superb site has been identified for IMPACT Scotland, just north of Princes Street and Waverley main line station.

A number of striking buildings of exceptional historic importance surround the site and the setting and views of all these buildings will need to be addressed. While the venue will need its own dedicated access, there will be interconnectivity with the beautiful, listed banking hall and dome of Dundas House. In addition, the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area will require very careful consideration. So, a further challenge is to create a memorable addition to the centre of Edinburgh that helps to unlock the permeability of the urban plan, without compromising the historic context.

A Masterplan Report, completed by Allies and Morrison in May 2016, demonstrates the suitability and practicality of the site. This report will be made available to the teams that are shortlisted to Stage 2, subject to confidentiality agreements being entered into by all team members.


Vision for the project

First and foremost, IMPACT Scotland must be a venue that is worthy of calling home to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with an acoustic to rival any other classical venue in the world. It must also be robust enough to adapt to and serve the many and assorted performers at the Edinburgh International Festival and attract visiting performing arts groups, from a very broad range of musical and other genres, both local and international.

Alongside the main hall, a smaller studio will offer multiplicity for public performances, education programmes and rehearsals. At its heart will be an open, public lobby, which will be a destination in its own right, with places to meet, to think, to eat and drink; as well as a place of welcome for visitors to concerts and events. This multiplicity of uses is at the heart of IMPACT Scotland’s Business Plan for the new venue.

IMPACT Scotland must be exceptional, inclusive, accessible, welcoming, sophisticated, special, permeable and open. It must exude perfection and confidence but it must not be exclusive, over elaborate or self-serving and, it must work : smoothly, efficiently, without pain and for the long-term – for visitors, artists and performers, house-staff and for Edinburgh.


Key Issues

• The design of the halls, both the main auditorium and the rehearsal studio, must fully satisfy the specification set by the acoustic consultant, Nagata Acoustics. Above all else, the project must deliver an auditorium with world-class acoustics. Nagata Acoustics’ brief will be made available to the teams that are shortlisted to Stage 2, subject to confidentiality agreements being entered into by all team members.
• The venue must be designed to deliver IMPACT Scotland’s Business Plan. The current Plan will be made available to the teams that are shortlisted to Stage 2, subject to confidentiality agreements being entered into by all team members.
• All of the internal spaces, including foyers and circulation, must provide visitors with a memorable experience.
• Whilst internal spaces will be more significant than external elevations, the new venue must make a positive contribution to the setting and views of the historic buildings that surround it; the new venue offers an opportunity to increase the urban permeability of this part of Edinburgh.
• Interconnectivity with the listed banking hall and dome of Dundas House will need to be designed to a very high standard, in the spirit of constructive conservation.
• The team will be expected to design a building that meets high sustainability standards both in its construction and operation.
• The design team will need to build a constructive dialogue and partnership with all those having an interest in the future of the site, particularly but not exclusively : RBS, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh Council, as well as other potential users and partner organisations, plus the developers of adjoining sites.


Budget

The Masterplan report concluded that at today’s prices the Concert Hall could be built for a project cost of around £40 million, excluding VAT. This equates to a project cost per square metre rate of around £6,000.


Programme

It is hoped to appoint the design team in April 2017 and that construction will commence late in 2018/early 2019.

The new venue is expected to open its doors in Autumn 2020.


Characteristics of the design team

This is a very special project that needs an exceptional team both to design it, and deliver it. The client is keen to consider emerging designers as well as those that are more established and experienced, and for this reason, submissions are invited from teams that recognise the importance of nurturing and delivering exceptional creativity.

Given the complexity of the site and the importance of the location in central Edinburgh, as well as design talent, the team will be required to demonstrate that it is able to inspire and convince diverse stakeholders; that it can work collaboratively with a world-class acoustician; that it has the expertise to work in a World Heritage Site, and; that it can steer a path through hugely complex and possibly conflicting functional and technical requirements, to emerge with a finished building – built to time and budget – that is truly magnificent.

The exterior challenges will be complex and contextual because of the site location, in the heart of historic Edinburgh. In particular, the long views and the entrances will need to be sensitively handled. However, because of the limited exterior elevations, the character of the new venue will be determined primarily through the design and feel of the interior spaces. The skills offered by the team need to reflect this dynamic.

It is anticipated that the appointed design team will be asked to work to an acoustic brief prepared for IMPACT Scotland by Nagata Acoustics. IMPACT Scotland currently intends that Nagata Acoustics will continue to be involved in the project, as a member of the client team, to ensure that the acoustic brief is delivered, as the project progresses.

The team is expected to include expertise in architecture, interior design, lighting design, structural and services engineering and landscape design, as well as acousticians capable of delivering to Nagata Acoustic’s brief. Other specialist consultants may be added if required but project managers and cost consultants should not be included in the team.

IMPACT Scotland will expect to contract with one organisation as design team leader, so, teams that comprise more than one organisation will need to identify a lead consultant : all other members of the team must be tied into the team as sub-contractors to the lead consultant and their scope of work will need to be carefully detailed, to ensure that changes are not made to the roles and responsibilities within the winning team.

Consortium bids will not be accepted.


Jury Panel

The Jury Panel evaluating the expressions of interest is expected to comprise:

• Sir Ewan Brown, Chairman of the Jury Panel
• Carol Grigor, Dunard Fund
• Sir Jonathan Mills, previously Chair of the International Edinburgh Festival
• Gavin Reid, CEO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
• Keith Miller, a member of the IMPACT Scotland Project Board and previously Chief Executive of Miller Construction
• Neil Miller, a member of the IMPACT Scotland Project Board representing RBS
• Richard Buccleuch, The Duke of Buccleuch
• John McAslan, John McAslan and Partners, Architectural Advisor
• Dr Yasu Toyota, Nagata Acoustics, Acoustic Advisor
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Old December 12th, 2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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It's going to be a tight fit.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 08:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by belle View Post
It's going to be a tight fit.
Do you have any insight on the integration of Dundas House? That the site plan demarks the wider RBS site rather than just the redevelopment plot to the rear is intriguing. As are these lines from the design comp materials:

Quote:
While the venue will need its own dedicated access, there will be interconnectivity with the beautiful, listed banking hall and dome of Dundas House.

[...]

Interconnectivity with the listed banking hall and dome of Dundas House will need to be designed to a very high standard, in the spirit of constructive conservation.
I'd like to think it suggests a longer term plan to remove bank use entirely and incorporate the building with the concert hall but that might just be wishful thinking on my part!
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Old December 13th, 2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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Apologies if this has already been discussed, but has there been any mention of a name for this new hall?
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Old December 13th, 2016, 09:58 AM   #10
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Apologies if this has already been discussed, but has there been any mention of a name for this new hall?
I've not seen any talk yet - bit early probably.

I suppose the Maison Derrierre is out of the question? No? Oh well, then I reckon St Andrews Hall or somesuch will be in the mix. It's obvious and government/fundraiser friendly. I don't think it will have the architecture to carry a really ballsy modern name, dominated as it will be by Dundas House.

Seriously, picking up on Kenspeckle's Dundas House thoughts, I do wonder if there is a bit of a longer term plan to incorporate it. Once a stonking great hall exists on its back lot, the continuing historic significance of retaining a banking branch there starts to look extremely pointless.

Interesting to see what the designs do for the symmetry of the view down George St, sandwiched between Dundas House and the new ribbon Hotel.
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Old December 13th, 2016, 10:26 AM   #11
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I wonder if they'll just go for 'The Royal Dundas CH'. That covers a few bases.
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Old December 13th, 2016, 01:56 PM   #12
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The RBS' agent, GVA Grimley, put if forward as a development site in response to the draft second local development plan in 2013/14 and the images that circulated back then (from an architect with close relationship with the most well-heeled member of the jury) included the banking hall. My understanding was that Dundas House was to be the foyer of the concert hall and, despite what the RBS currently says, I'll be very surprised if it continues to be a banking hall long term.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #13
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An interesting intervention from the RIAS on the concert hall competition

London calls the tune: Scots architects snubbed over £45m concert hall design
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Old December 17th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by belle View Post
An interesting intervention from the RIAS on the concert hall competition

London calls the tune: Scots architects snubbed over £45m concert hall design
Yes hard to tell if it's mischief making or genuine fear. I think the requirement to show experience of designing concert halls is an interesting one. Presumably experience or not, you need to bring in acoustic consultants to ensure any design actually works.

I'd have thought experience of tackling problematic space challenges will be more relevant - per your tight fit comment. I'm kind of assuming the main hall will have to occupy the rear/southern wedge as that offers the most space but I hope the building wraps around into the car park adjoining the rear of Multrees Walk. A bit of visibility from the square would be good. Too much tucking away and fitting in might deliver something too recessive. A venue needs to make some sort of statement IMHO.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 02:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dadabouttown View Post
Yes hard to tell if it's mischief making or genuine fear. I think the requirement to show experience of designing concert halls is an interesting one. Presumably experience or not, you need to bring in acoustic consultants to ensure any design actually works.

I'd have thought experience of tackling problematic space challenges will be more relevant - per your tight fit comment. I'm kind of assuming the main hall will have to occupy the rear/southern wedge as that offers the most space but I hope the building wraps around into the car park adjoining the rear of Multrees Walk. A bit of visibility from the square would be good. Too much tucking away and fitting in might deliver something too recessive. A venue needs to make some sort of statement IMHO.
I wonder if, because it is tucked away with no great views of the building, designing the outside to accommodate the glimpses you will get of it down lanes and alley-ways would be good. Edinburgh is good at offering wee glimpses of buildings and views as well as stand alone 'wow' buildings.

I just have a feeling something too elaborate may look out of place in a tight spot. I'm thinking Perth old City Hall - it just looks like it's in the wrong place.

All IMHO, of course!
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Old December 17th, 2016, 03:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by FtoE View Post
I wonder if, because it is tucked away with no great views of the building, designing the outside to accommodate the glimpses you will get of it down lanes and alley-ways would be good. Edinburgh is good at offering wee glimpses of buildings and views as well as stand alone 'wow' buildings.

I just have a feeling something too elaborate may look out of place in a tight spot. I'm thinking Perth old City Hall - it just looks like it's in the wrong place.

All IMHO, of course!
I think we probably agree.

I certainly don't mean a statement in the sense of looming over Dundas House but I kind of feel it needs to offer some visibility from St Andrews Square and wrapping around the North, which existing buildings already do on the south maybe offered a chance to show its face. Of course, if the plan is to incorporate Dundas House in time then that becomes the statement. In truth, to accommodate all the main and secondary facilities mooted, it probably does need to use a lot of the site.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 02:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by belle View Post
An interesting intervention from the RIAS on the concert hall competition

London calls the tune: Scots architects snubbed over £45m concert hall design
The National article you cited had the following quote...

"Former lecturer at Napier University Peter Wilson said: “I’m a strong and vocal advocate of architectural competitions in order that we get top quality results, but only if it’s an even playing field for practices here to compete on.

“There is a requirement for ‘approach to and/or experience of designing concert venues’ and not many companies here can demonstrate this."

I was having a scoot at the design competition website for the new concert hall and didn't see this kind of requirement.

https://www.colander.co.uk/competitions/impact-scotland

Instead the initial stage asks for...

"No more than six sides of A4, explaining why this is the right team for this project, bearing in mind the published assessment criteria (see below).

In addition, teams are invited to submit information about no more than three completed projects (on no more than 2 sides of A4 per project, including images), to demonstrate that the team has the talent and expertise required to design and deliver this project. Please ensure that the services delivered by the relevant team member(s) are clearly stated in each case study."

Seems reasonable to me.

Anyways, I was encouraged by the competition spec with permeability of wider site one of the criteria. And the timescale - hoping to complete it by 2020.

It definitely treads that line of wanting an outstanding building but wanting to respect all the heritage buildings around it.

Hopefully the call for wider entries and creativity means we won't get a National Gallery Sainsbury Wing sort of solution but something that adds real interest while fitting in well.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:44 PM   #18
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Parties agree to co-operate in contest to find design team to take on £40m project

The National - 22nd December 2016

Quote:
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and IMPACT Scotland, the charity which is building the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s new headquarters, have signalled that they are prepared to consult and co-operate on the building of the new £40 million concert hall in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The National reported at the weekend that a London-based consultancy had been appointed to run the design competition for the new hall, which is in the middle of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, and Colander Associates will continue to organise the competition. Having been erroneously informed that the RIAS had not been consulted about the competition, The National reported that assertion in good faith, but the RIAS has now withdrawn that claim.

Architects did tell The National about concerns that the competition might not comply with Scots Law, but both the RIAS and IMPACT Scotland are confident the law – which was altered to incorporate European Union directives in April – will be followed.

The trustees of IMPACT Scotland, who include Dr Carol Colburn Grigor, the American-born philanthropist and ex-concert pianist whose family trust, the Dunard Fund, is contributing hugely to the project, have told Colander Associates to prepare a two-stage contest for which submissions must be made by January 13.

After a top-level meeting between the two organisations, the RIAS and IMPACT Scotland issued this joint statement: “Following The National’s coverage on Saturday, December 17, representatives of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have met with IMPACT Scotland. RIAS confirms that in early May, shortly after the introduction of new procurement legislation for Scotland in April 2016, the organisation did receive an approach from IMPACT Scotland inviting it to confirm RIAS’s interest in being considered as competition manager to lead the selection of a design team for the new Edinburgh concert hall. It was RIAS’s error not to link this inquiry with last month’s launch of the project. May was an exceptionally busy time for RIAS Consultancy providing support to its members on a range of projects and changes to the law and it was not able to take on further commissions.

“We are pleased to confirm that IMPACT Scotland and RIAS are now working together towards achieving a successful competition for this project, which will provide a new home for the SCO, an all-day venue for the Edinburgh International Festival and a facility for performing artists.”
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 07:07 PM   #19
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Aye - a non-storm in a teacup after all.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:40 AM   #20
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So basically sounds like IMPACT called RIAS' bluff. Mischief-making that backfired!
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