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Potterrow / Bristo Square | Southside | U/C

Recladding proposal for Appleton Tower. An improvement certainly and I know some folk love it, but I still think this building is an eyesore.

13/04874/FUL | Recladding of the main tower building, new enclosure extension to east entrance and associated external hard landscaping. | Appleton Tower 11 Crichton Street Edinburgh EH8 9LE



 

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I remember hearing somebody from the University saying that Appleton Tower simply gives them too much flexible space to even consider demolishing it. Looks like there's a lot to like in this proposal: a new glazed rooftop area; partial demolition of the wall facing onto Chapel St, and creation of a new entrance; and of course recladding the tower in higher quality materials. I might have preferred a more radical reworking of the base, which is still mostly blank at pedestrian level, but I was suspect it was beyond the scope or budget.
 

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Edinburgh Uni’s £33m McEwan Hall plan unveiled

Edinburgh Evening News - 30th November, 2013



Detailed designs for a £33 million renovation of Edinburgh University’s McEwan Hall have been submitted as part of a drive to transform the historic graduation venue.

The ambitious plans show how a series of “flexible, multi-purpose spaces” will be created through extension of the hall’s basement, with a glass entrance set to be erected in Bristo Square.

Also included in the designs are intricate carvings celebrating Scotland’s contribution to world knowledge, revamped benches and public steps, and proposals to restore the plaza’s distinctive lanterns and remove several trees.

University chiefs said the project, which should be complete by December 2016, was “on schedule” and stressed they were working with experts at Historic Scotland to ensure it is sensitively carried out.

Jane Johnston, the university’s estate development manager, said: “Work is progressing well on site with the stonework.

“The second phase, to restore and repair the stonework areas fronting on to Bristo Square, is set to begin in November and be completed by the end of October 2014.”

University leaders said plans to revamp the hall, which dates from 1897, were developed because of a catalogue of maintenance and repair issues, including damaged exterior stonework, damp penetration and cracked ceilings.

They also said the building – traditionally used as a venue for graduation, examinations and concerts – was underused and could be of wider benefit to the public.

It is expected that graduation ceremonies in 2015 and 2016 will be decanted to the Usher Hall while the revamp is carried out.

Ms Johnston said: “The main hall will be carefully restored and the basement works will include improved toilet and support facilities.

“All of these enhancements, and in particular the additional space created, will lead to year-round use of the McEwan Hall by the university community and the public for a range of events.”

Leaders at city heritage group the Cockburn Association, who previously expressed concern over the visual impact of the new glass entrance, said the jury was still out on the plans and that discussions with university architects would take place before a formal response is put together.

Director Marion Williams said: “We fully appreciate what they are trying to achieve and we all recognise both the importance of the building and its setting. Glass has become a foil that many architects use – as happened at the Usher Hall – and there’s this idea or notion that you can use it and it will be invisible. But that’s never the case – it will be lit up, it will be obvious.

“If you’re going to do that, it has to be done very well.”
 

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Approved McEwan Hall refurb/Bristo Square landscaping plan.

13/02290/LBC | The refurbishment of McEwan Hall with a basement extension, a new entrance pavilion, new staircase and lift installed in the north tower and the re landscaping of Bristo Square. | McEwan Hall 15 Bristo Square Edinburgh EH8 9AL









 

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George Square/Bristo Square Master plan

I remember reading an article in the Evening News years ago about the UoE planning to realign and remodel the "dual carriageway" amongst other grand plans before the financial markets crashed in 2008.

I can't find the article but did find this:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloa...burgh_-_george_squarebristo_square_masterplan


I hope that with projects across the city starting back up again that the University and council will look at this again.

On another note, are there any plans for the infamous Appleton Tower to have the exterior re-clad in the near future?
 

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George Square/Bristo Square Master plan

I remember reading an article in the Evening News years ago about the UoE planning to realign and remodel the "dual carriageway" amongst other grand plans before the financial markets crashed in 2008.

I can't find the article but did find this:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloa...burgh_-_george_squarebristo_square_masterplan


I hope that with projects across the city starting back up again that the University and council will look at this again.

On another note, are there any plans for the infamous Appleton Tower to have the exterior re-clad in the near future?
In the 2010 D&A report for the U/C Potterrow student residence development, they stated that the wider masterplan by Ironside Farrar (below) was anticipated to be complete by 2015-2020, but I've not heard anything concrete about timescales recently. As Cicero said, there is a possibility of the Filmhouse relocating to the site so if that happens then it might chivvy things along. Again as Cicero mentioned, the Appleton recladding has been approved. The McEwan Hall redevelopment is also underway, which will see Bristo Square landscaped in accordance with the masterplan. Hopefully we'll see the Informatics 2B building before too long.

 

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Southside residents fear more student flats on way

Edinburgh Evening News - 14th July, 2014



More student accommodation is set to be built in Southside – sparking fresh fears the area is being turned into “a ghetto”.

Neighbours plan to hold crisis talks after a council-owned building in Potterrow was marketed as “suitable for student accommodation”.

Planning chiefs have also given the green light for 11 student flats in Lothian Street.

That has come as a double blow for campaigners already reeling at blueprints on the table for several other student accommodation blocks in the area, which would increase the local population by more than 1000.

Earlier this month the News reported that residents believe the ongoing influx is “eroding the sense of community” and changing the shape of the area beyond recognition.

Lisa Sibbald, of the Southside Association, said: “I’m not surprised. It seems to have been happening more and more. Everything that comes up becomes student 
accommodation. It is all very worrying. We have nothing against students, but it is taking away the possibility of any other sort of housing.

“Dedicated housing for students keeps them away from everyone else. Quite a few people have said it is becoming a ‘student ghetto’ because they are segregated.”

A council spokeswoman said that the Potterrow site would be “suitable for a variety of uses”, including student accommodation, and stressed that all applications would need to go through the “approvals processes”.

But Ms Sibbald said it was “more than likely” that it would become student accommodation.

She added: “In the 1970s the university wanted to take over the entire Southside and there was a huge uproar. Now it appears they are doing it again.”

Residents have also claimed the character of surrounding pubs, cafes and shops has been changed because they now tend to cater specifically for students.

They will hold a public meeting this weekend to discuss how to tackle their concerns.

Amongst the ongoing plans to increase student 
accommodation in Southside, developer Unite is poised to submit a bid to build a 579-bed complex in St Leonard’s Street by demolishing the current Homebase DIY store.

Edinburgh University has outlined plans to create more housing in Meadow Lane and Buccleuch Place, yards from its George Square campus.

Paramount Printers and Melford Developments have also tabled proposals to build around 187 student flats in a Causewayside printing office

Kirsty Haigh, of the National Union of Students Scotland, insisted students were an asset to the community.

She said: “They have a significant positive impact on local job creation, and provide a huge economic boost where they live, work and study.

“They give back to their community through their volunteer work with local charities, and are at the forefront of advocating for affordable housing and cheaper public transport for all.”
 

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Potterrow student housing and rehearsal space nears completion

Urban Realm - 22nd August, 2014



Ogilvie are completing work on a £6m student housing development at Potterrow, Edinburgh, built on behalf of the University of Edinburgh.

Designed by LDN Architects the scheme consists of a range of 40 predominantly three and four bedroom flats together with a rehearsal space on land to the rear for the nearby Festival Theatre and in response to a planned road realignment to create a new public square by 2020.

In their design statement LDN said: “The mass of the student housing is broken down by dividing it into two blocks so it better reflects the tenemental scale of the traditionally built flats in Edinburgh. The rehearsal space within the Festival Theatre Extension is punctuated by a large glass wall that projects forward of the building line.

“This interstitial space allows for attenuation of fresh air to naturally ventilate the rehearsal space and office below while screening traffic noise. It also allows provides the theatre with a presence to Potterrow and distinguishes it as a building of Public importance with in the surrounding residential blocks. Although the forms of the two buildings differ the use of a restricted palette of materials allow them to read as a holistic city block.”

The scheme is scheduled for occupation in September.


 

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Discussion Starter #18
What's the "planned road realignment to create a new public square by 2020" all about? Is there any renders or plans to share about this?

Slightly off topic, but I wanted to scale this building while it was in construction. Security was ridiculous, cameras everywhere. Annoying!
 

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What's the "planned road realignment to create a new public square by 2020" all about? Is there any renders or plans to share about this?

Slightly off topic, but I wanted to scale this building while it was in construction. Security was ridiculous, cameras everywhere. Annoying!
I'm sure others will know more about this than I do, but here's an image taken from the masterplan docs.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cheers, thanks for sharing. That'll have quite a different feel when completed, and no doubt be a traffic nightmare whilst it's being disrupted.
 
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