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From the National Galleries of Scotland:

The internationally renowned Scottish National Gallery on the Mound in Edinburgh is home to the nation’s outstanding collection of historic Scottish Art. This redevelopment will transform the building to provide world-class facilities for the innovative display of the Scottish collection. The space devoted to the Scottish school will be tripled to show not only works by the great historical figures, but also the work of some twentieth-century artists, including the Scottish Colourists. The main objectives of the project are to:

• Triple the physical display space for Scottish Art, within an architecturally distinguished gallery.

• Create an innovative and stimulating presentation of historical Scottish art which meets the needs of our target audiences.

• Make the Scottish National Gallery’s historical collection a leading focus for the study of Scotland’s art, supported by the National Galleries of Scotland’s Collections Facility and Digital Engagement Strategy.

The project centres on researching and understanding this unique collection, conserving some of its most impressive works, and most importantly, displaying and presenting this world-class collection. It will transform the physical, intellectual and emotional access to the artworks for the benefit of the people of Scotland and millions of visitors from around the world.

At present, the Scottish Collections are housed in a specially designated lower floor extension to the Scottish National Gallery building that opened in 1978. There is no direct access to this area from the Gardens Level that is the central hub of the building. The Gardens Level and associated improvements enhanced the Scottish National Gallery site in 2004 but did not address the constraints of the Scottish Gallery. The space is no longer suitable for realising our ambitions with regard to this world-class collection of historic Scottish Art.

The Scottish National Gallery Project will promote Scotland’s Art, dramatically improve the display of the Scottish Collection, and triple the size of the galleries devoted to it. For the first time there will be access to the Scottish Collection Gallery directly from the Gardens Level Entrance. As visitors enter this main visitor hub of the building, they will immediately see the glass-fronted entrance to the Scottish Collection Gallery, and be drawn to the view down the length of the new gallery, revealing some of the fantastic art displayed therein. This will dramatically increase the visibility of our historic Scottish Art and signal its great importance alongside the international historic art collections displayed at the Scottish National Gallery.

The project will also significantly improve visitor flow in the Scottish National Gallery and give greater coherence to the building and its collections. The main entrance to the building on the Gardens Level will not only provide direct access to the Scottish Collection Gallery, it will also be completely reconfigured, with a grand staircase leading from this level up to the International galleries above. An improved retail and restaurant space will further improve the visitor experience on this level. The existing staircase from the ground floor to the Scottish Collection Gallery will also be redesigned to become more inviting and accessible for individuals and groups. The project will also establish new Scottish Prints and Drawings spaces in the Scottish Collection Gallery and a major graphics exhibition gallery in the Gardens Level area, making this extensive and highly significant collection accessible to a much wider audience through regularly changing displays.
From Hoskins Architects:

Hoskins Architects were appointed by the National Galleries Scotland in 2014, via a competitive tender process, to be Architects for the new Scottish Collection Gallery on The Mound, Edinburgh. This appointment runs from feasibility to completion. The project is to provide a world class gallery space below the Playfair designed, National Gallery building, to display the large collection of Scottish Works in the Scottish National Collection. This £15.3m renovation project has now received £4.94m Stage 1 Heritage Lottery Funding and is now proceeding towards planning and will complete in 2018.

The project involves extensive reworking of the 1978 PSA designed Scottish Collection gallery, as well as linking to the 2004, John Miller and Partners, Weston link and creating new circulation routes to the Grade A listed gallery above. The designs include forming a new façade onto Princes Street Gardens and propose extensive landscaping to the gardens to enhance accessibility down to the gardens entrance.

Client: National Galleries Scotland
Status: Completion 2018
Area: 3,300 m²
 

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Call for views on National Galleries extension

Scottish Construction Now - 1st October, 2015

Views are being sought on a new Bill which could see an extension built to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

Introduced to the Scottish Parliament on June 25, the National Galleries of Scotland Bill aims to dispose a piece of land owned by the City of Edinburgh Council from Princes Street Gardens to the Board of Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland and to change the status of that land to allow for the construction of an extension to the Scottish National Gallery.

A parliamentary committee will take evidence at Preliminary Stage in October and is likely to report on the Bill’s general principles in November 2015.

Written evidence should be submitted to [email protected] by October 16.
 

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I am all for this but do wonder whether 2 entirely different design approaches to the gardens facades and walls/railings onto the mound is a bit....sub-optimal? What should be an elegant continuous design currently looks a bit bodged into 2 competing approaches.

I may be prejudging based on the visuals - hopefully I am. T

I actually prefer the simpler, cleaner feel of the new extension visuals to the existing gardens extension / entrance. All too faux fussy and fancy - especially the wall onto the mound trying to make a statement for itself with those rounded mouldings or whatever when it should have been deferring to the real stars on the mound.
 

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I am all for this but do wonder whether 2 entirely different design approaches to the gardens facades and walls/railings onto the mound is a bit....sub-optimal? What should be an elegant continuous design currently looks a bit bodged into 2 competing approaches.

I may be prejudging based on the visuals - hopefully I am. T

I actually prefer the simpler, cleaner feel of the new extension visuals to the existing gardens extension / entrance. All too faux fussy and fancy - especially the wall onto the mound trying to make a statement for itself with those rounded mouldings or whatever when it should have been deferring to the real stars on the mound.
huh? what 2 designs? The proposal is a pretty minimal rejigging of the landscape around the lower entrance only
 

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Thinking pink.
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Agree that the galleries need a coherent plinth to sit upon and have always hated Miller's clunking, battered, classicism. The minimilist PSA intervention is really rather slinky and I love the steel staircase wrapped in marble that leads to the Scottish Collection - very 70s James Bond in my mind..

The scheme's not ambitious enough and the continued attempt to make the garden door the main entrance is never going to fully succeed as the gallery entrances are just too powerful a draw. I always thought there was an argument in flipping the RSA plan to have both buildings main entrances face each other.
 

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huh? what 2 designs? The proposal is a pretty minimal rejigging of the landscape around the lower entrance only
Not 2 designs for the proposed extension. A design for the proposed extension that will sit alongside a design for the previous extension.

Net effect = 2 different frontage designs - each covering half of the whole plinth on which the galleries sit.

It just looks a bit amateurish in my opinion.
 

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Not 2 designs for the proposed extension. A design for the proposed extension that will sit alongside a design for the previous extension.

Net effect = 2 different frontage designs - each covering half of the whole plinth on which the galleries sit.

It just looks a bit amateurish in my opinion.
Ahh right, yes they don't focus on the modern extension to the facade in the renders - I assumed it was already there!
 

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National Gallery vows to clear up ‘guddle’ outside

The Scotsman - 11th December, 2015

The National Galleries of Scotland has vowed to clean up a “complete mess” outside its flagship attraction in Edinburgh with a major overhaul which will see it expand out into Princes Street Gardens.

Sir John Leighton, director general, said a long-standing “guddle” which deters many potential visitors will be transformed by a new main entrance to the 19th-century Scottish National Gallery complex and an extension to the precinct on The Mound.

He said changes to the “choked and clogged” area, which it is hoped will get under way in 2017, would help open up access to the gardens – which he described as “one of the best spaces in the whole of Europe” – the following year.

He said views from Waverley Bridge and Princes Street Gardens would also be transformed by the new facade of the gallery and a set of tiered steps into the “prime” entrance leading into new gallery spaces.

The £20 million project is aimed at tripling the amount of displays devoted to Scottish art treasures. They are currently seen by around 19 per cent of the 1.3 million annual visitors to the 19th-century buildings on the site.

A major overhaul of the Scottish National Gallery has long been a priority for Sir John, who was appointed a decade ago, the year after an underground complex linking the two historic gallery buildings was completed.

He said: “The plans are still developing, but they really are a significant improvement, not just for the internal layout of the gallery, but also the relationship of the gallery to its immediate setting in Princes Street Gardens and how people access it.

“Quite frankly, the area where Princes Street meets the Mound precinct, and goes down into the galleries is a complete mess. It is an absolute guddle. There is a whole mix of accumulated interventions from over the last century. It is a complete mess. This development will create a much clearer relationship between Princes Street, the precinct, the gardens and the galleries. One of the aims is to establish the gardens as the prime entrance into the galleries - we want a lot more visitors to go to the Scottish collection in future.

“At the moment it is confusing, it is poorly signed, it is poorly stepped and disabled access is difficult. Views from Waverley Bridge, Princes Street and the gardens will look very different. We think people will be very impressed.”

Michael Clarke, director of the Scottish National Gallery, added: “The underlying principles of the project will be simplicity and clarity. You cannot actually get into the Scottish collection via the gardens entrance at the moment, you have to do it internally. When you come in the gardens entrance in future there will be a lovely grand staircase leading up to the Scottish collection.”


Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/c...ear-up-guddle-outside-1-3972675#ixzz3u08oSC36
Follow us: @TheScotsman on Twitter | TheScotsmanNewspaper on Facebook
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Planning application submitted for the Scottish National Gallery Project by Hoskins Architects and landscape architects, Rankin Fraser - creation of a new 1240 m² gallery, reconfigured entrance & circulation space, relandscaping the Mound precinct & East Princes Street Gardens.

15/05795/FUL | Proposals are to extend and re-model the current Scottish Collection Gallery in the plinth of the Scottish National Gallery. Works will include creating new stair links from the Playfair gallery above and opening up the new gallery space to the Weston link concourse in the plinth. An accessible route is to be formed in Princes Street Gardens down to a re-modelled lower level entrance together with public landscape re-modelling. | National Galleries Of Scotland 1 The Mound Edinburgh EH2 2EL

Architects' statement:

The internationally renowned Scottish National Gallery on the Mound in Edinburgh is home to the nation’s outstanding collection of Historic Scottish Art. This proposed redevelopment will transform the building to provide world-class facilities for the innovative display of the Historic Scottish Art Collection. The space devoted to the Scottish school will be show not only works by the great historical figures, but also the work of some twentieth-century artists, including the Scottish Colourists.

The main objectives of the project are to:

• Triple the physical display space for Scottish Art, within an architecturally distinguished gallery.
• Create an innovative and stimulating presentation of historical Scottish Art which meets the needs of our target audiences.
• Make the Scottish National Gallery’s historical collection a leading focus for the study of Scotland’s art, supported by the National Galleries of Scotland’s Collections Facility and Digital Engagement Strategy.

The proposed architectural interventions to this nationally significant building are limited, primarily by the existing topography of the site, but also by the Gallery’s desire that the original buildings remain the uncontested set piece within the townscape. The key concern has been to work with the existing interventions on the site, referencing the context to re-inforce the unity of the stone plinth and creating a suitable contemporary outward looking expression for Scotland’s Art Gallery to the Gardens and City. There is to be no manifestation of this externally on the original Playfair buildings and works internally are to areas which have already have significant historical intervention and are judged to be of limited historical significance.

For the first time,the realisation of this project will allow access to the Scottish Art Collection directly from the Gardens entrance. As visitors enter this main visitor hub of the building, they will immediately see the glass-fronted entrance to the Scottish Collection Gallery, and be drawn to the view down the length of the new gallery,revealing some of the fantastic art displayed therein. This will dramatically increase the visibility of our Historic Scottish Art Collection and signal its great importance alongside the international historic art collections displayed at the Scottish National Gallery.

The project will also significantly improve visitor flow in the Scottish National Gallery and give greater coherence to the building and its collections. The main entrance to the building on the Gardens Level will not only provide direct access to the Scottish Collection Gallery, it will also be completely reconfigured, with a grand staircase leading from this level up to the International galleries above. An improved retail and restaurant space will further improve the visitor experience on this level. The existing staircase from the ground floor to the Scottish Collection Gallery will also be redesigned to become more inviting and accessible for individuals and groups.

The project centres on displaying and presenting this worldclass collection. It has been demonstrated that the present display space is no longer suitable for realising the ambitions with regard to this world-class collection of historic Scottish Art. This project will transform the physical, intellectual and emotional access to the artworks for the benefit of the people of Scotland and millions of visitors from around the world.
























 

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Quite liking the tweak to the frontage that enlarges the big feature window at the entrance area of the Scottish section. Like a giant picture frame.

If only the same approach has been used along the earlier garden level extension. I think it would have created a very elegant and classy plinth.

Still, all in all a positive development.
 

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Very happy to see a broader walkway between the steps and the Mound precinct, but is there a reason why they have stubbornly retained the fenced off area around the SNG? A great opportunity to increase the volume of public realm squandered.
 

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Yes, also grateful for the wider walkway. I'd like to see a design with the lamps still in place but the fencing either removed or creatively relocated.

Is it untouched to preserve Playfair's design?
 

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Very happy to see a broader walkway between the steps and the Mound precinct, but is there a reason why they have stubbornly retained the fenced off area around the SNG? A great opportunity to increase the volume of public realm squandered.
Totally agree. They must have looked at that over the years but it feels like a very easy and obvious thing to do. It's not as if it is an especially attractive surface either.
 

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Yes, also grateful for the wider walkway. I'd like to see a design with the lamps still in place but the fencing either removed or creatively relocated.

Is it untouched to preserve Playfair's design?
That could well be the reason. If the railings weren't part of the original design then they were erected within a few years of its completion, as the current arrangement seems to appear on maps from the 1860s. I agree it seems like a lost opportunity not to move them closer to the gallery building, like those around the RSA, especially since I think they'll need to remove and replace at least some of the railings and gravelled area during construction.
 

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Or just pop a couple of gates in?
Like the two existing gates? I think the idea was to expand the public realm by increasing the width of the terrace rather than encouraging visitors to trudge around the gallery building through ankle-deep gravel looking for an entrance.
 

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That could well be the reason. If the railings weren't part of the original design then they were erected within a few years of its completion, as the current arrangement seems to appear on maps from the 1860s. I agree it seems like a lost opportunity not to move them closer to the gallery building, like those around the RSA, especially since I think they'll need to remove and replace at least some of the railings and gravelled area during construction.
Potential heritage concerns aside, I wouldn't mind if they left the lamps (for aesthetic alignment with Playfair steps and the gardens, which I find essential) and removed the fencing entirely, they could actually retain the gravel area recreating a similar feel to Tuileries Garden or even the southern edge of Hyde Park. Or that's just my imagination... ?
 

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I think the idea was to expand the public realm by increasing the width of the terrace rather than encouraging visitors to trudge around the gallery building through ankle-deep gravel looking for an entrance.
Yeah, I got that ta. Didn't realise there were gates already*, but if the heritage aspect is too much for them to consider removing the fence then fling them open and you have a usable public space. The gravel on the other side though not brilliant isn't all *that* bad except for those with mobility issues and could presumably be resurfaced anyways.

* though having a quick look on that there google maps you'd want to add a few more - idea being to keep the alignment and character of the existing fence but allow people to easily filter through.
 

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I hate the railings around both galleries. They don't say "keep out" they say "**** off". The Urbsn spaces were much better before they were reinstated.
 

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I hate the railings around both galleries. They don't say "keep out" they say "**** off". The Urbsn spaces were much better before they were reinstated.

When did this happen? I can't remember them not being there* and depressingly I'm now old enough that that means "a long time".

*Though admittedly my memory of such things isn't great.
 
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