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Perhaps they can throw some money at the Fountain too.
Would be great to be a European Capital city with an actual working fountain!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Perhaps they can throw some money at the Fountain too.
Would be great to be a European Capital city with an actual working fountain!
At least according to the early press reports, refurbishing the Ross Fountain will be part of the plans.
 

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It's included in the Trust's aims. But the project director doesn't seem to have much experience in delivering projects of this nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Perhaps they can throw some money at the Fountain too.
Would be great to be a European Capital city with an actual working fountain!
It's included in the Trust's aims. But the project director doesn't seem to have much experience in delivering projects of this nature.
By a strange coincidence, look what just appeared on the planning portal...
 

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^^
Superb!
Its such a lovely fountain, and will be a much better attraction for that part of the gardens to frame the ever popular base-of-the-mountain-castle pic.
The cafe there will be buzzing too!
Im so relieved - thanks to Mr Apex :)
 

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Discussion Starter #26
The Ross Pavilion & Gardens Project | New Town | £25m | Proposed

International design competition launched for the £25m Ross Pavilion & Gardens Project.

Some extracts from the brief:

Proposed Uses of the Pavilion and Gardens

The Trust has tested their business model on a range of operational uses of the Pavilion and Gardens. In summary, these include the following:

• Events and activities in the Gardens that do not require the use of the performance space (for example tennis tournaments and art fairs)

• Events in the visitor centre flexible spaces that can accommodate up to 40 people. These include community and education events, as well as use as hospitality suites to support other larger functions

• Events for up to 200 people using all of the flexible spaces in the visitor centre or performance space in indoor-use mode or the external apron of the stage of the performance space (small-scale outdoor events).

• Outdoor events for capacities of between 500 – 1000 people, utilising some of the natural amphitheatre for the audience, and the stage of the performance space. These include concerts, comedy shows, dance performances, fashion week uses and Fringe Festival uses. Note: although modelled at audience figures of between 500 – 1000 people, these events could fill the capacity of the amphitheatre (up to 3000 people) if demand is sufficient.

• Larger-scale events for up to 8000 people, utilising all the amphitheatre seating and standing space throughout the Gardens. Seven such annual events have been identified. These include the annual Fireworks and Hogmanay. Note: appropriate viewing of the performance space (stage) is limited to total numbers of 5000 (3000 seated in the amphitheatre, and 2000 standing to its east and west within the existing tree line.

• Events that utilise the blaes area. These can either be standalone events such as an outdoor market, or events that complement the use of the Ross Pavilion, such as overflow space to watch events on a big screen.
Design Requirements

The Ross Pavilion

The new Ross Pavilion will replace the current 1935 Ross Bandstand located within West Princes Street Gardens. The Pavilion should be a civic landmark of national significance. It should balance design quality with a sensitive approach to its immediate and wider context, including the landscape character of the Gardens specifically and its wider Edinburgh heritage context more generally.

The Pavilion element of the project is composed of three elements: the visitor centre; the covered performance space; and the outdoor amphitheatre.

The Pavilion should be capable of accommodating a range of scales of outdoor events and activities, from more intimate day-to-day events for 200 people to seasonal extravaganzas such as the annual fireworks display for up to 8000 spectators. Visitor facilities have been allocated for the capacity of the day-to-day events (up to 200 people), but the project should contain the entire infrastructure required to transform it into a fully functional large-scale venue.

The Pavilion design is to be highly flexible, with the ability to provide two indoor venue spaces – one in the visitor centre and the other in a covered performance space (when in indoor mode) – each designed to accommodate 200 people. For an illustration of the projected operational scenarios of the Ross Pavilion, see page 10.

The visitor centre will contain all the permanent visitor facilities to support the dayto-day use of the Gardens. It is intended to replace a number of unsightly, poorquality and temporary facilities that have accumulated over time, as well as supporting the Ross Pavilion as a venue. The facilities will include a café with both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as flexible, multi-use spaces that can support events as hospitality suites for large-scale events taking place on the stage of the performance space, or be transformed into community-scale small performance, workshop and/or events spaces (to accommodate up to 200 people in total). Visitor amenities, such as WCs, should also be provided within the visitor centre. The visitor centre is suggested to be sited opposite the performance space.

A significant drop of level exists between Princes Street and the Gardens. The visitor centre will provide a new gateway to the Gardens from the New Town and is planned to facilitate step-free access to and from the Gardens (as well as the potential of additional external stepped access from Princes Street to the Gardens in and around the vicinity of the visitor centre. A new viewing platform is proposed at street level, capturing picturesque views to the Castle and the Old Town to the south whilst ensuring that pedestrian flows along the southern pavement adjoining Princes Street remain unobstructed. The final configuration will have to integrate with the developing vision of the City of Edinburgh Council for the wider Princes Street area.

The main performance space for the Ross Pavilion, planned to be sited in the approximate location of the existing bandstand building, is to be permanently covered for outdoor events but transformable into an indoor venue for 200 people. It should include a large open stage with appropriate cover capable of catering for a wide variety of performance activities. The space should include associated back-of-house facilities for performers, including dressing rooms and permanent performers' and audience amenities. The covered stage and backstage should be transformable into a smaller, enclosed performance venue for audiences of up to 200 people, with balance space to accommodate temporary venue facilities, such as ticket office, cloakroom and bar.

Competitors should take into account the significance and specifics of the performance space location, and in particular its Castle backdrop. The site contains, and is in close proximity to, a number of key listed buildings, and consideration should given to the importance of the setting of these listed buildings. In addition, consideration should be given to the practicalities of servicing and creating the appropriate technical conditions for performance, such as acoustics.

Between the visitor centre and the performance space, occupying the natural slope of the Gardens, is the outdoor amphitheatre. Currently formed in terraces of concrete, the existing amphitheatre truncates the landscape qualities of West Princes Street Gardens into two halves: east and west. The ambition behind the new design is to balance audience comfort with reconnecting the east and west of the Gardens into an integrated landscaped whole – restoring the Garden qualities to create a "natural amphitheatre‟. The amphitheatre should be designed to accommodate a total audience of up to 3000 people seated, with an additional 2000 standing but with good sightlines of the stage. Although 3000 is the capacity of the amphitheatre, it should not feel empty for audiences of as few as 200.

Throughout all the audience spaces within the project, the quality of the environment, both its indoor and outdoor atmosphere, should be such as to allow full immersion and engagement of the audience in the performance.

West Princes Street Gardens

West Princes Street Gardens is an important landscape resource for the city of Edinburgh, its citizenry and visitors.

The Brief asks competitors to propose new and updated connections to and from the Gardens to both the New and Old Towns, as well as improvements to the landscape qualities of West Princes Street Gardens. These interventions should enhance and respect the character and existing use of the space as a valuable city garden for Edinburgh.

This could include, but is not limited to:

• Access to and from the Gardens;

• Circulation within the Gardens;

• Way-finding, signage and integration solution for event dressing‟ (e.g. winter lights and summer banners);

• Improved interpretation and visibility of the historic, archaeological and commemorative aspects of the Gardens;

• Sensitive lighting at night and on winter afternoons;

• Restore the promenade condition of the northern perimeter of the Gardens where they edge Princes Street;

• An increased focus on landscape sustainability and bio-diversity;

• Appropriately-sited and quality street furniture and other user amenities, where and if appropriate;

• Landscaping of the venue's outdoor amphitheatre to ensure that the western and eastern ends of the Gardens are seamlessly connected through it; and

• Hard and soft landscaping, improving the Gardens as a tranquil place to use and enjoy away from the bustle of the surrounding city.

Specific landscape improvements should be proposed to the outdoor amphitheatre (described in more detail in the section above) and to the blaes area, to integrate both better into the overall landscape of the Gardens and consider the relationship and links with the adjacent Graveyards, whilst also being able to support events.

Three open-sided listed 1950s shelters are located to the eastern end of the Gardens, tucked in to the banking adjacent to the retaining wall of Princes Street. These are currently vulnerable to anti-social behaviour. Competitors are encouraged, within their competition design proposals for the Gardens, to consider adapting these spaces for new uses – the Trust has no preconceptions as to what these uses should be but the shelters should complement the programming of the Pavilion.

Competitors should consider the overall experience of visiting the Gardens, including improving views to and from the length of Princes Street, running alongside West Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle (bearing in mind the dense tree foliage blocks views during parts of the year). Designs should look to create a clear strategy for future additions to the Gardens and integrate the other memorials, statues and structures located within West Princes Street Gardens into a consolidated and co-ordinated civic realm – whilst taking into account the archaeological and broader heritage significance of both West Princes Street Gardens and its immediate context.

In particular, competitors should consider their construction methodology in relation to maintaining access to West Princes Street Gardens as a safe and publiclyaccessible outdoor amenity space during the works. It is anticipated that annual celebrations which currently take place in the Gardens, including Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Festival‟s closing fireworks concert, will continue to take place during the construction period. The works should be capable of being programmed so that at least 75% of the Gardens can be kept open at any time.
Programmatic Requirements

Visitor Centre

Viewing Platform: A viewing platform should be provided off the southern pavement running alongside Princes Street, effectively forming the roofscape to the new visitor centre. This should respect the existing railings along Princes Street, with as much retained as possible. The viewing platform should be appropriately positioned and sized, taking account of views towards the Castle and the Old Town more generally, as well as mitigating the potential for obstructions to pedestrian flows along the pavement.

The viewing platform should also define and provide a new entry to West Princes Street Gardens, and the visitor centre below. This should provide step-free access to Garden level, as well as all levels of the visitor centre, compliant with the Equality Act (Scotland) 2010.

Café: The visitor centre should contain a public café. This should form a dual purpose, supporting the day-to-day use of West Princes Street Gardens as well as events or functions within the Ross Pavilion. It should be well-designed and highly visible. The café has been sized to accommodate between 60-80 internal covers, in a cafeteria, self-service format. It should have the ability to spill out into an external area when possible, to a similar number of covers as internally.

Competitors should consider the Scottish climate in their design, and consider external seating areas which are either permanently covered, or capable of being covered when required.

Kitchen, Kitchen Stores and Staff Spaces: A kitchen, with associated support and staff facilities (e.g. changing room, WC and shower), should be provided to support café operations. This will typically service the requirements of the public café, but may also function as a finishing kitchen to events taking place within the visitor centre.

Competitors should carefully consider the best way for deliveries to be made to the kitchen and related stores, as well as outgoing refuse and recycling, in order to minimise visitor and operational disruption (for further details see the section on outline technical requirements in this document).

Flexible, Multi-Use Space: A flexible, multi-use space should be provided as part of the visitor centre. This should largely function in two ways. On a day-to-day basis it should be capable of catering for a wide range of activities, including community-based and small-scale events, workshops and gatherings. For large events, such as the annual fireworks, these spaces should be transformable into a number of hospitality suites.

Highly flexible, these spaces should be capable of sub-division, whilst maintaining appropriate acoustic separation between individual spaces. Daylight and direct access to the Gardens is essential, particularly when in hospitality mode for large events. For events, workshops and gatherings it should be capable of black-out. It should have an appropriate level of environmental control and acoustic quality to support user comfort and needs, and be capable of facilitating a wide range of technological requirements (e.g. track lighting, power and data).

An adjacent foyer space should be provided to the above, providing general circulation but also generous enough to support break-out and gathering space, as and when required.


Performance Space

Performance Space / Theatre: A performance space should be provided, which is capable of two basic arrangements.

Primarily it is a covered performance space, of a quality and size to cater for a wide range of outdoor events, from day-to-day small-scale to significant annual events, covering, for example music, film and comedy performance.

The covered space should include a front and back stage, as well as a preperformance gathering area. Sightlines to the stage, from the visitor centre hospitality suites and the landscape amphitheatre, should be clear and unobstructed. Its clear view opening to the amphitheatre should be no less than 12 metres in width, with appropriate heights, given the constraints of the site.

It should also be capable of being fully enclosed, and transformable into a smaller indoor performance venue and auditorium. In this arrangement the stage, backstage and pre-performance gathering space are adapted into a smaller stage and auditorium for an audience of 200, along with the surrounding foyer and ancillary facilities required to support a performance venue. These facilities, such as box office, cloakroom and bar, would be „pop-up‟ temporary facilities brought in by the individual events management companies. As with the outdoor arrangement, clear and unobstructed audience viewing sightlines are critical requirements of the project.

The performance space should be highly flexible, capable of accommodating multiple arrangements of performance (both of type and potentially spatial arrangement) and should provide the technical infrastructure so the space can be adapted for different uses (e.g. lighting and power).

Design-wise it should be respectful of its heritage context, whilst being of exemplary design quality, in both its modes.

Dressing Rooms: This back-of-house space should be capable of accommodating up to 20 performers, possibly divided into two rooms. This is sized to cater for the smaller-scale events (for large-scale events the pre-performance gathering space will supplement the dressing room requirements).

These facilities should include a waiting area and dressing stations, as well as shower and secure locker facilities. It should be located in close proximity to the performers‟ toilet facilities, as well as having clear and unobstructed access to the pre-performance gathering area (or stage when in indoor performance venue mode).


General Requirements

Unassigned Areas: In the outline area schedule included on page 11, a total area has been suggested for unassigned areas. Competitors should consider, and include, the full range and breakdown of both front-of-house and back-of-house spaces required within their proposals (e.g. break-out spaces, cleaners‟ cupboards, etc.).

Below we have highlighted some of the key space provisions.

Front-of-House Unassigned Areas: These spaces provide visitor orientation, as well as supporting visitor and user amenities.

Within the visitor centre an enlarged circulation space (a foyer) should be provided, at the level of, and related to, the functioning of the flexible, multi-use space. This is anticipated to provide break-out space and venue amenities when these spaces are used for workshops, gatherings or performance and as overspill service space for the hospitality suites.

Within the performance space a generous and appropriately designed foyer needs to be provided, when transformed into an indoor venue. This is to provide all the necessary circulation space for an auditorium, as well as social and gathering space when required. Venue facilities, such as box office, cloak room and bar, should be brought in as and when required, able to "plug in and use‟ the service infrastructure.


Anticipated Competition Programme

All dates 2017

Tender stage launched Mid-to-late March
Shortlist announced Mid-to-late March
Site visit Early April (TBC)
Final submissions by shortlisted teams 14:00 BST Friday 9th June
Exhibition Launch Mid-June
Jury Day Mid-July (TBC)
Winner announced Early August
 

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I'm glad the competition has been launched but I fear the budget is far too low (given the extent of the brief) to truly do justice to the gardens for the next 50-100 yrs. I fear a missed opportunity :/
 

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I sort of understand why these types of competitions have to list an indicated price (£25m) but it will make some architects unnecessarily complicate their pitches to spend the available money, and others will consider it insufficient to even bother drafting up plans.

Better to indicate the presence of multi-million pound funding, but advise that value will be considered in the judging. Then invite all applications however outlandish or expensive and decide the cost vs benefit in an objective manner.
 

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I'm glad the competition has been launched but I fear the budget is far too low (given the extent of the brief) to truly do justice to the gardens for the next 50-100 yrs. I fear a missed opportunity :/
I agree wholeheartedly,this should a memorable,timeless and much as i hate to use the word(Edinburgh Evening News use this word far too often describing anything Edinburgh)"iconic"building that visitors will long remember.If this much touted "City Deal"ever comes to fruition, money from that should be used.We should not mess up this "once in a lifetime" opportunity.But, this is Edinburgh Council after all.:grandpa:
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Hopes that landmark venue will bring new life to Capital

Edinburgh Evening News - 15th February 2017

It’s summer in the city and kids scramble across the shallow terraces that tilt towards Princes Street.

Workers sneak down the steep cobbles to escape the city centre bustle, tourists take a breather from the sights and occasionally an act from the Military Tattoo will slip from the Castle ramparts to entertain them upon the stage of a weary-looking Ross Bandstand. The crumbling paint, drained blue folding chairs and grim weather-worn flanks form as much a part of the West Princes Street landscape as the now-defunct Ross Fountain.

But it is a scene that is set to change, and not before time.

The ageing Ross Bandstand – no longer fit for purpose – will be replaced by a landmark venue capable of hosting a range of small-scale to large events.

The Ross Development Trust (RDT), founded to manage the delivery of the improvements, wants the brand new venue to be of “incredible architectural design which will become renowned with Edinburgh the world over”.

The new bandstand will be called the Ross Pavilion and the regeneration of the wider West Princes Street Gardens, described as a “golden opportunity for Edinburgh” will help to draw residents into the city centre as well as raise the city’s profile, nationally and globally.

Apex Hotels founder Norman Springford has pledged £5 million towards the project, which is expected to cost up to £25m and open by 2020.

Local businesses and promoters of the Capital believe bringing such a significant project to life in the heart of Edinburgh’s green space will help to boost the city’s reputation as a leader in the culture and arts world.

John Donnelly, chief executive at Marketing Edinburgh said: “The positive impact of the regeneration is going to be momentous for Edinburgh’s West End. There will obviously be a substantial rise in footfall, from both visitors and locals.

“These people all need places to eat, stay and drink. Crucially it also strengthens the opportunity for the West End to really promote itself as the leading cultural hub for the city. The area is home to some of Edinburgh’s biggest and most respected arts venues including the Usher Hall, the Lyceum, the Traverse Theatre and Filmhouse. The Ross Bandstand is just a couple of minutes’ walk from them all and deserves a place alongside them.

“A new entertainment venue would also help shape the redevelopment and re-purposing of Princes Street, leading to new business opportunities, with more eateries and quality bars being able to make the most of the street’s spectacular views.”

The Castle silhouette has been used as the backdrop to international superstars from Tom Jones to Paul Weller, Jessie J to The Proclaimers. But the Capital has seriously struggled to create a versatile and permanent concert arena capable of pulling in bigger audiences and the associated custom that comes with the crowds.

“The impact is going to be significant for local business,” said Mr Donnelly. “You need only look towards the huge regeneration of Finnieston which has transformed into a thriving hotspot of bars, restaurants and independent shops since The Hydro opened.”

And the hopes are that the Ross Pavilion will have a similar impact to the west end of Edinburgh.

“It is estimated that music tourism generated £295m for Scotland in direct and indirect spend during 2016,” explained Mr Donnelly. “While Edinburgh can host amazing one-off gigs such as Hogmanay or in venues like Edinburgh Castle, BT Murrayfield and Meadowbank, when it comes to year-round venues, we are limited to the smaller spaces such as The Liquid Rooms and Cabaret Voltaire.

“This is a real opportunity for Edinburgh to raise its musical stakes and give the city a flagship music venue that is available 12 months a year.

“We know from the massive success and popularity of the Hogmanay concerts, with the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle this is one of the world’s most iconic concert locations.

“Having images of Paolo Nutini beamed across the world welcoming in 2017 raised Edinburgh’s global profile enormously. That gig sold out in record time. The demand is definitely there from a local and international audience.

“To have permanent facilities in place that can really transform the Ross Bandstand to a year-round venue will be a game-changer. Not only will it help attract big name acts with thousands of fans, equally important is the opportunity for a molecular set-up which can also effortlessly become a space for small scale community events.”

However, Gordon Henderson, from the federation of small businesses thinks this is an opportunity for shops, bars and restaurants in areas such as the Grassmarket to also take a slice of the city’s cultural success. “We could do with the light being shone elsewhere in the city,” he said.

“If you were to create a great walking route to the venue from the Grassmarket, an area which has been utterly ignored, it has huge potential for creating a positive impact. But I don’t think it needs to be linked to the West End. Princes Street and the gardens provide a fantastic draw in their own right.

“The Ross Bandstand being revamped couldn’t come soon enough, I don’t think anybody is going to be against it as long as it has been carefully 
considered.

“It must remain as a garden and continue to be aimed at residents as well as visitors. It’s used by hundreds of people on a daily basis and has to stay open and accessible.”

And director of Signature Pubs Ltd Nic Wood, who operates ten of the city’s most popular venues including Badger & Co, The Huxley, Basement Bar and The Queens Arms, warned against the squandering of an opportunity. “Any form of footfall driver is great for the West End and the city centre but we need to be mindful of the climate and provide protection from the elements should Scotland throw its worst at us.

“It also needs a plan and strategy of utilisation. What other city has such a beautiful yet under-utilised and historical garden at the centre? It could be used as a market, street food carnival, art and cultural space. Some of the initiatives that Essential Edinburgh have produced into St Andrew Square have been well received and well implemented.

“We know the talent is in Edinburgh and in Scotland in general but let’s not be parochial, we can highlight the world and promote a host of industries from this hub below Edinburgh Castle with the right support from Edinburgh council.

“This year we are seeing a huge rise in business rates, the economical fall out of Brexit with the costs of goods and services rising and the proposal of a ‘tourist tax’ – and we absolutely must make Edinburgh an attractive place to visit and provide a fantastic retail and hospitality platform for all consumers. The city must encourage business owners to invest and make it simpler to do so.”

Could the Ross Pavilion Embrace The ‘Hydro Effect’?

For anyone unfamiliar with Finnieston pre-SSE Hydro, imagine a fairly soulless strip, heavily concreted, described as the link between the city centre and Glasgow’s hip west end with very little else to boast of.

But in 2013 the £125m concert venue arrived in the area. Huge music, sporting and political events take place there with superstars such as Adele and Justin Bieber and their fans now attracted to Finnieston.

Following the Hydro’s first full year of operation, its owners claimed the venue had generated around £130m in economic spin-offs to the surrounding area following 93 events and 165 performances. With a capacity of 12,000 the venue draws some of the world’s biggest acts, and with it crowds with deep pockets.

And likened to the gentrification of Leith, Finnieston has reaped the benefits.

“The Hydro Effect” has encouraged businesses to flock to the area creating a mix of pop-up bars, eclectic restaurants and artistic outlets which have transformed the area into an entertainment mecca.

Could a similar influx of entertainment seekers benefit the centre of Edinburgh?


Read more at: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.c...enue-will-bring-new-life-to-capital-1-4366926
 

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Interesting comments beneath the article, possibly from one of the Ross Development Trust:

marion57
3:40 PM on 15/02/2017
There is absolutely no intention to build a Hydro in West Princes Street Garden. It is a tranquil Garden and the intention is to bring back the original intent, not create another 'venue' for major events and other commercial activities. The landscape setting is paramount and repairing damage to it over the years is a priority. The Garden Cottage will be repaired as necessary, mostly internal, the Ross Fountain will be restored, the red baize area removed and the Ross Pavilion will sit quietly in the landscape with the ability to provide for the Christmas/Hogmanay period but primarily be used by the community for small scale performance throughout the year. This is not the place to provide an Arena or Hydro and is not the intention. The vision is for the Garden as a whole. The press and others have the wrong end of this stick!
But having read the tender documents I'm not sure it will be quite so quiet, the buildings' uses require to be self sustaining and I think we all know that community hire won't cover that. The introduction of a 900sqm cafe and visitor centre that creates a platform straight off Prince Street's pavement is going to be a significant intervention (without disrupting the railings,really?) and with stonking views, day and night it would surely be ludicrous not to make money off it to invest in the gardens. Likely location opposite Next?

I'm unclear what's to happen to the red blaes as it's to have "specific design consideration" within the masterplan, along with the shelters (currently providing shelter to the homeless overnight, tactfully referred to as "anti-social behaviour in the documents).

And if the gardens are not to have larger scale events in them, why does the bridge over the railway line need strengthened?
 

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marion57
3:40 PM on 15/02/2017
There is absolutely no intention to build a Hydro in West Princes Street Garden. It is a tranquil Garden and the intention is to bring back the original intent, not create another 'venue' for major events and other commercial activities. The landscape setting is paramount and repairing damage to it over the years is a priority. The Garden Cottage will be repaired as necessary, mostly internal, the Ross Fountain will be restored, the red baize area removed and the Ross Pavilion will sit quietly in the landscape with the ability to provide for the Christmas/Hogmanay period but primarily be used by the community for small scale performance throughout the year. This is not the place to provide an Arena or Hydro and is not the intention. The vision is for the Garden as a whole. The press and others have the wrong end of this stick!


My enthusiasm for this has suddenly waned badly if the above quote is the ambition.Looks as though we will still be a missed stop on the major touring circuit("small scale performance")we may get clog dancing,highland dancing etc during the summer if we are good.Nice to see the dream of Edinburgh having parity with Glasgow on the musical circuit dashed early.Even Aberdeen is becoming a stop on major artists schedules in place of Edinburgh.
 

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Although the Ross Development Trust's own website sounds a little more ambitious

To achieve international acclaim, the replacement structure needs to present an internationally recognisable image, and with a modern cutting edge design where quality is at the forefront.

The building not only acts as an anchor for major events throughout the city, but can be used to complement the events on offer at the EICC, Assembly Rooms, and other venues within the City.

It provides a focal point for a unified City-wide entertainment and exhibition offer.

The building needs to generate an appetite by residents and visitors alike, to visit the city centre, and to increase footfall to encourage the enhancement of the city centre retail offer.

The commercial benefits highlight Edinburgh as a destination of choice, increase employment, and provide substantial opportunities to increase city revenues.

It will broaden the demographic profile of those who visit the gardens and widen social inclusion
 

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Interesting comments beneath the article, possibly from one of the Ross Development Trust...
Further down the comments "marion57" identifies herself a Trustee of the Ross Development Trust and Director of the Cockburn Association (ie Marion Williams). So her conservatism is ... predictable.

As a trustee would assume her assertions are well founded. But agree that the tender documents definitely seem to imply something more substantial.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Interesting comments beneath the article, possibly from one of the Ross Development Trust:



But having read the tender documents I'm not sure it will be quite so quiet, the buildings' uses require to be self sustaining and I think we all know that community hire won't cover that. The introduction of a 900sqm cafe and visitor centre that creates a platform straight off Prince Street's pavement is going to be a significant intervention (without disrupting the railings,really?) and with stonking views, day and night it would surely be ludicrous not to make money off it to invest in the gardens. Likely location opposite Next?

I'm unclear what's to happen to the red blaes as it's to have "specific design consideration" within the masterplan, along with the shelters (currently providing shelter to the homeless overnight, tactfully referred to as "anti-social behaviour in the documents).

And if the gardens are not to have larger scale events in them, why does the bridge over the railway line need strengthened?

EDIT - Just saw ElectricityWon'tHurt's confirmation of the Marion Williams thing... Makes sense.

_____________

Marion57... Marion Williams? The Cockburn Association (and EWH alongside many others) are officially stakeholders in the project, and those comments sound like the sort of cautious and conservative 'don't-frighten-the-horses' tone I think they might adopt.

I imagine the reality will be somewhere between those remarks and the EEN's hyperbole. The Hydro comparison is plainly daft. Despite the improved facilities, the audience will still be sitting/standing outdoors for major events just as they do at present. The main difference will be the new pavilion can be reconfigured into an enclosed performance/event space for audiences of around 200. The brief for the café/visitor centre also includes flexible space for events for up to 200 so there'll undoubtedly be a lot more going on throughout the year but I don't think the SECC (or SEC as they are now) will be losing much sleep over it.

The railings along Princes Street are only to be retained "as much as possible"...

I think opposite Boots is the more likely location for the café/visitor centre, directly in line with the Pavilion. As you say, it's going to be quite an intervention, built into the north terrace of the Gardens, and is probably likely to end up the most contentious aspect of the project, rather than the Pavilion itself. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the designs extend right over the path below.

My reading of the brief was for the blaes area to remain as an event space but just with improved hard and soft landscaping which sounds great to me.

Apropos of nothing, I read today that 7N Architects were involved in the feasibility study for this (down to the Make connection?). Might they end up as the token Scottish practice on the shortlist?
 

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I think opposite Boots is the more likely location for the café/visitor centre, directly in line with the Pavilion. As you say, it's going to be quite an intervention, built into the north terrace of the Gardens, and is probably likely to end up the most contentious aspect of the project, rather than the Pavilion itself. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the designs extend right over the path below.
You're right, between the Royal Scots Greys and Scottish American War memorials.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Scots architect body RIAS overlooked once more, this time for new Edinburgh bandstand

The National - 21st February 2017

The international competition to design the £25m replacement for the Ross Bandstand in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens is being run by a London-based consultancy despite the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) being involved in the initial planning of the contest.

Malcolm Reading Consultants of London was awarded the contest contract – expected to earn them a six-figure sum – by the Ross Development Trust despite the RIAS offering to do the competition on a not-for-profit basis. It is the second time in a few months that the RIAS has lost out on organising a major architectural competition in Edinburgh to a London consultancy, the contest to design new £45m concert hall for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra now being run by Colander Associates. The replacement of the Ross Bandstand is the brainchild of Apex Hotels founder Norman Springford, which makes the award to Malcolm Reading embarrassing for the RIAS as his son Ian, the well-known Edinburgh architect, is a Fellow of the RIAS.

Entries for the competition must be in by March 13. A shortlist of design teams will be selected and it is expected that a jury will make the final decision in August. The National revealed earlier this month that the chosen design team will face formidable obstacles due to the Bandstand being in Edinburgh’s city centre UNESCO World Heritage site with almost all development in Princes Street Gardens regulated by an Act of Parliament.

Malcolm Reading has experience of Scottish design competitions, the last major one being the aborted project for the development of the City Garden at Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen.

One leading internationally-renowned architect, who spoke to The National on condition of anonymity, said: “Why not the RIAS? They have organised 300 to 400 competitions over the years.

“Why do British competitions always seem to be done by London people? It beggars belief frankly that the RIAS is not doing this.” Bandstand owners Edinburgh Council are working closely with the Ross Development Trust, though have yet to commit to any funding. RIAS staff consulted council officials in the early stages of the planning for the competition.

Neil Baxter, secretary of the RIAS, said: “We were delighted that we were approached when the idea was first mooted and we were involved for some time in consultations with the council, for example, for which we were paid a fee. We are a charity and we charge on a non-profit basis, so it is very frustrating and disappointing that we will not be working on this competition, particularly as we have experience of running hundreds of competitions. We don’t know what we have done wrong.”

Council sources say the fact that the competition is being run from London is nothing to do with the council’s involvement.

A council source said: “The development agreement the Council has is for the Trust to run the design competition. It is in their interests to secure who they think will best deliver what is required.”

A council spokesperson said: “The Council and Ross Development Trust are working in partnership to re-imagine this unique part of West Princes Street Gardens. The design competition is being managed by Malcolm Reading as appointed by the Trust. We welcome the progress of the brief to date and look forward to seeing a shortlist of potential architectural teams drawn up for the site.”

David Ellis, project director and trustee with Ross Development Trust, said: “As one of the leading European hosts of International Design Competitions, Malcolm Reading Consultants were selected to manage the process of selecting a design team for the new Ross Pavilion.

“MRC have a global audience and by commissioning them the RDT is confident in attracting the best architects the world has to offer, which is what we believe our city and this project specifically deserves.”

There was no reply to The National’s contact with Malcolm Reading.
 
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