Architects sought to design world-class concert hall for Edinburgh

I see this as a global opportunity for a global city, combining the best of the old and the new to establish a venue that will attract performers, audiences and visitors from around the world
– Sir Ewan Brown, IMPACT Scotland project board chair

Architects, designers and acoustic experts have been invited to express their interest in creating a world-class arts centre and concert hall in the heart of Scotland’s capital Edinburgh.

The venue has been proposed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), which is seeking a new permanent home, and the charitable trust IMPACT Scotland.

The facility would be built in St Andrew Square, with a 1,000 seat auditorium at its heart “combining excellent acoustics with access for all forms of popular music”. The building would also serve as a venue for education, conferences and public engagement and would offer studios providing rehearsal, recital and recording space “to rival the best in Europe.”

The complex will be located and designed to complement, rather than compete with, the city-owned and operated Usher Hall, in order to “provide Edinburgh with additional possibilities for cultural expansion and to launch the next stage in the city’s artistic growth.”

Initial discussions about the scheme, described by the developers as “positive and ongoing”, are taking place with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government. It is hoped an architect-led team will be appointed in early 2017 to develop a design for the project.

IMPACT and SCO hope that public sector partnerships will support the financing of the arts centre. Money has already been committed by the arts-focused Dunard Fund, which will purchase an adjacent office building in St Andrew Square to house the staff of IMPACT Scotland, the SCO and other arts bodies.

“With the wonderful support from 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,” said Colin Buchan, chair of the SCO. “Not only will it provide our internationally renowned orchestra with a splendid new home, it will also enable us to reach out in ways that have not been possible in the past.”

Sir Ewan Brown, who has been chairing the IMPACT Scotland project board, added: “I see this as a global opportunity for a global city, combining the best of the old and the new to establish a venue that will attract performers, audiences and visitors from around the world.”

Edinburgh  Scottish Chamber Orchestra  architecture  design  IMPACT Scotland 
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Architects, designers and acoustic experts have been invited to express their interest in creating a world-class arts centre and concert hall in the heart of Scotland’s capital Edinburgh. The venue has been proposed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), which is seeking a new permanent home, and the charitable trust IMPACT Scotland. The facility would be built in St Andrew Square, with a 1,000 seat auditorium at its heart “combining
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The proposed arts centre will 'provide Edinburgh with additional possibilities for cultural expansion and to launch the next stage in the city’s artistic growth' / Wikl Commons
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