ARCHITECTS behind the transformation of the Royal Academy in London and the BBC Scotland HQ in Glasgow have been drafted in to design a new concert hall for the Capital.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) is spearheading a £45 million bid for a new performance venue off St Andrew Square, just behind the old Royal Bank of Scotland building.
It is hoped the venue could be used each year for the Edinburgh International Festival and would have a 1000 capacity.
David Chipperfield Architects, the team also responsible for the acclaimed Neues Museum restoration in Berlin, has now been selected to design the new concert hall following a competition
Bosses behind the new auditorium have promised that it will be “built to the highest standards” and become a “thrilling” home for all kinds of musical performances, from orchestral to jazz and folk.
City leader Councillor Andrew Burns said the appointment was a major boost for a project he described as vital for the Capital’s international standing. Some of the funding for the concert hall is expected to come from Edinburgh’s £1 billion City Deal from the UK Government, which is expected to be signed off soon.
He said: “It is great to see such an important project gathering pace.
“This new venue will be a major boost to the city’s drive to keep Edinburgh firmly in the top rank of international cultural destinations.
“Investing in Edinburgh’s rich and diverse creative mix is a key part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, especially as the city celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of Edinburgh’s Festivals.
“The council is working with partners in the city, including [charitable trust set up to promote the project] IMPACT Scotland, and the UK and Scottish Governments to achieve this and we look forward to the deal being finalised soon.”
The concert hall would also feature facilities for young artists, including a recording studio and digital technology.”
Sir Ewan Brown, chair of IMPACT Scotland, said: “Securing this new performance venue will be a major benefit to Edinburgh and Scotland. With an estimated 350-400,000 visitors a year, it will help to maintain Edinburgh’s position as an International Festival City and leading centre for music and the performing arts.
“By embracing all musical genres the new auditorium will include a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, reach out to the local community and beyond and build new audiences.”
Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a trustee of IMPACT Scotland, said: “There will be enormous benefits to local residents, community and youth groups, schools, artists, tourists and businesses.
“Opportunities to reach communities further afield will be greatly enhanced through digital connectivity.
“With a founding ethos of collaboration, partnership and inclusion, this new venue promises to be an inspirational addition to Scotland’s cultural life.”