Kate Gray, CEO and Artistic Director of Collective Gallery, will present their vision for Calton Hill, the masterplan and brief from the client’s view point. This will add a different perspective to the "Sites of National Importance” theme, and help us complete the picture of the various proposals around the Calton Hill area, to the east end of Princess Street.
Collective was established to support new and emergent artists to exhibit their work in Edinburgh and has been fundamental to the cultural vitality of Scotland. They aim to open the whole walled site of the City Observatory Complex to the public fully for the first time by 2017.
Allan Murray Architects has been fascinated by the history of this part of Edinburgh for many years, culminating in the evolution of an extensive masterplan for the St James Quarter, and the design of the new Galleria. The practice was established in 1994, and built its reputation on solving complex urban problems in the city. Alexander Fairweather is a Director of Allan Murray Architects.
One of the biggest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK, TH Real Estate's £850 million Edinburgh St James scheme will see a complete, phoenix-like transformation of the surrounding area, replacing a rundown 1970s shopping centre currently on the site with mixed-use scheme, with retail, luxury hotel, quality homes and multi-screen cinema, creating an attractive place to live, and visit in Edinburgh.
Influenced by the classical geometry of crescents, circuses, and axial vistas, the Edinburgh St James design will complement the city's sophisticated architecture, character and history. The scheme will revolve around an elegant glazed roof open air galleria street - a multi-level, bright and welcoming interior which will bring vitality to the public realm.
Heinz Richardson and Alex Gordon of Jestico + Whiles
Jestico + Whiles is a practice comprising a set of interlocking, specialist studios with expertise in the sectors of hotels, education, residential, retail and conservation and the more obscure field of nano-technology. The practice has completed several significant buildings in challenging urban contexts nationally, and also internationally in Australia, Russia, West and East Africa.
Heinz Richardson is a Board Director, with ultimate responsibility for ensuring the highest quality of all design output from the practice, including many award-winning urban regeneration schemes.
Alex Gordon, Associate Director, was a key member of the concept design team for the W London scheme in Leicester Square, London. Such successful intervention of contemporary architecture in historic environments has led to J+W being invited to enter limited competition for the central hotel building for St James' Centre site.
The 'ribbon' hotel designed by J+W is said to respond to concentric circles of its unique context, enhancing in turn the immediate St James Quarter masterplan, then the historic Old Town, and then Edinburgh itself. The hotel is designed as a bundle of unruly coiled ribbons. The flamboyant form is a deliberate counterpoint to the elegantly understated St James Quarter masterplan which follows the controlled formality of James Craig's New Town design.
Response to Speakers
Tom Parnell is an architectural historian. He leads the Heritage Consultancy team of Simpson & Brown and has been the convenor of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland's Forth & Borders Cases Panel since 2012.
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