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£45m centre plans unveiled

Designs emerge for city’s new concert venue

Impact Centre

Hidden gem: the new venue will sit behind the RBS building

Designs for Edinburgh’s first purpose-built music venue in over a century are now out for public consultation.

Located behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s historic headquarters at Dundas House, St Andrew Square, The Impact Centre will house the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and provide a new venue for the Edinburgh International Festival. It will have a 1,000-seat auditorium.

David Chipperfield Architects said that feedback from the consultation will help shape the final outcome.

The design team also includes ARUP, Whitby Mohajer Engineers, Gross.Max Landscape Architects and Theatre Projects.

David Chipperfield was responsible for the BBC Scotland HQ in Glasgow’s Pacific Quay. It beat off five other bidders to win the £45m concert hall contract with a projected completion date of 2021.

1,000-seat auditorium

Mr Chipperfield said: “The setting, within the context of Edinburgh’s historic New Town, is also both stimulating and challenging. The new music venue will not only provide a modern performance space for Edinburgh but also create a new public place in this somewhat hidden corner of the city.”

Sir Ewan Brown, who is chairman of the project, said: “This is an exciting stage in the creation of a vibrant new home for all kinds of music and performance in Edinburgh.

“We have set the bar high for our design team, asking them to produce a truly modern venue with exceptional acoustics, which also embraces and complements the heritage that surrounds it.

“This is a building being designed from the inside out, with at its heart, a hall offering world-class acoustics for performers and audiences.

“The design team have concentrated on getting this right, and we are now developing the look of this truly exceptional building and how it will sympathetically enhance its hidden location.

“Feedback from our first consultation showed that 98% of respondents supported the idea of a new music and performance venue in central Edinburgh.

“The need for new venue to secure the future of music in Edinburgh is clear and the support the project is receiving is tremendously encouraging.”

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