edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

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edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:00 am

Princes Street shops set to be demolished
Archiseek / Scotland / News / 2004 / November 5
Evening News

Two landmark stores in Princes Street are set to be bulldozed under radical plans drawn up for city chiefs. The Bhs and Marks & Spencer stores at the east end of the world-famous thoroughfare are expected to be demolished to make way for a brand-new building. The modern section of Jenners department store and the entire Mount Royal Hotel above M&S also face the wrecking ball as part of the master plan prepared for the taxpayer-backed Edinburgh City Centre Management Company. The plans - which would mark one of the biggest facelifts for the street since the Victorian age - have been inspired by a similar proposal drawn up by heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association with city architect Malcolm Fraser.

http://news.scotsman.com/archive.cfm?id=1280012004
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:18 am

aye............., that'll be right . Have a look at the Playfair Project across the road then talk about radical new plans. What larks ,Pip
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby phil » Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:43 pm

That sounds quite interesting. I was especially interested in the way in which a 'Heritage' watchdog is in favour of it. Does anyone by any chance have any photos of the present buildings or photomontages of the proposed replacement?

This quote is brilliant:

"Some buildings will have to be surgically removed to improve the architectural quality of the street and provide floor-space to meet modern shopping requirements. "

It makes me think of the city as a shopping body in itself, with any bad parts surgically removed! (quite medieval) :)
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:48 pm

the buildings proposed to be demolished will be no loss
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby PVC King » Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:46 pm

Thats a good strip being ripped off the Fur Coat alright,

Fair play to them for having the vision to denude themselves of some second class old tat and go for something that will leave something from this era, are there any renderings of what is proposed, nothing as bland as the Ormond Hotel Replacement I hope.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:55 pm

not yet,,, seems to be still an aspiration rather than a reality - but a bold move
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby PVC King » Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:20 pm

Competitions always deliver the best in architecture for the public and the worst for practices,

Will be good for the City of Edinburgh if it comes to pass, it will also keep us all occupied digesting the entries for a while as well.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:31 am

oooooooohh lads, you've a lot to learn still about how auld reekie does things.

If this turns out to include an outstanding piece of new architecture or urban infill, I'll be the first to applaud but history proves otherwise.

Outstanding in the sense that it will be influential or seminal to anyone outside Edinburgh
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:38 am

http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/edinburgh_new_town.htm

There's a good infosheet on Princes Street which includes Malcolm Fraser and Allan Murray's proposals on the edinburgharchitecture web site attached. Just scroll down a couple of items.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby gweilo » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:35 pm

Edinburgh are difficult but I wouldn't write them off as beyond hope just because of the heritage police. They know they have a problem with Princes Street are they are prepared to do something about it. 3D architects are playing the same game in the block just further to the east and I think that involved the removal of at least 1 listed department store and another unlisted one. What's more worrying from a modernist viewpoint is that the superb Scottish Provident Building on St Andrew's Square may be on the verge of being demolished.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:50 pm

Really? The Scottish Provident Building is in danger? Loved that building

http://scotland.archiseek.com/edinburgh/scottish_provident_lge.html
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby gweilo » Fri Nov 12, 2004 11:13 am

Yep as the result of Abbey National's restructuring / problems. The results of which mean their Edinburgh office, which is housed in the Scottish Provident Building, is to be closed. I also believe that it has been documented in the media that Comprehensive Design have been asked to look at a redevelopment proposal. Shame as it's the best 60's urban building in Edinburgh if not the best in Scotland. There is talk of finding another use for it though (boutique hotel etc) so hopefully they won't do anything daft.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:13 pm

...................my understanding is that the building has insurmountable problems in it's mechanical servicing provision.

It's making people sick, in other words. But Hey, I could be wrong.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby gweilo » Fri Nov 12, 2004 3:30 pm

So in other words Rowand Anderson Kininmonth & Paul so over designed or integrated the mechanical services provision so as to make the building inflexible to change and have therefore shortened its useful life? Clever that...guess they had a real grasp of sustainability and adaptability in the 60's. Demolition seems a drastic and wasteful solution though. Can they not just graft on new provision and abandon the old? Or will that destroy the building's integrity?

With regards to Princes Street Malcolm Fraser is in this week's BD stating that after selling his Princes Street masterplan to Edinburgh City Centre Management Company he is puzzled why Broadway Malyan, and not himself, have been commissioned to take it forward. Does anyone know if this scheme is being adopted does that sound the deathknell for Alan Murray's Princes Street Galleries proposal?
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:03 pm

Don't suppose even the most hard headed, financially driven, insensyively directed, business person would propose the demolition of what is regarded as Edinbugh's finest commercial contemporary building and a Grade A listed structure lightly.

Unless mad. Which is always a possiblity of course, or it could be a scare story.

It is not though in my opinion the best in Auld Reekie, that title belongs to the Distillers Building on Corstorphine Road by RMJM
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby gweilo » Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:07 pm

Surprising choice Alan! Know it well but much prefer Scottish Provident. Those guys were really going for it. Distillers is too polite for me and the setting too suburban. It is a good complex though.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby alan d » Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:13 pm

closet suburbanite...all mild mannered and polite. That's me alright . The Scottish Provident is a brilliant building, don't get me wrong but it's an "architects" building and as many people dislike it as like it

In that sense it is much more influential for our practice for it is slightly rude.

Distillers though has managed to achieve something that's significant I think, modernism but with a human face. Considering it's a big muckle brief in a highly sensitive conservation area.
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Re: edinburgh to almost completely rebuilt Princes Street

Postby gweilo » Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:33 pm

LOL! Yep very 'fruity 'it is and yes it would get the public thumbs down! Good point about Distillers though Alan. An exemplar for how to handle that 'sensitive' conservation setting without losing design sensibility . Its got enough self confidence to do its setting justice without pandering to the heritage police. Surprising that both buildings happened in nimbycentric Edinburgh though. Probably helped along by both sets of architects being locally based and having the connections to diffuse opposition.
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