Bennetts Associates

Citizens Theatre revamp awarded £4.8m of lottery support

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre has received a grant of £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to go towards its transformational redevelopment project.

The project will result in the conservation, repair and expansion of one of Scotland’s oldest, and much loved, working theatres. It will protect the physical asset for future generations whilst preserving and revealing the most significant parts of its heritage: the Victorian auditorium at the heart of the site; its rare collection of original 19th century stage machinery and a unique example of a working paint frame.

The redevelopment will also explore and celebrate the fascinating social and cultural heritage of the building and the company, increase public engagement and ensure ‘The Citz’, as it is affectionately known, continues to make and deliver world class theatre for the benefit of local, national and international audiences.

The redevelopment, designed by architectural practice Bennetts Associates, is a radical reworking of the existing building to provide new learning spaces, rehearsal rooms and a 152 seat studio theatre. It will also improve working conditions for staff and transform front of house spaces for greater use by audiences, participants and the local community. The project will be underpinned by 12 creative heritage focused activities including creating a heritage hub on the theatre company’s website; helping people to share their stories about the Citizens; providing volunteer opportunities; and bringing the work of the theatre to life through specially linked heritage productions, to wider audiences and visitors.

Commenting on the award, Judith Kilvington, executive director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this significant support thanks to National Lottery players. This critical funding will allow us not only to preserve our Victorian theatre but also to tell stories which help to uncover and communicate the physical, architectural, social and cultural heritage of the Citizens Theatre to many future generations of theatre goers, participants, and visitors.

“With our increased heritage engagement plans, we will be able to attract new audiences and participants to the theatre for the first time and encourage a deeper level of engagement amongst our existing audiences by offering a variety of ways to explore the Citizens Theatre’s rich and multi-faceted heritage.

“Our redevelopment project is at the heart of the regeneration of the Gorbals and Laurieston and will create a vital cultural landmark and community hub for all the people who use the building.”

Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to bring some Christmas cheer to one of Scotland’s oldest and best-loved theatres. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, the Citizens Theatre will undergo a transformation which shines a light on its incredible Victorian heritage while providing the modern facilities expected today. After 139 years of entertaining audiences, her future as one of the country’s outstanding production theatres is rosy.”

In June 2018, Citizens Theatre Company will move out of the Category B listed building, which it leases from Glasgow City Council, for over two years. Thanks to a partnership with Glasgow Life the company will continue to produce its ground-breaking work at Tramway and provide its Citizens Learning activities at Scotland Street School Museum. The Company will move back into its iconic Gorbals home in autumn 2020.

University of Edinburgh receives green light to transform former surgical hospital

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017_NorthSquaresmlEdinburgh’s former Royal Infirmary Surgical Hospital, a category-A listed building at the heart of the Quartermile development, has received detailed planning permission to become a major new facility for the University of Edinburgh.

Designed by Bennetts Associates working with project managers Faithful+Gould, the scheme is to be known as the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and encompass 21,300sqm of floor space, of which 6,000sqm will be additional new space.

The approval follows the anonymous donation of £10 million towards the transformation, the biggest ever capital donation to the University.

Edinburgh Futures Institute will bring together researchers from across the University with other partners to tackle major issues within the economy, education and societies across the world.

It will be a place that interrogates the opportunities and challenges of an age in which data and the digital disrupt old institutions and foster the creation of new ones.

The old hospital comprised multiple buildings from the 19th to the late 20th centuries including the original Royal Infirmary designed by David Bryce from 1870-1879. The architect was influenced by the ‘pavilion’ model of ward design founded by nursing pioneer, Florence Nightingale. Each ward was to be three stories tall with large windows, which was thought to better circulate fresh air, combat contagion and therefore mortality rates.

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017_NorthElevationsmlWith the more recent medical facilities already cleared for construction, the historic building is to be restored, extended and upgraded to form a flexible space that enables collaboration among students, staff and partner organisations. In recognition of the historic building’s importance to the wider community, the multimillion pound development will include a public piazza, garden spaces and a large subterranean multi-functional space for events and lectures.

The former hospital site as a whole, now known as Quartermile, covers an entire block of Edinburgh’s inner city – reaching from the Meadows in the south to Lauriston Place in the north, and from the Middle Meadow Walk in the east to Chalmers Street in the west. The project is the largest to date in a £1.5 billion investment programme being carried out by the University over ten years.

Rab Bennetts, director of Bennetts Associates, said: “Having worked continuously for the University of Edinburgh for 14 years we are acutely aware of the importance this project has to the institution and to the city.  The Edinburgh Futures Institute demonstrates the University’s ambitions, not only in the world of higher education, but also in architectural patronage. We are privileged to see our ideas for new interventions so readily adopted.”

Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy Miell, head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “The world is experiencing major changes: climate volatility, political discontent, advances in artificial intelligence, economic upheavals. This presents big challenges. We need different ways of thinking about these issues and of devising new solutions.

“Edinburgh Futures Institute will make that difference. It will blend theoretical and practical knowledge. It will work with organisations dealing directly with these challenges and curate meaningful interactions between seemingly disparate disciplines. We want our students to embody this approach and our partners to share the vision and help us to develop it.”

UOE-FuturesInstitute_©BennettsAssociates2017smlOn receiving the £10m donation, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University, added: “We are deeply grateful for this visionary gift to the University, which will help us to create a truly exceptional teaching and research environment within the Edinburgh Futures Institute. The Institute will challenge us to think differently about how we can affect change, both locally and globally.

“By marrying our world-class expertise in the humanities, arts and social sciences with our sector-defining research in new data technologies, it will produce practical solutions and new approaches for the common good. This generous gift will help realise this vision.”

The main construction period is programmed to start in 2018 and be ready for occupation by the University in mid-2021.

All images courtesy of Bennetts Associates

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre set for £19.4m ‘transformative’ redevelopment

Citizens Theatre GlasgowThe Citizens Theatre Company is to move out of its historic home in the Gorbals next summer for two years while the theatre undergoes a £19.4 million redevelopment.

The building, which is leased by Citizens Theatre Company from Glasgow City Council, needs to close to allow builders to move on-site to undertake the essential building works that will transform its Victorian theatre into a 21st century building fit for purpose.

The new building has been designed by architectural practice Bennetts Associates and the theatre will re-open to the public in autumn 2020.

During that period, plays, drama classes and staff, will be moved to a number of different venues including the Tramway and Scotland Street Museum.

In addition, the theatre’s production facilities will move across the road from the theatre into the former Skills Academy building, which is owned by City Building/Glasgow City Council, in Laurieston.

Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “The Citizens Theatre building is about to embark on the biggest changes to its physical structure in its 139 year history. This latest stage in our £19.4m redevelopment project presents an exciting opportunity for a number of key landmark cultural organisations to work together in Glasgow. Our shared history of innovation and creativity makes it a great opportunity to collaborate with them.

“We hope our audiences and participants will find our offer thrilling and appealing, as they follow us on our journey, as we temporarily move out of the theatre and present an exciting programme of work from different venues across the city.”

Councillor David McDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow Life, added: “We’re delighted to be able to support the transformation of one of Scotland’s iconic cultural institutions.

“The Citizens Theatre is rooted in the local community and it is absolutely fitting that while the venue is being refurbished, its ambitious programme of live theatre, creativity and learning, will continue across our venues, inspiring audiences from near and far.”

The theatre recently launched its ‘We Are Citizens’ public fundraising campaign which will inspire, engage, and encourage others to help raise £1.6 million for the building redevelopment.

Sir Robert McAlpine secures role on University of Edinburgh’s Quartermile project

University of Edinburgh QuartermileSir Robert McAlpine is to carry out enabling works for the University of Edinburgh on its project to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub.

A change of use and restoration application to extend the A-listed surgical building to provide teaching and learning spaces, a major new public event space, library and cafe and bar was submitted by the University last week.

Now the Construction Enquirer has reported that Sir Robert McAlpine has scooped the main enabling works with a £3.6 million bid.

Enabling works will consist of asbestos removal, full trip of finishes and services back to structure, roofing repairs and demolition of original foundations and cellars in parts of the building complex.

The University plans to restore and extend the existing buildings to form a wide range of teaching and learning spaces under plans drawn up by architect Bennetts Associates.

The architects intend to optimise conservation of key features of the 19th century building including the retention and restoration of the stone walls, slate roofs and entrance hall.

New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Developers will also remove the existing gatehouse directly in front of the main entrance on Lauriston Place to make way for a new entrance square.

Project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould is leading the redevelopment of the project at Lauriston Place, supported by structural engineer Will Rudd Davidson and Atkins’ Glasgow office as services engineer, with investment from built environment specialist Scape Group.

If approved, work could start by 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021.

University of Edinburgh unveils education hub plans at former Royal Infirmary

University of Edinburgh QuartermileThe University of Edinburgh has submitted plans to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub.

A change of use and restoration application has been filed to extend the A-listed surgical building to provide teaching and learning spaces, a major new public event space, library and cafe and bar.

Spearheaded by Bennetts Associates, the Quartermile initiative will repurpose the historic building to offer 21,300sq/m of floor space, 6,000sq/m of which will be new build.

The architects intend to optimise conservation of key features of the 19th century building including the retention and restoration of the stone walls, slate roofs and entrance hall.

New four-storey “infill buildings” will be constructed in the two courtyards between the east and west hospital wards and will provide space for lecture halls and teaching spaces.

Developers will also remove the existing gatehouse directly in front of the main entrance on Lauriston Place to make way for a new entrance square.

Project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould is leading the redevelopment of the project at Lauriston Place, with investment from built environment specialist Scape Group.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, said: “This incredible building has been at the heart of Edinburgh for more than three centuries. Quartermile is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Scotland and through our framework, the university will be able to offer further world-class facilities ensuring that they continue to attract some of the leading academics and business people of the future.”

Detailed designs will be considered by the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning officials, and if approved, work could start by 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021.

An Edinburgh University spokesman said: “We’re very excited about this project and have been consulting with the neighbourhood around the next steps of the development.

“We will be revealing more details in the coming months.”

ISG completes £2.3m Glasgow office refurbishment

100_west_george_stISG has completed a £2.3 million refurbishment of an office block at 100 West George Street in Glasgow.

Designed by Bennetts Associates on behalf of Whiteburn Projects and London & Scottish Investments, the work has created over 19,500 sq ft of open plan, high-specification office accommodation across the upper four floors of the existing six-storey office building, with space on the lower ground and upper ground floors prepared for Byron Hamburgers to fit-out.

ISG has also remodelled and refurbished the entrance and reception areas.

The fit out includes a new double height entrance space, raised access flooring and LED lighting together with an updated M&E system to obtain a coveted Grade A specification.

14 storey office plans lodged for historic Glasgow building

the_StillPlans have been submitted to turn the former Distillers’ House in Glasgow into 100,000 square feet of new office space.

Property developer Whiteburn Projects aims to keep the main historical elements of the B-listed red sandstone building in Waterloo Street, with a 14-storey structure built behind it.

It is being advised by property specialists JLL and Phil Reid Associates, with Bennetts serving as architects.

Edinburgh-based Whiteburn hopes to receive planning consent for the project, to be known as The Still, later this year.

David Kilgour, projects director, Whiteburn, said: “The Still will be a building where innovative new ways of working will harness all the elements of today’s rapidly changing technological and cultural environment.

“We‘re convinced The Still will become a building where professional and creative, firms flourish. There will be a real sense of creative urban energy at The Still.”

Work would begin in 2017 with completion scheduled for 2019.

McLaughlin & Harvey to build Edinburgh University’s Data Technology Institute

1417 Data Technology InstituteThe University of Edinburgh has selected contractor McLaughlin & Harvey to deliver its £28 million Data Technology Institute.

Designed by Bennetts Associates, the building is to be the third and final phase of the University’s Potterrow development, following the completion of the Informatics Forum and Dugald Stewart Building, and it will complete the urban block and courtyard of the original scheme.

The previous phases received numerous accolades including the ‘Andrew Doolan Award’ from the RIAS as well as the RICSSustainability’ and ‘Project of the Year’ awards and the Edinburgh Architecture Association’sBuilding of the Year Award’.

The new building, which received detailed planning consent in June 2015, will be home to a broad group of occupants from across the University, its start-up and spin-out companies, and industrial collaborators. The building has four to six floors of accommodation around an atrium.

Site establishment work will start next month, with completion of the building expected in late 2017.

Alongside architect Bennetts Associates, the project team includes Faithful & GouldBuro HappoldTurner & Townsend and Ironside Farrar.

Revamp plans submitted for Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre

Citizens Theatre GlasgowPlans have submitted to Glasgow City Council for the renovation and expansion of Citizens Theatre.

The application from Bennetts Associates details plans which would see a complete overhaul of the historic building inside and out.

The main auditorium would be upgraded and renovated to improve access and create new uses for the space while a new foyer, box office and cafe/bar are also included, as well as improved rehearsal spaces.

A studio theatre, which would be used for smaller-scale performances, has also been proposed and community and learning spaces would be created to enhance the Citizens services for locals.

A spokesman from the Citizens Theatre said: “Submitting this planning application is a milestone in our project to deliver the most comprehensive redevelopment of the Citizens Theatre building in its 135-year history. We thoroughly look forward to the council’s decision.”

The plans include the demolition and extensive redevelopment of much of the building which has been used for more than 120 years.

Buildings to the north and south of the theatre are among those set to be completely removed.

Designs aim to reduce exterior noise from traffic and trains, create a space that would be filled with natural light, and extensive work to the frontage of the building will feature statues of William Shakespeare, Robert Burns and the four Muses which once stood on the roof of the original structure.

A lift to mezzanine level adds further access to disabled visitors, which is a central element.

The modern facing at the front of the building will be stripped back to the original sandstone layer, and the public would be able to view the historic stage machinery and workshops, the former by use of a public staircase.

While the machinery, which includes timber lifts which would once have raised actors and props to the stage, will not be returned to use, it will be preserved in the same position it was last used, capturing an important moment in the theatre’s past.

Councillor George Redmond, executive member for jobs, business and investment at Glasgow City Council, said: “The redevelopment of the Citizens Theatre will lead to a new chapter in the story of one of the most famous theatres in the UK, paving the way for use by theatre companies and local people and organisations in the decades to come.”

Historic Edinburgh building to become university hub for business, policy and society

Quartermile, Edinburgh - Surgical Hospital Building1A disused landmark building is to be transformed by the University of Edinburgh as part of a major development.

The A-listed Surgical Hospital in the former Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will be sensitively restored and bring together different strands of the University’s cutting-edge activities from across the arts, humanities, sciences and social science.

Drawing on the University’s wide ranging academic expertise, the new space will unite business and public policy to address societal and environmental challenges. It will do so by forming meaningful partnerships with industry, governments and the broader community.

The hub aims to transform how information gathering and processing is understood, and how creativity and technology can affect organisations, working environments and people’s lives.

It will nurture a new generation of entrepreneurial citizens who are equipped to deal with the challenges of a volatile, ambiguous and uncertain world.

Dean of the University’s Business School, Professor Ian Clarke, said: “What the economy and society are asking for are leaders who can work across business, policy making and civil society, and who feel at home in different sectors of the economy. What is needed is the ability to interpret complex data and analytics, use design and creative tools to problem-solve and construct better organisations for the future.

“The University’s world-class expertise from across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences will combine in this exciting new vision to develop well-rounded leaders who are responsible stewards of business.”

Quartermile, Edinburgh - Surgical Hospital BuildingBuilt in 1879 to architect David Bryce’s Scots Baronial design, the building on Lauriston Place has historical links with the University. Generations of students from Edinburgh’s Medical School trained at the Royal Infirmary before the hospital moved to the south of the city in 2003. It is now part of the Quartermile Development.

University of Edinburgh Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, said: “We are very excited about the acquisition of the old Surgical Hospital. It will enable us to expand our outstanding teaching facilities and help us consolidate our position as a world-class university that is accessible to the wider community. Given our long relationship, it is fitting that this beautiful building is to become a permanent part of the University.”

Quartermile Developments managing director, Paul Curran, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for Quartermile and the city. The new University development will integrate Quartermile with one of the world’s most highly regarded academic institutions.”

The project managers will be Faithful and Gould and the architects will be Bennetts Associates.

William Scarlett, director of Rettie & Co, who acted on behalf of The University of Edinburgh, said: “This is a win-win for both parties and for the City; we are delighted to have played our part in the acquisition of the Surgical Hospital building on behalf of the University of Edinburgh.”