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