Hoskins scoops 'super sensitive' Edinburgh hotel scheme
Gareth Hoskins has won the competition to redevelop one of Edinburgh’s most sensitive landmarks, the historic Royal High School on Calton Hill
Hoskins’ £35 million scheme for the landmark will transform the A-listed Classical building, which the council claims has been on a ‘sabbatical for 40 years’, into an ‘Arts Hotel’ with restaurant, café and public arts gallery.
Speaking to the AJ shortly after hearing about his victory, Hoskins said he was ‘very chuffed’.
The scheme for Duddingston House Properties will feature a ‘sensitive’ treatment of the central span with new build elements introduced on the site’s fringes.
The award winning designer, who is also working on Donald Trump’s mega golf-course in Aberdeenshire, added: ‘We’ve been in a lot of consultation with conservation bodies.
‘[However, we were] probably deemed to be the more controversial in planning terms.’
Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: ‘The plans to reinvigorate the Royal High School are certainly most welcome.’
‘The Royal High School is one of Edinburgh’s most magnificent buildings, vital to Edinburgh’s epithet of ‘Athens of the North [and] has wider significance as part of the collection of monuments of national importance on Calton Hill and is an essential element of the World Heritage Site’.
Wilkinson thinks the project will ‘present many challenges and of course demand sensitivity, intelligence and beauty’ but will finally secure ‘a proper future for the building is also enormously important’.
Hoskins saw off competition from the likes of Richard Murphy and LDN Architects to win the commission.
The Royal High School has not been in public use since 1968. Built on Calton Hill in 1829 it is one of Edinburgh’s most imposing landmarks. A number of proposals for the school have fallen by the wayside including plans to move the Scottish Assembly into the building in the 1970s and a more recent scheme for a £20 million National Photography Centre, which was abandoned last year.