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Hoskins' Shetland showstopper delayed again

The opening of Gareth Hoskins Architects’ long-running waterfront cinema and music venue in Lerwick, Shetland has been put back again

The £10 million scheme, won in competition in July 2006, had been due to complete last spring and was subsequently pencilled in for May 2012 (see below).

However project backer, Shetland Arts, has said it could ‘not confirm any dates in relation to the opening of Mareel or subsequent events until DITT Construction [handed] over a fully completed building.’

A spokesman said: ‘This difficult decision comes after carefully reviewing the information available and taking into account previous multiple assurances of completion dates followed by notification of significant delays.’

In response DITT director Peter Tait told the Shetland Times: ‘While a date was given to Shetland Arts regarding a completion date, the arts trust have conveniently chosen to ignore the fact that the date was subject to no further instructions or additional works being instructed by their design team.

‘Disappointingly for the progress of the project, since 14 November a number of significant changes have been instructed. Design changes at this stage of a project inevitably impact on the completion date.’

The centre will house a 320-seat auditorium and two cinema screens a recording studio, plus education and training spaces. The venue is not now expected to open until July ‘at the earliest’.

Previous story (AJ 13.01.11)

Shetland’s new music venue set to open doors

Work is nearing completion on Gareth Hoskins Architects’ Mareel in Lerwick, the Shetland Isles

The £10 million competition-winning scheme, which will be the UK’s most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre, is due to open in May 2012.

Describing the quayside project, project backer Shetland Arts said: ‘Mareel will provide a year round programme of film, live music and other performance events. It will be a hub and a focus for the creative communities not just in Shetland but beyond, and a catalyst for the emerging creative industry sector in Shetland.’

The centre will house a 320-seat auditorium and two cinema screens a recording studio, plus education and training spaces.

The practice landed the scheme back in July 2006.

Previous story (AJ 05.03.09)

In pictures: Shetland’s new music venue

Work is finally about to start on Gareth Hoskins Architects’ competition-winning £9.2 million waterfront cinema and music venue in Lerwick, Shetland

Project backer Shetland Arts has signed a deal with a local contractor to build the centre, which will house a 320-seat auditorium and two screens, almost three years after Hoskins first landed the scheme.

Local Lerwick practice PJP Architects has also collaborated on the design of the building, known as the Mareel, which will also feature a cafe bar, rehearsal room and recording studio.

Funded in the main by the Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Arts Council’s Capital Lottery Fund, the project was originally due to start on site in August last year (2008).

Readers' comments (1)

  • How on earth did this get approved? From the photo it looks like a grim, enormous grey lump that does absolutely nothing to relate to its context.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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