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Revealed: new home for Royal Scottish National Orchestra


The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has revealed of plans to move to a new £14million home next to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Drawn up by Glasgow City Council’s in-house design team lead by architect Kerr Robertson, the scheme features a 600-seater auditorium, rehearsal space , learning centre, recital hall and performance space.

The RSNO, local auithority and Scottish Government have been working together since 2010 on the proposals for a flexible, multipurpose unit and a redeveloped north entrance for the Royal Concert Hall.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop: ‘This project is part of the major regeneration work going on in Glasgow as a result of hosting the Commonwealth Games, which will create a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland beyond 2014. 

‘The new development will enhance facilities for audiences, performers, schools, music and community groups, as well as providing a much-needed new home for the RSNO.  It will also be a showcase for Scotland’s world-renowned culture and creativity during the Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming, and contribute to the continuing vibrancy of Glasgow’s cultural life for years to come.’


The new development will increase Glasgow Royal Concert Hall ability to service its patrons – the north of the building will be re-modelled to provide better access to the venue and the main auditorium will offer improved accommodation, catering facilities and acoustics.

The new facility will be connected to the east of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, on Killermont Street, facing the city’s Buchanan Street Bus Station. The design of the development has been managed by Glasgow City Council’s lead architect Kerr Robertson and his team, whose previous experience includes the highly acclaimed remodelling of Glasgow’s City Halls. Subject to planning, building work is expected to commence in the autumn of 2012 with a target completion date of summer 2014, coinciding with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games.

It is hoped that the development, once complete, will attract thousands of extra visitors per year to Glasgow’s landmark venue. In addition, the RSNO will have the potential to engage with a much greater number of people, through the ability to present high-quality, in-house education and community programmes. With the fit-out of the latest internet-based digital technology, the organisation’s musicians and singers will be able to connect with schools, music and community groups throughout Scotland and beyond. The RSNO moving to the city centre will benefit the local economy with the continued use of the neighbouring amenities by staff, musicians, junior and senior Chorus members and visiting artists.

The Glasgow Royal Concert Halls will still be managed by Glasgow Life and staff are working with promoters and other users of the venue to ensure that the work does not impact on upcoming, scheduled performances. Once complete, the move by the RSNO will complement a year-round programme of events, including Celtic Connections – which ended with another record-breaking run on Sunday.

The existing site for the proposed the new home for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow

The existing site for the proposed the new home for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow


Readers' comments (5)

  • What an incredibly important and interesting project, matched only by an incredibly dull and uninspiring proposal.

    Glasgow seems to be in real danger of no longer being recognised as a city of good contemporary architecture with this effort and the tin sheds approved on the Broomielaw.

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  • Alan Dunlop cannot but remind one of the glorious cultural centre which the city's in-house team (Archibald Jury i.c.) proposed as replacement for St Andrews Halls in antediluvian days. But even the figures in the perspective are straight out of Graphic Effects, c 1959.

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  • This is a particularly worrying time for the city John, so much substandard work seems to be pushed through on the back of the economic crisis.

    I've no idea where this project came from and although I consider myself to be very well informed with what's happening in my city, this was somehow kept under wraps. I had no idea either that Glasgow had a chief architect, the last one left before Glasgow was City of Architecture in 1999 which now seems to have been a golden age.

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  • *Response about the procurement process from Glasgow City Council’s lead architect Kerr Robertson:

    "The design service for the New Wing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is being led, and largely delivered, by an in-house design team as governed by the Teckal Procurement Process.

    Where projects related to council owned property (particularly with that council is also a major joint funder) in-house services may be used without any need to appoint external consultants.

    There are of course strict procedures that apply under Teckal, and Local Authorities must demonstrate that they have sufficient and capable in-house resources and that this offers best value.

    In the case of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the Council does have particularly good in-house expertise in delivering a wide range of significant capital projects of this type, value and complexity. Indeed, the same team here successfully completed a similar project for GCC in partnership with the BBC SSO at Glasgow City Halls – a project which has been received much acclaim in terms of value for money, quality of accommodation and acoustics.

    The proposal here will see the in-house team provide Architectural, Quantity Surveying, Project Management, CDM and Inspectorate services. Due to other project commitments this was augmented with the appointment of external consultants for other disciplines such as Structural, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, as well as Acousticians/Venue Engineering.

    Procurement of these external consultants was made under the GCC Construction Consultant Framework. This Framework, which has been running for 3 years, was put in place for this specific purpose and subject to close scrutiny under Scottish Government and EU procurement rules."

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  • Industry Professional

    It puzzles me that prior to the mid 20c, buildings in general were simply commissioned by clients and designed by architects.

    Generally they were not procured; so some buildings were extraordinary (if circumstances allowed), others were not.

    That’s the way Glasgow was made, and until recently it seemed to work just fine? What’s gone wrong?

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