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Collective takes over on Malcolm Fraser observatory scheme

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Glasgow practice Collective Architecture has been appointed to take over design work on a new café and gallery at Edinburgh City Observatory from liquidated practice Malcolm Fraser Architects

Collective has been appointed to progress detailed designs on the scheme on Calton Hill, which received planning permission from City of Edinburgh Council on Wednesday (7 October).

Collective has also employed the lead architect on the project, Emma Fairhurst, and her colleague Nicola McLachlan, who worked for Malcolm Fraser before the firm’s announcement that it was ceasing trading.

Collective director Jude Barber said: ‘The circumstances in which we took this on are very sad, but the fact we have been able to employ the architects working on the project is a positive and means there will be some consistency in the design process.’

The council’s development management sub-committee voted to allow the scheme, which will restore the main listed buildings on the site, and create a new footpath.

Along with a café and new office and gallery for Collective Gallery, a new roof terrace will form a public viewing platform.

A report by city planners said the scheme would create a new landmark building which would ‘impact on the historic skyline but will make a major contribution to it’.

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