Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) plans to redevelop the five-storey Scottish Parliament offices - former Lothian Regional Council HQ [Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall & Partners, 1968] - off the Royal Mile into a £7m complex to include a four-star hotel, shops, two restaurants and a 'flagship' banking branch opposite its headquarters on the Mound.
HBOS wishes to demolish much of the parliament's offices leaving only the structural framework, such as steel trusses. Allan Murray Architects are working with developers The Kilmartin Property Group. The new building should include a 700sq m retail area. The centrepiece is to be a 110-bedroom luxury hotel, to be run in partnership with a four-star hotel chain.
Historic Scotland called for this Robert Matthew building to be retained and the Cockburn Association call for a design competition.
Robert Matthew, Architect: Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall & Partners British Home Stores, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh
Lothian Regional Headquarters, Edinburgh Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh
Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh
Robert Matthew: Introduction
Robert Matthew [1906 - 75] was London County Council (LCC) Chief Architect. Matthew made his reputation working for the LCC and was instrumental in creating one of the UK's key 20th century buildings - New Zealand House - off Pall Mall, London. Matthew had graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and he returned to Scotland in 1953.
Robert Matthew: Career
Robert Matthew had grown up in Edinburgh. Robert's father, John Matthew, was the partner of Sir Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929). He had designed several buildings for the University of Edinburgh at the King's Buildings campus.
After college Matthew apprenticed with Lorimer & Matthew in the 1930s. In 1936 Matthew joined the Department of Health (Scotland), becoming their Chief Architect by 1945.
Robert was appointed Architect to London County Council in 1946, but returned to Edinburgh to become the first Professor of Architecture at Edinburgh University (1953-1968). Matthew established a new Architecture Department. He advised the University of Edinburgh on the redevelopment of George Square. He also designed the David Hume Tower on the north side of George Square, located opposite the Basil Spence University Library.
Matthew also designed Edinburgh’s Turnhouse Airport, London Festival Hall and masterplanned Islamabad, Pakistan's new capital. Robert Matthew served as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the International Union of Architects and the Commonwealth Association of Architects.
Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners
Robert Matthew established the architectural practice of Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall (now RMJM), with Sirrat Johnson-Marshall, in Edinburgh and London in 1956. The company now operates internationally and is one of the
largest architecture practices in the UK.