George Square, Edinburgh, Photos, Architecture, Architect, Picture, Library
George Square Edinburgh : Information + Images
University of Edinburgh Buildings, Scotland
28 May 2012
50 George Square
50 George Square Building
Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces today that it has been awarded its 22nd project for the University of Edinburgh for the renovation of the university’s 1960’s William Robertson building at 50 George Square. 50 George Square is a Grade B listed building located close to the heart of the city of Edinburgh.
image from Balfour Beatty
The £12.1m four storey refurbishment project includes the construction of a new storey at rooftop level to form a project room above the existing lecture theatre for the School of Literatures, Languages and Culture. Award winning Page \ Park are the architects for the refurbishment works.
The building will be fully insulated with energy efficient materials and new hard and soft landscaping around the building will be created.
This contract award is testament to the strength of the relationship Balfour Beatty has with the University of Edinburgh and adds to the growing portfolio of Scottish refurbishment schemes that Balfour Beatty has established in recent months.
The project is due for completion in Spring 2014.
University of Edinburgh George Square
Edinburgh University Library by Sir Basil Spence + Glover & Ferguson Hume Tower by Robert Matthew, Architect - Johnson-Marshall & Partners Appleton Tower by Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners McEwan Hall by Sir Rowand Anderson, Architect
Edinburgh University Library, George Square, 1965-67, Sir Basil Spence + Glover & Ferguson
Typical 60's sober stylng, but with Aaltoesque timber internal rhythms.
2006 Update: The Library and podium building were listed, along with the Hume Tower by Historic Scotland
Edinburgh University Library was founded in 1580. The University Library moved in 1827 to William Playfair's Upper Library in the college building. The collections in Edinburgh University Old College - known as the General Library - moved in 1967 to the purpose-built eight-storey Main Library building at George Square.
Edinburgh University Library was not designed solely by Basil Spence but by J. Hardie Glover and Andrew Merrylees, of Sir Basil Spence, Glover and Ferguson, Edinburgh. Andrew Merrylees' practice went on to become Hypostyle Architects who have recently extended the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge. Designs for the new Edinburgh University Library were begun in Nov 1963. Demolition of the existing George Square buildings began in 1964.
The building was formally opened on 1 March 1968 by the Chancellor of the Edinburgh University, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh University Library was refurbished in 1999.
Channel 4 show Demolition - supported by George Fergusion of the RIBA and fronted by Kevin McCloud - are asking for nominations to demolish 'ugly buildings' across the UK: The Cockburn Association has named the Appleton Tower alongside the St James Centre, the Jury's Inn Hotel on Jeffrey Street, and Clifton Terrace, at Haymarket, as one of the Capital’s ugliest buildings:
The George Square building [on Crichton Street] was constructed during a redevelopment of the area by Edinburgh University in the early 1960s. Designed in 1963 by respected post-war Edinburgh architects Alan Reiach, Eric Hall & Partners (latterly Reiach and Hall Architects who are now involved with Bennetts Associates on the new Potterow building - Informatics school, see below link) the Science Facility includes labs and lecture theatres.
The Appleton Tower provides research, teaching and learning facilities; the Edinburgh University School of Informatics is now housed in the tower following the Old Town Fire, with the neuroscience department.
Sir Robert Matthew, Architect: 1906-75
Robert Matthew grew up in Edinburgh and studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. Robert was the son of John Matthew who was the partner of Sir Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929). John had built several buildings for Edinburgh University on their King's Buildings campus. Robert was apprenticed with his father's firm in the 1930s. In 1936 Robert Matthew joined the Department of Health (Scotland), where he rose to become their Chief Architect by 1945.
In 1946 Matthew was appointed Architect to London County Council (LCC).
Robert returned to Edinburgh to become the first Professor of Architecture at Edinburgh University (1953-1968). He established a new Architecture Department and was responsible for advising the University on the redevelopment of George Square, together with designing of some of the buildings such as the David Hume Tower.
Robert established the architectural practice of Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall (RMJM), with Sirrat Johnson-Marshall, in Edinburgh and London in 1956. RMJM has offices across the globe and is the largest architectural practice in the UK.
Robert Matthew made his mark in social architecture through the design of public buildings. Matthew's key works include New Zealand House in London, London Festival Hall and Pakistan's new capital buildings, Islamabad.
Matthew served as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the International Union of Architects and the Commonwealth Association of Architects.
Back towards the centre, note the McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Robert Rowand Anderson.