Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Redevelopment, Extension, Picture, Scotland, Design, News

Usher Hall Edinburgh

Concert Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh – refurbishment by LDN Architects

Usher Hall

Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Usher Hall Extension
Usher Hall Extension
photo © Isabelle Lonholt
Photos of Usher Hall Building Extension. 29 Mar

Usher Hall Extension + Refurbishment
Building extension by LDN now open. 26 Feb 2010

Usher Hall Refurb Cost
The Scotsman reports Usher Hall refurbishment cost set to rocket by £4.7m. The cost of the project was originally put at no more than £9m in 2002 but costs have continued to escalate, despite council chiefs “pegging” the refit price at £19m in 2006. This will of course put further unwanted strain on CEC’s already struggling budget. Due to complete in the Summer. 150109

Usher Hall Extension
photo from LDN

Usher Hall News
Despite ongoing delays to the extension & redevelopment project CEC’s Deputy Leader Steve Cardownie confirmed the Usher Hall will be available at full capacity for the Edinburgh Festival. Due to complete this October

Edinburgh Concert Hall
image of entry © Adrian Welch

The Building
Date: 1910
Architect: Stockdale Harrison
Location: Lothian Road, central Edinburgh
History: Octagonal concert hall gifted to city by brewery family

Usher Hall: Phase 2
In 2003 the Usher Hall entered its ‘second’ phase of refurbishment with designs by LDN Architects to allow disabled access but mainly a new entertainment extension to the south onto Grindlay St.

Usher Hall Edinburgh
Usher Hall, Edinburgh: image from above from LDN Architects

Usher Hall refurbishment : LDN Architects

The Usher Hall went in for Planning again in Jun 2003, by LDN Architects (architects of Festival Theatre), includes slither of extension to south (Grindlay St) containing bar, box office and offices above, and disabled access using fall of site to north and using same diameter as extension sprung from centre of symmetrical building.

Usher Hall Edinburgh
Usher Hall, Edinburgh: image of redeveloped Concert Hall from LDN Architects

The Usher Hall Extension removes the symmetrical plan and pushes out further than Lyceum’s foyer, narrowing Grindlay St, thus fairly radical. Removal of disfiguring poster displays and disengagement of mainly glass extension to existing heavy stone would benefit Edinburgh. No competition this time, previously RMJM scheme was developed and Richard Murphy proposed a ‘ring of saturn’ scheme using cafes at the top.

Usher Hall Phase 2 to cost approx. £9m, refurbishment scheme, image released early Aug 2002

The adjoining Victorian Royal Lyceum Theatre by CJ Phipps was also refurbished by Law & Dunbar-Nasmith (now LDN), in 1998.
Also adjacent to the Usher Hall is the Traverse Theatre – reputed to have the longest bar in Edinburgh.

Usher Hall
Usher Hall photo © Adrian Welch 2007

The Usher Hall redevelopment was attacked by the RFACS in 2002

Usher Hall, Edinburgh : Phase 2
Press Release from LDN Architects

LDN Architects’ proposal for the Phase 2 Redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Usher Hall has been awarded lottery grants of £2.8m from the Scottish Arts Council and £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project transforms the Grade A listed building, providing additional public space in a new wing on Grindlay Street as well as re-organising existing accommodation.

Usher Hall – SAC information: www.scottisharts.org.uk/content/press_release.cfm?press_id=212

‘This exciting proposal for the Usher Hall offers a real opportunity to make it an outstanding venue for Edinburgh and for Scotland in the 21st century,’ said Maud Marshall, Chair of the Scottish Arts Council’s Capital Committee. This new phase of the Hall’s development will deliver enormous benefits for audiences and for artists, and we are delighted with their plans to build a diverse artistic programme and bring in new audiences.
Colin McLean, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Manager for Scotland, added: ‘We realise that the Usher Hall, as well as being a building of significant heritage interest, has an important role to play in the cultural life of the city today. We are delighted to award a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to this project which we are sure will inject new life into the theatre, allowing many more people to visit and enjoy all that it has to offer.

Usher Hall Building : Background Information
Usher Hall Extension
image © Isabelle Lomholt

Edinburgh Theatres
Festival Theatre
Edinburgh Playhouse
North Edinburgh Arts

News Excerpts re Usher Hall:

Edinburgh Concert Hall Refurbishment
Plans to refurbish the Usher Hall and turn it into one of Europe’s leading concert halls have been given the go-ahead
Feb 03

Usher Hall Extension
The design of a planned £9m facelift for Edinburgh’s Usher Hall has come under fire from The Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and heritage watchdogs have criticised the design of the proposed glass extension to the Lothian Road concert hall…Councillor Steve Cardownie, said: ‘After a lot of heart-searching and head-scratching, this is the best design the architects could come up with.

Aug 2002




Scottish Architecture

Edinburgh Walking Tours

LDN Architects – Scottish Building: the original Eden Court Theatre




Queens’ Hall Edinburgh

Just to the west of the Usher Hall is Edinburgh Conference Centre

Comments / photos for the Usher Hall Architecture pages welcome

Usher Hall Edinburgh – Building : page

About the Author:

e-architect Limited, Director & Company Secretary. Isabelle trained to be an architect, is Danish and lives in the UK.