Edinburgh Filmhouse Images, Lothian Road Building Proposal, Design, News

Edinburgh Underground Cinema

Scottish Cinema, Filmhouse Lothian Road – design by Terry Farrell & Partners

11 Apr 2008

Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema

Exit Stage Right Richard Murphy OBE; enter Stage Left Sir Terry Farrell
Sir Terry Farrell is proposing a £20m underground Filmhouse in Festival Square.

Louvre Pyramid
photo of Louvre Pyramid by Adrian Welch

Accessed via a Louvre-style glass entrance (see photo above) the cinema would become home for the Edinburgh International Film Festival. But he also wants a cultural quarter here and changes to Lothian Road itself.

RSA Exhibiiton Edinburgh
image from Richard Murphy Architects via RSA

Three years ago Richard Murphy produced a cinema proposal (image above) for EIFF on top of Festival Square, but the proposal was unpopular with the Sheraton Hotel and some in CEC. At the time of the RIAS 2001 Festival Exhibition, Murray Grigor hit the spot when he described it as ‘Ceausescu Plaza’, hinting at the sombre monolithic architecture favoured by the former Romanian dictator

Edinburgh Underground Cinema Festival Square Cinema
Edinburgh Underground Cinema images from architects

Farrell aims to have pavement cafes (presumably ’more’ as All Bar One have made a valiant attempt at bringing some life to one corner) and event spaces on the square: this dull square is exactly the kind of issue the Edinburgh’s design champion must get CEC to tackle. Soon. Four years into the job you do wonder what is blocking significant action.

Terry is demanding the council sort out Lothian Road to link the space to the Usher Hall, a sensible idea. Farrell describes Lothian Road as “one of the worst examples of suburban highway planning foisted on a town centre.” Certainly the road slices through what could be a strong civic space.


Edinburgh Filmhouse Proposal 2005
scottish arthouse cinema festival square building
images from Richard Murphy Architects via RSA

Richard Murphy Architects’ Edinburgh Filmhouse project for Lothian Road – model viewed by Sir Sean Connery:

Sean Connery Edinburgh
image from Richard Murphy Architects

The Festival Square location has proved controversial with key members of Edinburgh Council and some neighbours.

Richard Murphy exhibited the Edinburgh Filmhouse at the Venice Biennale 2004, initially as the only Scottish-based architect, though other Scottish architects were shown as part of the Ligthhouse’s last minute entry.

Filmhouse project, Lothian Road
Sean Connery Filmhouse: Aerial View

Filmhouse, Edinburgh
Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh by Richard Murphy Architects, Edinburgh
“Iconic building”…..“The new Filmhouse would have an atmospheric overhang
and has the potential to be a signature building like other rotundas –
such as New York’s Guggenheim or Rome’s Pantheon.“
Does Edinburgh need another “Iconic building” or a “signature building”?
And is this building really ‘iconic’?

Richard Murphy Architects
Cambridge St View

The Edinburgh Filmhouse development will strengthen the cultural zone – Usher Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre and Traverse Theatre – that merges with the office zone across Lothian Road & The Exchange. The Sheraton Hotel is reported to have objected to Richard Murphy Architects’ proposals with concerns from the
Council who own Festival Square – entitled Ceausescu Plaza by Murray Grigor in the 2001 RIAS Festival exhibition.

Richard Murphy Architects
View from Usher Hall west across Lothian Road

Festival Square

Venice Architecture Biennale

DCA cinema

Missoni Hotel

Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema Context:
Usher Hall
Sheraton Hotel Health Club

Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh: 0131 228 2688

Architecture in Edinburgh

Cameo Cinema

Lothian Road Exchange

Edinburgh, Scotland

Buildings / photos for the Edinburgh Filmhouse Architecture pages welcome

Filmhouse Edinburgh Building : page

Website: Edinburgh, Lothian