Friday, 24 July 2009

We have glass!

Here is today's picture of the new extension. It passed through the concrete phase into a period when it was covered with what looked like bin liners. With a bit of TLC, the fritted glass and metal is now being attached.

The new wing will not be complete in time for the Edinburgh Intnernational Festival, which is a shame, but the rest of the building will be. A week to go until handover and rather a lot to do!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Getting there and counting down

The auditorium is gearing up for the opening night Festival on the 14th August. We reported recently that the glass wing is slightly behind schedule and will not be ready for the Edinburgh International Festival in August. The plan is to 'bubble wrap' it until it is. Here is a link to the article in today's Edinburgh Evening News.

The good news is that the rest of the hall - the staircases, podium, bars, toilets, etc., are nearing completion. The new internal colour scheme looks stunning. I can walk around the site now and can get a real sense of the finished article, and while it is frustrating that the wing won't be ready for August, I can promise you that the finished project is going to be wonderful.

The way that the architect has blended the old and new is tremendous and you can really celebrate the existing architecture in a way that you didn't before. The facade on Grindlay Street was largely ignored (or suffered from graffiti) but you can now see it as an internal wall when you stand inside the wing.

(Quiet) work will continue inside the wing during the festival so we can speed up the completion date.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Donald Runnicles Interview

As the building project heads towards a long awaited conclusion I will start blogging about music too. It's a nice warm feeling I get as I look forward to programming the hall again after such a protracted closure period. Being able to talk more about music than mortar is a good thing!

Anyway, Donald Runnicles & the BBC exciting. Kenneth Walton can write about it better than I so read the link and call us to pick a ticket or two (0131 228 1155 or

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

It's glass Jim, but not as we know it

The construction of the 'new glass wing' caused something of a stir judging by the increase in photographers around the site compound and the subsequent Flickr images floating around. It was also a bit of a shock for us - I had only understood the construction plans on a superficial level so it meant that we had to temporarily downplay our liberal use of the phrase 'new glass wing' as it is, in fact, made of concrete!

The glass and metal 'skin' will be going up shortly - you can see from the image that the fixings are on. It is exciting watching it go up as you can see the big architectural statement that it will make about the Usher Hall and the arts quarter. One of the issues that we wanted addressed at the start of the project was that the Usher Hall had a very 'closed' look about it during the day and we wanted to create a more open feel.

I am due to receive some images from the contractor which will show some more detail, including the internal works such as the circular stairwell.

In the meantime we keep repeating our mantra, "it will be fabulous when it's finished". In the meantime, our concert schedule is beginning to fill up and we are selling lots of tickets for the Autumn.