Edinburgh's Ross Bandstand: Detailed replacement plans revealed

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The 'Hobbit House'Image source, WHY
Image caption,
A glass screen has been added to the new "The Hobbit House" plans

Detailed plans of a new outdoor concert arena for Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens have been unveiled as part of a public consultation on the project.

Architects behind the revamp, which will see the Ross Bandstand replaced, have spent two years making changes to the plans.

They scaled back a welcome centre and added a glass screen to what has become known as "the hobbit house".

The screen would mean small indoor events could be held on rainy days.

The gardens would be accessed from Princes Street by the welcome centre.

The top level of the centre has been removed in the plans to reduce impact of the building on the landscape.

Image source, WHY
Image caption,
The gardens would be accessed from Princes Street by the welcome centre

In the detailed plans grass would replace the concrete bowl in front of "the hobbit house".

There would also be toilets and an indoor coffee shop.

The three B-listed shelters built into the slope at the east end of the top path in the gardens would be fitted with a lockable glass front in a bid to stop vandals and graffiti being daubed over the inside walls. They would also be heated and have lights.

Image source, WHY
Image caption,
The shelters would have heating and lighting under the new proposals

American firm wHY beat off competition from 125 teams from 22 countries to design the project.

An official planning application is due to be submitted in February.

The Ross Development Trust, which was set up by Norman Springford, the founder of Apex Hotels, is responsible for the development phase of the proposed improvements as well as raising the £25m needed for the project.

The Quaich Project is a partnership between the Ross Development Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council, which operates and maintains the gardens.

David Ellis, managing director of The Quaich Project, said: "This is the latest iteration of the design work that comes from our winning design in the competition we launched in 2017.

"Since then we have been doing a lot of work with key stakeholders in the city, the council, local groups and organisations which might look to use the gardens, taking on feedback to amend the designs to reflect what they are saying.

"There are a lot of fantastic things at the moment about the gardens but there is a lot of outdated infrastructure, access is really poor, so we are making sure the gardens are compliant with 21st Century accessibility protocols and making sure everybody in the city has the ability to visit them if they wish."

Image source, WHY
Image caption,
View from Princes Street
Image caption,
The Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens was erected more than 80 years ago

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