St Cecilia’s Hall

  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Existing photo by Page\Park Architects
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson
  • © Jim Stephenson

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Scotland

Local Authority Area

Edinburgh, City of

Information about this scheme

St Cecilia’s Hall is Scotland’s oldest purpose designed Concert Hall dating from 1763. The Category A listed building was originally commissioned by the Edinburgh Musical Society and is named after the Patron Saint of Music. Page\Park Architects worked closely with the client team to develop a setting for their unique and internationally significant musical instrument collection; to develop a centre of excellence for the display and preservation of the collection; and to create an outstanding and competitive visitor attraction that is underpinned by an in-depth knowledge of the collection, its visitors and their needs. Through the project, a programme of conservation and repair works have been completed to the existing building, the musical instrument collections of the University of Edinburgh have been brought together under one roof, and the existing gallery spaces and Concert Room have been fully refurbished and extended. In addition, the project included the reconfiguration of support functions within a new extension building presenting a bold new face to the city and enabling the facility to be accessible by all. The architectural vision founded on the perspective of the existing building as an old musical instrument that was in need of a new mouthpiece. The primary architectural aim being to charge the existing fabric with the ideas embedded in the collection – to introduce a dialogue between building and collection. The highly decorated soundboard of the 1725 Francis Coston double-manual harpshichord on display in the building, provided inspiration for the embellishment to the bronze stainless entrance facade to Niddry St. The parrot and flower patterns of the harpsichord interior were also subtly embossed into an exposed concrete soffit in the entrance foyer and incised into the ceilings in the support accommodation. The use of patterns, textures and colours inspired by the collection adds interest and cements the relationship between building and collection. Whilst operating as a free and publicly accessible museum, St.Cecilia’s Hall is also a vital part of the University as a facility for learning, cultural exchange and research. Since re-opening the building has been used in a myriad of ways for teaching, publicly guided tours, as a venue for the International Festival and for the continued conservation of the instrument collection – a testament to the hard working and flexible nature of many of the spaces formed in the project.

Credits

Client

University of Edinburgh

Architect

Page \ Park Architects

Structural Engineer

David Narro Associates

Services Engineer

Harley Haddow

Quantity Surveyor

Thomson Bethune

Acoustic Consultant

New Acoustics

Main Contractor

Interserve Constructiion

Fire Engineering

Atelier 10

Primary Use Class

Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure