Unrealised Projects: St. Mary’s Music School

Crucial to understanding a future trajectory for Calton Hill is unpicking the previous attempts, both realised and unrealised, to construct upon it.

The Royal High School is a focal point for much of the most recent attempts of this. Standing empty and owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, the RHS is the centre of a furore surrounding this future development. Central to this is one proposal by Richard Murphy Architects, in using the vacant building to house a music school.

In trawling through planning application information and carefully re-drawing the project, the main thrusts of Murphy’s designs have been understood as an important precedence.

These designs attempt to conserve the unique views through to the building and the rest of the hill by ensuring that development does not impact significantly on the skyline, and is proportional in its massing and form. As such, the designs utilise the hill itself and extending the existing undercroft of the RHS.

During the research period up in Edinburgh, I hope to be able to interview Richard Murphy himself to talk about the project in more depth.

Atlas Gregory Barrett24


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