IHBC features ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Scottish capital’s historic observatory set to be transformed into artistic retreat

An historic observatory is set to become a base for international artists to stay in while visiting Scotland’s capital city, reports The National.

The National writes:

The Gothic observatory, which dates back to 1776, sits on Calton Hill and has been empty for years. At one point it had “building at risk” status.

Two years ago the Collective Gallery took over the space, and now the charity has revealed how it plans to restore the A-listed building.

With a £400,000 makeover, artists and crafters with be commissioned to make new works for the observatory, while the building itself will be split into two apartments. These will accommodate visiting artists, but will also be made available for hire for corporate events and as holiday homes.

The courtyard will become an outdoor seating area under designs from Glasgow-based Collective Architecture.

Plans submitted to Edinburgh City Council state: “The level of significance for this building is multi-layered; a combination of fine architectural detailing, an architect of great significance to Edinburgh, strong scientific links to the development of astronomy and timekeeping in the city, forming part of a group of the nation’s most significant buildings.”

Emma Fairhust, lead architect on the project, said: “Old Observatory House is a beautiful building, full of character and interest.

“We plan to keep the rooms simple and calm and to retain the feeling of the house as a retreat, overlooking the busy city below.

“When complete, the restored house will offer a fusion of gothic architecture, modern interiors, contemporary art, and exquisite local cuisine.”

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