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Royal High School – St Mary’s Music School

Edinburgh, Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT)

OPEN is commissioned by the Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT) to provide Landscape Architecture Design and Townscape Visual Impact Assessment, as part of a multi disciplinary team, in support of a planning application for the Category A Listed Thomas Hamilton former Royal High School. The proposals include the accommodation of an expanded St Mary’s Music School as well as providing the public function of three internal performance spaces and a new city garden that acts as a fitting public/private interface to the building as well as enhancing the overall setting and providing a ‘fourth’ performance space on the site.

The key aspects of the landscape approach respect the setting of the existing site and context, especially Calton Hill. Although the site has been seen as a set piece and whole entity, it has also been carefully described and seen as a series of character areas that make up the whole experience. Other aspirational proposals include significant improvements to Regent Road and the setting out with the immediate site, attracting and enhancing the overall visitor experience to this part of the city centre.