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Usher Hall, The Royal Lyceum Theatre and The Traverse Theatre


ClientCity of Edinburgh Council

StatusCompleted 2009 (Phase 2); 2010 (Phase 3)

A Category A-listed beaux arts style building within a Conservation Area and World Heritage site, the Usher Hall was opened in 1914. Edinburgh International Festival is an event and brand that is recognised worldwide. The Usher Hall is the venue for the most prestigious concerts held during the Festival.

Deterioration of the building fabric, operational problems and lack of accommodation prompted a phased series of refurbishment works to ensure the future international standard of the concert hall.

The setting was a cluttered mess with vehicles competing with pedestrians, food stalls and poor quality street furniture. An opportunity existed to create a level access podium to all building entrances and a welcoming open forecourt where people could assemble before and after a performance, in comfort and safety.

A vibrant, pedestrian public space was created, connecting the Lothian Road, Usher Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Traverse Theatre, signalling a City Arts Quarter. High quality natural stone finishes together with bespoke display totems and furniture have improved the quality, durability and aesthetic of this cultural hub in Scotland's capital.

Tapered granite steps run into the gradient of surrounding plaza