Transformation of Iconic Thomas Hamilton Building into National Centre for Music

A New Vision For Thomas Hamilton Building

The Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT), an organization committed to the protection and sensitive development of the Thomas Hamilton Building below Calton Hill in Edinburgh, has recently unveiled a new vision for the former school premises. This initiative comes with the backing of a £45 million grant from the Dunard Fund and intends to convert the existing structure into a modern National Centre for Music.

Design and Purpose of the New Centre

The refurbished building will house clearly delineated spaces for education, community engagement, and performance, all within fully accessible public gardens. The auditorium, for instance, is set to be repurposed into a 300-seater concert hall. This development is in line with global trends in similar projects, such as the recent transformation of retail spaces seen in London’s shopping district. You can know more about such transformations in the article, Designing Engaging Spaces: A Look At London’s Retail Revolution.

Enhancing Public Access and Visual Appeal

The addition of new public gardens and a restaurant/café is expected to boost public accessibility and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the building. The RHSPT is also in the process of appointing a new chair for the trust, as William Gray Muir steps down after eight years of dedicated service.

Edinburgh’s Cultural Landscape to Gain a New Landmark

Carol Grigor of Dunard Fund has expressed excitement about the project, stating, ‘The National Centre for Music will confidently find its place in Edinburgh’s cultural landscape. It will build on the city’s world-leading strengths and create opportunities as a UNESCO World Heritage City, a festival city, and a forward-looking city.’

Acknowledgement and Aspirations

Trustee Colin Liddell and CEO of the Royal High School Preservation Trust, Grant Mackenzie, have acknowledged the contributions of Willie Gray Muir and expressed their aspirations for the National Centre For Music to become a world-leading cultural venue for musicians of all backgrounds.

The Next Steps

A revised planning application is set to be submitted by early 2024. Council leader Cammy Day has voiced his support for the project, highlighting its potential to preserve a key historical building in the city.

Preserving History, Building the Future

This ambitious project not only seeks to preserve the historical significance of the Thomas Hamilton Building but also aims to create an inclusive space that fosters musical education and community engagement. Indeed, it is an endeavor that will leave a lasting legacy for Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.