The New King of Scotland

Allan Murray's architectural vision is habing a signficant influence on the future of development in Edinburgh. This column from <em>The Times</em> wonders if putting the future of a city in one man's hands is such a good idea.

August 15, 2008, 7:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg


"For anyone who wonders whether any of today's architects could influence a city to the same extent, a trip to Edinburgh in this festival season would be instructive. In this place of architectural marvels, there is a new name to conjure with. The successor to Adam, Playfair, Hamilton, Bryce and Gilbert Scott - the creators of Edinburgh's celebrated skyline - is Allan Murray. His may not be a name to conjure with in the wider architectural world, but in terms of current projects and masterplans in this city, he dwarfs everything that his more famous predecessors constructed."

"It is hard to take a walk from the narrow wynds of the 17th-century Old Town to the stern splendour of the 18th-century New Town without stumbling across a Murray site, either completed, in construction or in contemplation."

"That so many precious sites have been assigned to just one architect, without any noticeable public reaction, is a remarkable commentary on the way in which British cities are allowed to develop with no apparent control over how or even why they are doing so, along with a minimum of public accountability. In any other European city - Barcelona, say, or Rome - there would be high-profile competitions and rigorous scrutiny of any large architectural project. Here, the developer, and the architect of his choice, is king."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 in The Times

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