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at. Architect’s plans for a
" Guggenheim gallery (main image) and a European gallery of contemporary art (above)
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Guggenheim on Leith
Plan for port to join Bilbao and New York in the art league. Words: Ruth Hedges
hen the Reid brothers sang therr stirring ode to love
and Lerth. they did not envisage the sun glrntrng off two
major international galleries or a high tech tram system. This though rs where the Still c0uld be shining in the year 2010. Plans for an Edrnburgh Guggenheim and a European Gallery of Modern Art Ire at the heart of a masswe redevelopment fOrged by some of the crty's big thinkers — and none of them bigger than Terry Smith. property director of the company owning Lerth's docklands. Forth Ports.
Smith has ear-marked two Sites for the gallerres' construction. And arming for the top. he invited the architect firm behind the Bilbao Guggenheim, Frank O Gehry & Assocrates. to look at one of the proposed 200 OOOft sg site. They were impressed. ‘They thought rt was a Superb site.‘ says Smith. 'lt's got all the rrght components and rs now On their Irst for consideration.‘
It's part of a wrder vision to regenerate an area that has suffered greatly at the hands of industrial declrne and neglect. Already wrth Ocean Terminal and Yacht Britannia the ball has started to roll — levels of empIOyment are rising. tourrsts are stepping out of the sacred inner circle and Lerth is fast rising on the property market.
It seems an unmitigated success stery. but Irvrne Welsh's latest novel. Porno. reflects concerns that Lerth is becoming yuppyfred out of exrstence. Spud speaks for many: 'lt's aw changing. man. Yuv goat the Scottish Office at one end and yuv goat the new Parliament at the other. Emb0urge0rsement. man. that's what the intellectual cats call rt. Ten years' time. they'll be nae gadges like me'n'y0u left doon here. Look at Tommy Younger's man. it's a cafe-bar now. Jayne's. they call it.‘
So are the developers pricing Leithers Out of their own back yard? Terry Smith says no. ‘lt's not rust yuppie flats. People often talk about the new developments as being for a drfferent communrty in Lerth and what we're trying to do from the start rs make rt everyone's Lerth. For the past ten years I've worked wrth local people to see how they would lrke their area developed.‘
One of the main reasons for Lerth being the chosen srte rs an attempt to shift the focus of Edrnburgh away from rts rnward gaze. Jamie McFarlane of the architectural frrrn Farnigham McCreadre responsible for developing the ideas rnto a masterplan explains: ‘Fdrnburgh's a City which looks in on itself: it's very New Town or
4 THE LIST if! Sep 13 Oct 2002
Old Town centrrc. So we (lecrded to look at the coast line of Edrnburgh as an asset and refocus on to Edrnburgh. but from the sea. So part of the concept rs that the galleries \ivrll act as a gateway to Edrnburghf
Edinburgh Guggenheim Landmark international art gallery housing the Guggenheim's travelling collectron.
The European Gallery of Contemporary Art
European art gallery housing its own archive connected with Edinburgh. the Forth and its links with Europe. with temporary exhibition and performance space.
Water taxies Linking the two galleries. water taxies will ferry visitors across the harbour.
North Edinburgh Rapid Transit Route
High-tech tramline running from Princes Street down Lerth Walk. along the sea front to Granton. up to the Gallery of Modern Art. Haymarket and back round to Waverley.
Along the tramway. art installations forming st0p offs and points of cultural interest.
I Bono is continuing his odd obsession with Cl dead eyes Frank Sinatra by recording a cover of 'That's Life' for the new Neil Jordan movie The Good Thief The new Superman movie will focus on the character's origins. according to director McG. currently working on the follow-up to his dire Charlie '3 Angels. Hasn't he seen Smallvi/le? . . . Co- creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Graham Linehan. is directing Hello Friend. a shon film about a piece of destructive computer software . . . The Human League are admitting that their best days are well behind them. Twenty-one years behind them, to be exact. as they prepare to relaunch 1981’s classic Dare album. As well as all your faVOurite songs — ‘Don't yOu Want Me'. 'Love Action“ and Such — the digitally remastered release will also include a 32-page book of lyrics. photos and essays from. unsurprisingly, Phil Oakey and. more surprisingly, Boy George . . . Gwyneth Paltrow's Sylvia Plath has finally found her Ted Hughes. in the shape of fine British actor Daniel Craig. currently being seen as Paul Newman's son in Road to Perdition . . . Stand-up comics writing books. Don't you just feel indifferent to them? Similarlytish) titled funnymen Harry Hill and Rich Hall are the latest additions to this dishonourable tradition. but hopes may be high for Hall‘s Things Snowball and Hill's Flight from Deathrow.