The Front

Starting again: Malcolm {Fraser has plans for ’5 Cowgate

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Rebuilt space should be light and modern, blending ‘politeness with scuzziness’.

Words: Ruth Hedges

year ago at 8pm on Saturday 7 December. a

normal weekend night was unfolding. Pints being

downed. alcopops swigged. pills popped. It was still early but the Cowgate party was well under way: pre- club bars lubricating their patrons for the night of dancing ahead while musicians at the Bridge Jazz Bar warmed up ready to blow some tunes.

Twelve hours later and the venues. hubs of dancing. music and drinking. were decimated. Fire swept through the densely packed. warren-like space and while. amazingly. no-one was hurt. histories and livelihoods were. And so a year on. what is the future for the space and its owners? What will rise from the ashes? Will it be the kind of statement demanded of the World Trade Centre space Or an attempt to rebuild the old?

Architect Malcolm Fraser has been entrusted with the plans and he is certain of one thing: this will not be a flashy building. ‘Many architects misunderstand the nature of cities. They think that cities are composed entirely of monuments to their egos. Any city needs places that provide rather simpler space behind those wonderful buildings and this part of the city worked like that.‘

With eight of the original owners still wanting in. plus the

c0uncil. heritage groups and local residents. the jostling needs are complex. Fraser's level head will play a crucial part in realising a building that serves its various practical purposes and satisfies a desire for conservation and innovation.

‘We know that on South Bridge we need to make something which re-establishes the idea of the original building which was a grand monumental gateway to old Edinburgh. And then on Cowgate we want to make something which re-introduces the vigour of the medieval street pattern but a modern version. so it has more light and better. larger spaces. Our argument has been accepted that the nature of the Old Town is high rise.‘

That crowded. vital uncouthness of the Old Town. in contrast to the cold. spacious elegance of New Town. is a quality that Fraser is determined to foster. Creating somewhere that will be able to evolve with the mixture of life that lives within it. 'It needs to have the attractiveness of human interaction but it wants to be a modern. more light-filled. tidier version of that if possible. It's a balance between politeness and scuzzinessfi And you can't get much more Edinburgh than that. The city is lucky to have a son who understands her so well.

leading List writer

. ' _ Words: Nick Barley

Chin chin: The Lists' Mark


scoops , Best " at PPA " Awards

6 THE LIST 27 Nov—1 1 Dec 200:3

t's official. Not only is The List Scotland's leading arts and

entertainment magazine it also publishes Scotland‘s best writers.

Proof of the fact came at the inaugural magazine awards for PPA Scotland. the industry body for the country's magazine publishers. where The List's music and records editor Mark Robertson carried off the award for Writer of the Year. Of the three writers shortlisted for the honour. two were members of The List's editorial team. The PPA judges had the task of choosing between the feisty prose styles of Robertson and film editor Paul Dale. The award. sponsored by MMC. underlines Robertson's status as the most successful magazine journalist currently working in Scotland. following on from the Allen Wright Award for Writing About the Edinburgh Fringe that he won in 2002.

The List's website. courteSy of its average 250.000 page impressions per month. picked up the award for Best Online Presence. Guided by the hand of The List's new projects director. Mhairi Mackenzie-Robinson, and maintained by Russell Steedman. the site features comprehensive reviews of the best restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The List was also commended for its design. with art director Krista Kegel-Dixon shonlisted for the Designer of the Year award.

Fears over low AIDS awareness

Sexually active teenagers woefully ignorant of risks. Words: Jane Hamilton

orld AIDS Day. on Monday 1

December. is a time to

remember. celebrate and support those whose lives have been affected by HIV and AIDS. But while the candlelit vigils and workshops are taking place. are we living in the past and forgetting about the kids of today?

Two recent surveys have highlighted the need for a campaign to educate today's sexually active teenagers. The Scottish Executive has published a ‘Sexual Health Strategy for Scotland' to help combat teenage pregnancies and reduce sexually transmitted diseases. It wants schools to provide confidential sexual advice for teenagers.

Most people over 30 remember the Health Board's shock AIDS awareness campaign of the 80s. but the surveys bear testament to the fact that teenagers of the 21st century have been neglected. At the time it was gay men and drug users who were believed to be most at risk. with heterosexuals thinking they were safe. This ignorance is now playing a part in the ever increasing rate of HIV cases with heterosexual males and females contracting the highest rise in cases in the past few years. The return of Syphilis and the chlamydia epidemics are further proof.

The INCLUSION Project and the Scottish Executive have also carried out extensive research to produce “Towards a Healthier LGBT Scotland'. designed to look at the experiences of lesbian. gay. bisexual and transexual people and their health needs. They discovered that Scottish gay men are less likely to have an HIV test than men in the rest of UK despite a high level of risk taking. and that lesbians had limited knowledge about sexual health. I World AIDS Day Service. St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. 300 Great Western Road. Glasgow. 339 6697. 7.30pm. free: World AIDS Day. Church of St John the Evangelist. Princes Street. Edinburgh, 66] 0982. 6.30pm, free; World AIDS Day; Celebration for Life. LGBT Centre. 60 Broughton Street. Edinburgh, 478 7069.

730—7 7pm, free.