University of Edinburgh 7 Bristo Square

By | 29th May 2017

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University of Edinburgh 7 Bristo Square

Bristo Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, is owned by Edinburgh University and acts as a public space between university buildings, notably the McEwan Hall used for graduations and the EUSA student union buildings. It has been commonly used by traceurs, skateboarders, rollerbladers and bmxers for recreational purposes, but with the current redevelopment work this ceased at the end of March 2015. It had become customary over the summer months for Edinburgh University to allow the square to be rented by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for certain shows and stages. The square has been home to the udderBELLY for the last few years up until 2014. The Udderbelly is moving to George Square.

The square officially opened in 1983 to mark the quatercentenary of the University of Edinburgh (founded 1583). The square was designed by the architectural practice headed by Prof. Percy Johnson-Marshall (1915-1993) who held the chair of urban design and regional planning at the University of Edinburgh. It was part of the 1962 plan to create a civic space to replace Bristo Street, realigning Potterrow and Lothian Street in the process. Consulting engineers were Jamieson, MacKay & Partners.

There is a plaque to the local educational campaigner Mary Crudelius in Bristo Square.

In 2013 Edinburgh University announced plans to spend £3.4m on improvements to the McEwan Hall and Bristo Square area. Designed by LDN and Buro Happold this scheme is designed to restore the A listed Robert Rowan Anderson building to its former glory whilst enhancing accessibility and increasing capacity. The redevelopment of this square started in April 2015. The square has been fenced off and the trees felled.