The Dunard Centre
St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, UK
The Dunard Centre
Edinburgh Concert Hall

Whitby Wood is providing engineering design services for a new cultural venue, as part of the team led by David Chipperfield Architects. The Dunard Centre will host the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival. Our structural design reflects the brief for a world class performance space and the construction logistics of a ‘land locked’ site behind Category A listed Dundas House.

Below ground, a waterproof concrete basement, offset from Dundas House, accommodates predominantly services plant and back of house facilities. It is constructed within an excavation bordered by a contiguous piled wall, between adjacent existing substructures and attenuation tanks.

Above ground, the superstructure forms three distinct spaces — the northern back of house facilities and associated plant, the auditorium, and the front of house facilities. The building is designed as a combined structure with stability provided by concrete cores within the back and front of house spaces. Floors are concrete cast on holorib permanent formwork.

The auditorium is a steel structure with large span roof trusses and balconies designed to meet the auditorium’s dynamic requirements. Auditorium lateral loads are transferred to the cores with additional local bracing in the auditorium risers. The front of house structure is also steel with cellular beams providing a clear span foyer, and a concrete core. Precast cladding is stacked from ground floor level, supported by the capping beam and restrained by tying back to the steelwork.

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Landscape architect : GROSS.MAX
Acoustic consultant : Nagat Acoustics (hall and studio), Sandy Brown (venue)
MEP enginer / lighting / fire engineer / sustainability : Atelier Ten
Transport engineer : Arup
Theatre consultant : Theatre Projects
Facade engineer : Thornton Tomasetti
Planning consultant : Ryden LLP
Heritage consultant : Turley
Cost consultant : Thomson Gray
Project manager : Turner & Townsend
CDM : Alliance CDM
Accessibility : Reiach and Hall Architects

IMPACT Scotland
David Chipperfield Architects, Reiach and Hall Architects
gross internal area
approx 7,630 sq m
embodied structural carbon
541 kg CO₂ e/sq m


Structural engineering
Civil engineering



renders + elevation : David Chipperfield Architects
renders : Hayes Davidson
models : Whitby Wood