In 2017 the A-listed City Observatory complex on Calton Hill will open freely to the public for the first time in its history. In partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, Collective will save the site, which is on the Buildings at Risk Register and become custodians of this important piece of our nation’s heritage. The Observatory complex will become a world-class contemporary visual arts space, commissioning important new work by local and international practitioners.
Historically the City Observatory complex was a place to house telescopes and observe the stars, but observatories are also places to view, to reflect upon a city, to bring people together; laboratories to research and places to follow academic pursuits. Collective are developing a new kind of City Observatory for Edinburgh, encouraging engagement, connecting with the locality through the acts of looking, thinking and importantly producing in relation to the historic culture of the site.