Penicuik project features in Venice exhibition

A project in which young people were asked to contribute ideas on the future of Penicuik Town Hall is currently featuring as part of a major international exhibition in Venice.

A town hall for all

Midlothian Council has been working with the architects Austin-Smith:Lord on the ‘Town Hall for All’ project, which has come about as a result of the planned regeneration of Penicuik town centre.

Ideas captured on 'paper people'

Earlier this year, local schoolchildren were asked to submit their ideas for future uses for the Town Hall. Given Penicuik's heritage as a papermaking town, the youngsters’ ideas were captured on 1,329 ‘paper people’ - one for every pupil in the town.

International exhibition

Their paper chain of ideas is now part of the prestigious 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (Venice) which runs until November this year. A joint initiative between Scotland and Venice, the exhibition highlights the work of artists and architects in both Scotland and Italy.

Penicuik in the Park

Closer to home, a stall at Penicuik in the Park this weekend (Saturday 26 May) will showcase the youngsters’ work to date, which also celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People.

International showcase

Graham Ross, Partner at Austin-Smith:Lord said:

“We’re relishing the prospect of participating in Penicuik’s annual Hunter and Lass festivities whilst, simultaneously, the ‘A Town Hall for All’ project is showcased at the internationally prestigious Venice Biennale. We’ve been inspired by the energy and ideas coming through from Penicuik’s primary school pupils and hope that this kick starts a whole-town debate about the Town Hall.

Future place

"Having grown up in Penicuik it’s been a privilege to work with young people in the town to help them shape their future place," added Graham. We look forward to sharing their ideas with young Venetians in the coming weeks.”

Priority for regeneration project

Penicuik Town Hall has been identified as a priority for the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Scheme, a partnership between Midlothian Council, Penicuik Community Development Trust and Penicuik First. Funding applications for the project have recently been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

25 May 2018