Judges marvel at the marble of Scotsman Steps

Martin Creed: Led efforts to transform the steps last year. Picture: Neil Hanna
Martin Creed: Led efforts to transform the steps last year. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A REVAMPED stairwell built for the former offices of The Scotsman newspaper was the only other Scottish project honoured at last night’s awards.

Apart from the main six winners, the overhaul for the Scotsman Steps, which date back to 1899, was one of 21 projects around the UK to receive recognition.

Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist Martin Creed led efforts to transform the steps last year with different coloured marble, while Edinburgh World Heritage, the Fruitmarket Gallery and Edinburgh City Council were also involved with the project.

The judges’ official citation read: “Conservation works have been carried out to repair stonework, leadwork and glazing, improve lighting and provide a handrail and gates.

“A work of public sculpture has been created by Martin Creed with each step resurfaced with contrasting marbles from all over the world.

“The result is deceptively simple, very functional and quite beautiful. The scheme has impacted positively on the local community and the rehabilitation of this historic artery between the old and new towns, which had become dilapidated and a focus for anti-social behaviour.”

Fiona Rankin, projects manager for Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “The Scotsman Steps are a wonderful example of building conservation and art working together.”