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When a bank closure would be a good idea

The news that RBS is to close a total of 162 branches is unpopular both with bank users and employees who fear for their jobs. But one architect thinks there should be more closures.

Richard Murphy, one of Scotland’s most talented architects, posted on Facebook yesterday saying ‘Dear RBS,  Would you mind adding this branch to your closures and making that number 163?’ He is not being perverse. It is a very particular branch that he wants to see closed, the one at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh.

As he explains on his practice website, Murphy has long been working on ideas for a new high-class concert hall in Edinburgh. One of his options involves using the current RBS banking hall to form the foyer. This is a magnificent space with a star-studded dome. As Murphy says, ‘There is no economic reason for you to hang onto this building. If you did that it would allow my original concert hall idea of using the bank as the foyer for the auditoria behind to come to fruition and put an end to the absurdity of Concert hall audiences slipping down the side of the bank while the front door is locked every evening.’

I’m not sure which I admire more – his inventive architectural thinking, or his sheer chutzpah.


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