Forsyth Sphere, Princes Street

CBA are delighted to be working with the Arcadia Group to reinstate the iconic ‘Forsyth Sphere’ to its prominent place on Edinburgh’s historic skyline. Arcadia took over the building in the early 2000s, and it now houses Topshop and Topman on its lower floors, with the upper levels leased to Travelodge. The iconic building was Scotland’s first steel-framed structure, and the sphere on top – which measures 4.7 metres by 2.6 metres – soon became a much-loved landmark of the city’s skyline. The sphere is an integral feature of this beautiful Category A listed building. It was designed by Gilbert Bayes, known for his work with the Royal Doulton Company and creating The Queen of Time at Selfridges in London, the intricate steel sphere displays the signs of the zodiac flanked by cherubic figures.   It was during the conversion of the upper floors to a 100 bed Travelodge Hotel it was discovered that the Forsyth Sphere had suffered severely from corrosion and consequent structural damage. Its restoration was carried out by Edinburgh fine art foundry Powderhall Bronze, with construction company Sharkey working on the supporting turret.   The three-tonne sphere, which dates back more than a century, was craned into place in the early hours of the morning to minimise disruption to the tram line and traffic on Princes Street.