These are the first pictures of Edward Cullinan Architects’ John Hope Gateway visitor centre at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)
The practice saw off big names including Wilkinson Eyre, Richard Murphy Architects and Hopkins Architects to win the project back in July 2003.
The 2,750m2 building, which contains exhibition spaces, lecture rooms, a restaurant and a shop, has a ‘floating’ ceiling suspended by 36 thin columns, engineered by Buro Happold.
Roddy Langmuir, project leader at Edward Cullinans Architects said: ‘The new building reinforces RBGE’s position as one of Scotland’s great cultural icons and serves as a reminder of just how important plants are to life on our planet.
‘We’ve been delighted with the positive feedback from both staff and visitors alike and feel proud to have created a building that generations of people will enjoy for years to come.’
In September 2010 the practice will be opening a second Royal Botanical Gardens building at Kew. The new Herbarium and Library Wing will house one of the world’s largest and most important sample collections of plant diversity.