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Edinburgh’s Ross Pavilion finalists’ designs unveiled

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The AJ can reveal the concept designs drawn up by the seven teams battling it out to create a £25 million visitor centre and performance space in West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

The impressive list of finalists includes Adjaye Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group, Norway’s Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, Los Angeles-based wHY and AJ100 practice Flanagan Lawrence.

Also in the running are Page\Park Architects of Glasgow and a collaboration between Shard architect William Matthews and Japan’s Sou Fujimoto.

More than 125 teams submitted bids to land the Ross Pavilion project, which is being backed by the Ross Development Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council.

The brief called for an ‘outstanding team’ to deliver a landmark venue on a prominent site beneath Edinburgh Castle within the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Zone as well as improvements to the surrounding park. 

The pavilion will replace the 1935 Ross Bandstand which hosts the city’s Hogmanay celebrations and the Edinburgh International Festival’s closing fireworks concert. In recent years the bandstand has fallen into disrepair.

Malcolm Reading of Malcolm Reading Consultants, which organised the competition, said: ‘Each of the finalists knows winning would be both a privilege and a career-defining moment. 

‘While the seven pavilions show different approaches, the competing teams are connected by a shared love of materials, form and placemaking.’ 

All the design are on public display at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre until 30 July.

The winner is expected to be named in early August.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Mark Owen

    Nice and sunny up there, have any of them been to Edinburgh!! Great selection of ideas though

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  • Anyone for touching the earth lightly?

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  • Mark - It's lovely and sunny in Edinburgh just now!

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  • These are very disappointing designs for such an important site.
    They appear to highlight flaws with the brief as well as the process.
    'Outstanding teams' evidently don't always produce outstanding designs.
    Issues include surprisingly awkward out-of-scale form-making, inadequate sensitivity and responsiveness to this exceptional site, and the kind of undeliverable over-complexity that leads to so many of these competitions not being realised.
    Surely there must be a better way?
    This is just not good enough.

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