US architect Why wins Edinburgh bandstand redevelopment competition

An international collaboration led by US design practice Why has won a prestigious competition to revitalise a World Heritage Site at Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens.

The firm worked with several designers and engineers others on the project, including GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth.

The £25m ($33m) development, run by the Ross Development Trust in collaboration with the Edinburgh council, will include a remodeled Ross Pavilion, amendments to the listed gardens and the addition of a visitor centre and café.

The winning design "positions the new visitor centre and the ‘butterfly’ pavilion into the folds of the landscape, enabling the castle to remain the main visual event. The scheme increases the amount of green space relative to hard surfaces within the gardens" say the Ross Development Trust.

The pavilion will "provide a flexible platform for the imaginative arts and cultural programming that Edinburgh excels in, and allow visitors and residents to engage with a variety of events all year round".

First-stage submissions for the contract attracted entries from 125 teams from 22 countries, with the shortlist including Adjaye Associates and Bjarke Ingels Group.

Norman Springford, the chair of the competition jury, said: "The design concept offers a creative energy and a series of unique elements that will all combine to create a new and contemporary landscape.

"Why demonstrated an impressive collaboration which respects and enhances the historical context and backdrop of the castle and the city, while creating new heritage and increasing the green space within the gardens."

Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

Images courtesy of the Ross Development Trust

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