World’s top architects line up for chance to slightly alter Edinburgh bandstand

Seven teams are on the shortlist to redesign one of Scotland’s best known landmarks, the Ross Pavilion and Gardens. This venue, which stands at the foot of Edinburgh castle, is to become the centrepiece of a £25m ($32m) redevelopment.

The project will amend the existing architecture to add a visitor centre and café, along with "subtle updates and improvements" to the listed gardens.

The shortlist is:

  • Adjaye Associates (UK) with Morgan McDonnell, Buro Happold, Turley, JLL, Arup, Plan A Consultants, Charcoalblue and Sandy Brown Associates
  • Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with jmarchitects, Gross Max, WSP, Alan Baxter Associates, JLL, Speirs + Major, Charcoalblue and People Friendly Design
  • Flanagan Lawrence (UK) with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup and Alan Baxter Associates
  • Page\Park Architects (UK) with West8, Buro Happold, Muir Smith Evans and Charcoalblue
  • Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (Norway) with Gross Max, Aecom, Groves-Raines Architects and Charcoalblue
  • Why (US) with GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, O Street, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Yann Kersalé Studio, Lawrence Barth, Stuco, Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Alison Watson, Peter Ross, Adrian Turpin and Beatrice Colin
  • William Matthews Associates (UK) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan) with Gross Max, Buro Happold, Purcell and Scott Hobbs.

The shortlist was whittled down from 125 submissions from 22 countries including Australia, Japan, India and the US, with UK-based practices producing 42% of the responses.

A map of the area (Google)

The initiative aims to regenerate and renew a nationally important space at the heart of West Princes Street Gardens and within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s Unesco World Heritage site.

The site currently holds some of Scotland’s most renowned events, such as Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Festival’s closing fireworks concert.

Councilor Richard Festivals said: "The response to the competition’s first stage affirms the worldwide interest in Edinburgh and its association with the arts. Scotland’s capital is renowned as the World’s Festival City and the home of culture – and designers clearly want to be part of its future.     

"The brief at stage two asks for a serious piece of architecture but one that’s also celebratory – it will be fascinating to see what concepts the teams produce."

The teams have until 9 June  to produce their concept designs; a winner will be announced in August.

Construction is due to begin in 2018.

Top image: The Ross Bandstand as it currently stands (Wikimedia Commons/Kim Traynor)

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