wHY Wins Ross Pavilion Competition

John Hill
2. August 2017
Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / wHY

An international collaboration led by California's wHY has won the two-stage competition for the £25m Ross Pavilion and West Princes Street Gardens project in Edinburgh, Scotland.

According to a statement by Malcolm Reading Consultants, which administered the competition, the "winning team’s organic landscape-focused scheme respects the historic setting yet brings new energies, opens up views, transforms access and increases overall green space within West Princes Street Gardens." 

The competition asked entrants to focus on "regenerating and renewing an emblematic site at the heart of West Princes Street Gardens, which is presently occupied by the Ross Bandstand." Sited below Edinburgh Casle, the new Ross Pavilion would replace the existing bandstand and create a contemporary venue "for some of Scotland’s most high-profile events and celebrations."

As stated in their concept designed shortlisted in June, the winning team found inspiration in the word "pavilion," which means "butterfly" in Old French: "Parsed through the pictogram of a highly-decorated tent," their design "evokes the fluttering canvas and heraldry of a field campaign with a glorious connection between nature and humankind."

wHY leads the team that is made up of GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth with Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Beatrice Colin, Peter Ross, Alison Watson and Adrian Turpin.

The jury praised winning team's concept design as "a beautiful and intensely appealing proposal that complemented, but did not compete with, the skyline of the City and the Castle." Furhter, they "liked the concept of the activated community space with a democratic spirit, potentially creating a new and welcoming focus for the City’s festivals while appreciating that the team’s design balanced this with a strong approach to the smaller, intimate spaces within the wider Gardens."

Construction is expected to begin next year.

Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / wHY

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