The team led by New York and Los Angeles–based wHY was unanimously selected as the winner of the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition, as announced today by the Ross Development Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council.
There were 125 submissions for the £25 million project to reimagine the prominent West Princes Street Gardens and the Ross Pavilion in Edinburgh, Scotland, which led to a shortlist in March comprising of seven finalists. The competition brief asked teams to design a new pavilion that will host cultural arts programming, a visitor center with a cafe, and a subtle upgrade to the surrounding landscape.
Jurors found that wHY’s proposal was simultaneously exciting while respectful of the historic setting. wHY’s team also included Edinburgh-based design studio GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten, and Lawrence Barth.
wHY’s proposal takes influence from a butterfly’s symmetry, organic form, and its connection between nature and humankind. The ‘butterfly’ Pavilion folds into the landscape, allowing the historic Edinburgh Castle to be the main focal point. There is also an undulating promenade with sculptural seating embedded into the earth. When all combined, the proposal emphasizes “human scale with moments of drama … activating four layers of meaning within the Gardens: botanical, civic, commemorative and cultural,” according to the architects.
“Their proposal is a landscape scheme that is really more like an energy-field: using animation and drama as well as open vistas, they transform the Gardens and create an experience that is much freer and organic,” stated Malcolm Reading, the competition director, in the press release.
The other finalists were led by Adjaye Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Flanagan Lawrence, Page \ Park Architects, West 8 Landscape Architects and BuroHappold Engineering, William Matthews Associates and Sou Fujimoto Architects, and Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter.
Construction is planned to start in 2018.