Ross Pavilion and Gardens

An interdisciplinary team led by wHY has been selected to design an integrated landmark Pavilion, a visitor centre with café, outdoor performance spaces and improvements to the surrounding West Princes Street Gardens. Selected through an international competition, the $33 million Ross Pavilion & Gardens project marks wHY’s first major park design and first project in Europe. It is expected to commence construction in 2018.

West Princes Street Gardens form the boundary of the remarkable juxtaposition between the old and new towns. Strategically tucked into the landscape, the Ross Pavilion and Gardens is a transformative introduction that rejuvenates and revitalizes the heritage landscape with new elements of design. wHY’s landscape masterplan respectfully transforms the use of the gardens into something that connects people, the city and nature. Along the length of West Princes Street, a new network of accessible paths flow down the south slope through a landscape of native Scottish plantings.

The new Visitor Centre, embedded into this steep embankment and programmatically broken into multiple layers, is integrated into the ramp network. At West Princes Street, the sidewalk pushes into the park, creating a new viewing platform that maximizes views across the grounds to the Castle. A series of ramps flow down the embankment while defining the roof contours of the Visitor Centre.

The Butterfly Pavilion designed for indoor and outdoor performances is integrated with the landscape via a green roof and organic lines, blending the structure within the whole park. The Pavilion is both a beautiful structure and a bridge that encourages flow across the rail cut from the north. An oculus in the roof both brings natural light into stage enhancing the performers experience while movable walls and a flexible stage can accommodate events that range in scale from intimate to grand. It is an elegant and simple representation of a complex and flexible architecture program.

  • Workshops
    Buildings, Grounds, Ideas
  • Client
    Ross Development Trust
  • Location
    West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Role
    Lead Designer, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design
  • Team
    GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth
  • Scope
    Master Planning, Site and Building Programming, Stakeholder Engagement, Urban and Landscape Design, Architectural Design
  • Program
    Multi-functional performance pavilion, visitors center, cafe, community center, conference facilities, outdoor performance spaces, gardens, amphitheater, playgrounds, bridges, water features

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