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Hobbit-style design selected as £25m replacement for Edinburgh’s Ross Bandstand

US architects wHY won a competition to revitalise West Princes Street Gardens.

Plans have been unveiled for a £25 million redesign of a popular part of Edinburgh.

US architects wHY won a competition to revitalise West Princes Street Gardens, replacing the Ross Bandstand and creating an indoor visitor centre.

The designers will work with Scottish companies to create what some have called a Hobbit-style centre fitting into the “folds of the landscape”.

The Ross Development Trust said the “butterfly” design will not take away from views of Edinburgh Castle. Work on the £25 million project is expected to start next year.

Norman Springford, competition jury chair, said: “As is always the case with initiatives of this size and stature, the jury had a hard job.

“We are confident, however, that we have a winning concept that embodies an imaginative ensemble landscape approach, creating a wonderful stage for our iconic Edinburgh Castle.

“In addition, the design concept offers a creative energy and a series of unique elements which will all combine to create a new and contemporary landscape.

‘We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the shortlisted teams and understanding each approach. However with wHY, they demonstrated an impressive collaboration which respects and enhances the historical context and backdrop of the castle and the city, whilst creating new heritage and increasing the green space within the gardens.”

The US firm has previously worked on gallery design at the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard Art Museums, and collaborated with Yoko Ono on her Skylanding project in Jackson Park, Chicago.

Mark Thomann, wHY’s landscape design director, said: “This is a special opportunity for a special place, not just for Edinburgh but the world.

“The new Ross Pavilion and Gardens draw from the rich natural history, heritage and creative spirit of Scotland, embodying a model approach for integrating public architecture and urban space in a top global city.

“Our team looks forward to realising this vision with the Ross Development Trust and the people of Edinburgh.”


From Belfast Telegraph