Adjaye Associates, BIG on shortlist to design landmark pavilion in Edinburgh

The Ross Bandstand

A competition to design a new pavilion in the heart of Edinburgh has revealed its finalists, with seven teams now in the running, including Adjaye Associates and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

The design competition sets out to replace the Ross Bandstand, which is located in West Princes Street Gardens and has hosted live music performances since 1853. Its first permanent structure was built in 1877, replaced in 1935 by the site's current open-air theater, which was upgraded and extended several times throughout the 20th century.

More recently, competition organizers say the Bandstand has fallen into disrepair, and it is closed to the public when not in use, restricting access through what they call one of the most-visited green spaces in Scotland.

The Ross Pavilion and Gardens project aims to create a new pavilion that will host "imaginative arts programming," including both large- and small-scale events.

The seven finalist teams -- which include both established and emerging talent and hail from the UK, the US, Japan, Norway and Denmark -- were chosen from 125 who entered the competition and among which more than half came from overseas.

Finalists include Adjaye Associates (UK), BIG Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark), Flanagan Lawrence (UK), Page\Park Architects (UK), Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (Norway), wHY (US), and the team of William Matthews Associates (UK) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan).

These shortlisted teams will present concept designs for the project by June 9, including their ideas for the pavilion, a visitor center with café, and subtle changes to the surrounding West Princes Street Gardens. A public and digital exhibition will take place in mid-June and will welcome feedback on the designs ahead of the winner announcement, expected in early August.

Jury members include the writer Alexander McCall Smith and architect Ada Yvars Bravo.

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