Scottish Architecture and Design Centre Competition, 1996
a glowing hill of solid mass for the masses
architecture for the people
In 1996 The Architectural Review ran a competition to transform a
key but run-down site in the centre of the city of Edinburgh into a
new Scottish Architecture and Design Centre.
Both site and programme were complex and difficult. The brief
called for a heterogeneous mixture of functions, principally the
Scottish Architecture and Design Centre (SADC), an IMAX cinema
and a large speculative office component. The SADC itself contains
a variety of uses, ranging from exhibition, lecture and library spaces
to workshops and a cafe-bar.
A hill is formed by two inclined Astroturf slopes, folded in section to
maximise sunlight hours. The hillsides embrace a public plaza.
Through the manmade landscape of the hill protrude soft glowing
boulders covered with climbing plants. Each form is a building,
accessed from the plaza above and the cavern below. At night the
landscape is transformed as light emits through the foliage and the
boulders become a sea of lights on the hill.
Architects Tonkin Liu
Client City of Edinburgh District Council
Location Edinburgh, UK
Awards Scottish Architecture & Design Centre Competition finalist
Publications The Architectural Review, Jan 1996