In the first of our series looking at the shortlisted pavilion designs, we focus on the plan by Scots firm Page\Park
It is a city centre skyscape known the world over – and now a new concert arena will rise in the shadow of the Castle to replace the historic Ross Bandstand.
But the final design will have to be whittled down from seven competing visions for the £25 million project.
The Evening News is today beginning a series of articles looking closely at the designs in the running. First up is Scottish firm Page\Park Architects.
At the heart of its design is the naturally impressive flower beds covering the banks of the gardens.
“The lengthy flower bank to Princes Street is world unique. Our strategy is simple: we leave this alone,” said head of architecture, David Page.
“This is our homeland and we have directly relevant experience of working here, but we are also very, very conscious that this project is within a garden setting and the building should not dominate a public space.
“We understand implicitly how the gardens are used on a day-to-day basis but also how the space functions on an annual basis with special occasions such as Hogmanay and the [festival] fireworks.”
The firm, which delivered the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre in Glasgow, are working with an international team including West 8 Architects and BuroHappold Engineering with Charcoalblue and Muir Smith Evans.
Mr Page also sees the implementation of this project as a brilliant opportunity to showcase Scotland’s ability to deliver impressive engineering feats.
“We have added a wee modern intervention by including a transformable roof,” he said. “It’s like a bigger version of putting up an umbrella. The majority of the time the arena will be a large room with a huge window, but when it needs to, we can literally ‘raise the roof’.
“The Falkirk Wheel is a remarkable concept – it is the most visited site in Scotland, proving that we can do these engineering projects in Scotland and we can do them well.”
And although working on the “greatest stage possible” Nicola Walls, head of arts and culture at Page/Park admits there are challenges in trying to deliver a concept that works across the local and the international stage, but believes their pavilion hits the brief.
She said: “We are very conscious of the specialness of the site and the brief could be overwhelming but we believe this design takes into account the practicalities of having an orchestra of 80 and the scale necessary for projecting the sound to the audience, with the informal, meadow-like, every day setting.”