Edinburgh builds on centre foundations

Edinburgh’s plans to create a 10m Architecture and Design Centre for the city are shaping up. Last week a Norwegian architect won a competition for the centre’s design.

Edinburgh City Council must now await the outcome of a bid for 6.7m of National Lottery funding from the Millennium Commission. Council leader Lesley Hinds says the council is confident the centre will be built.

Oslo architectural practice Narud-Stokke-Wiig beat five other finalists to pick up the 10 000 first prize. Its scheme includes a glass-fronted colonnade and a nib-shaped café overlooking Edinburgh’s Haymarket Square.

The council gifted the Haymarket site for the centre, proposed as part of the city’s unsuccessful bid to be City of Architecture and Design 1999. Glasgow won last year’s battle for the title, but Edinburgh vowed to press ahead with its own centre.

Plans for the centre also include offices and retail outlets, plus an IMAX cinema complex. These commercial elements would provide a substantial part of the project’s construction and running costs.

Hinds has pledged to give Narud-Stokke-Wiig’s design priority if and when the building is commissioned. An exhibition of the finalists’ designs opens tomorrow until 17 November at Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh.

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