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FIRST MINISTER OPENS AWARD WINNING NEW BUILDING FOR EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART

18 Jun 2008

Photographs: John K McGregor

ECA Westport ECA Evolution House ECA Westport Edinburgh Edinburgh College of Art Westport

The First Minister of Scotland the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP MSP, will open a new building for Edinburgh College of Art on Thursday 19 June when he will also make a short tour of the College to view the Degree Show work.

The £20.5m new award-winning building on the West Port was designed by College alumnus Neil Gillespie, of Reiach and Hall, and has state-of-the-art design studios, first-class digital media amenities, and unifies several libraries previously on different sites. The new facilities beautifully complement the historic traditional painting studios of the century-old Main Building.

On the development of the College and opening of the new building, Principal Ian Howard said; “We are delighted that the First Minister has agreed to open Evolution House at the College. As a global player in Art, Design and Architecture education, Edinburgh College of Art has to compete with the best in the world with our learning environment and facilities. The new development consolidates all our activities on the Lauriston Place campus and is a huge move forward for the College providing students and staff with some of the best resources in Europe.”

On his visit, the First Minister will meet some of Scotland’s finest artists who are also former students of the College, including Dame Elizabeth Blackadder OBE RA, Limner to HM The Queen; Barbara Rae CBE RA; David Michie OBE RSA; and John Houston OBE RSA.

Edinburgh College of Art Offices Edinburgh College of Art Westport Edinburgh College of Art Edinbrugh

Speaking on the opening of the new building the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP MSP said:

“Scotland is experiencing a cultural renaissance which is helping to drive our economy, modernise our international reputation and inspire new ideas.

“Evolution House will be a valuable addition to our cultural assets, helping to grow Edinburgh College of Art’s reputation as one of the most successful independent art colleges in the world. With a new library and design studios, the building will be a centre of learning and innovation – attracting students from around the world to come and contribute to Scotland’s artistic identity.

“The degree show on display today showcases the talents already growing in Edinburgh College of Art. It exhibits some of the great strengths of our modern culture – it is diverse, international, and expresses different views. The graduates involved join a proud line of gifted artists to have passed through ECA and I hope they go on to make equally impressive contributions to the social, cultural and economic life of Scotland and beyond.”

Kirsty Eaglesfield, a final year student of Jewellery and Silversmithing, from Edinburgh, will present a gift on behalf of the College. The exquisite boat-shaped silver salt with a spoon in silver and oak was inspired by the way the sea weathers and erodes objects. It was considered to be an appropriate gift for the First Minister, who represents a fishing constituency.

Evolution House architects: interview

Edinburgh College of Art

ECA Westport Building
building: photo © adrian welch sep 2006

Westport Building
Westport Building – screens and windows: michael wolchover photographer

Westport building

Evolution House : main page

West Port House

West Port is one of the historic entry routes to the old town of Edinburgh




Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

Harvey Nichols




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