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Edinburgh College of Art Award

RMJM Award for Art and Architecture, Scotland

Nearly 130 students from Edinburgh College of Art teamed up for the second annual RMJM Award for Art and Architecture. Twenty six teams, each made up of five students from the schools of architecture, drawing and painting, and sculpture explored the potential future use for three Leith landmarks coupled with the notion of import and export. The innovative proposals included the virtual connection of the Martello Tower with other towers around the world, the flooding of existing buildings with the rising tide, and a travelling red sofa. The winning team – Kittie Jones and Dong Han from the drawing and painting school; Fiona Pender a sculpture student; and architectural students Luke McClelland and Greg Robertson – dreamed up a spectacular proposal to transform the imperial grain silo at Leith Docks into a giant water sculpture.

Edinburgh School of Art
Award for Art and Architecture: image from RMJM

The inspiration for the winning entry, entitled ‘Imperial Clock’, came from Edinburgh’s one o’clock gun, which started as a means of giving an accurate time check to ships in Leith when the time ball on the Nelson Tower could not been seen on foggy days. The ambitious proposal is for a kinetic sculpture using the silo’s grain cylinders to project water upwards, at one o’clock each day, creating a 100-metre high wall of water visible from the sea as well as other key points in the city. The silo would take on a striking night time persona with creative lighting providing a dramatic light display, timed according to conditions throughout the year.

Member of the judging panel, UK Managing Director of RMJM, Tony Kettle praised the winning proposal: “The winning entry combined a visionary solution with the re-use of a building, thanks to a great deal of historical research. There is richness to the idea and the winning team showed a real understanding of Leith, its connection to the city and the rest of the world.”

Edinburgh School of Art
Award for Art and Architecture: image from RMJM

Scottish-based artist, Peter McCaughey who is judging the awards for the second year running said: “This is the second year I have been involved in the judging of the RMJM competition and it has certainly increased in momentum. I got a shiver down my spine whenever the team mentioned reusing grain tubes to force water through to echo the one o’clock gun. In my own practice I work all the time with site specificity as well as time specificity. You can just imagine crowds of people waiting with umbrellas at the ready for this explosion of water from the top of the building.”

Another member of the judging panel, architect and Assistant Editor of the Architectural Review Rob Gregory added: “As a visitor to Edinburgh, this was the most engaging project both in terms of its place in the city and its appropriate re-use of an existing structure. It has poetry, potency and potential”.

This year saw a 60 per cent increase in the number of students participating in the RMJM Award for Art and Architecture. Keith Hartley, Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and member of the judging panel praised the concept of the competition and the quality of entries: “I was very impressed by the range of approaches and the amount of research that most people had done. The presentations were very professional and some of them very entertaining. It is nice to see students form different disciplines at the art school working together, something of which there should be a lot more of as it is often rather artificial for people to work in narrowly defined fields.”

The winning entry and a selection of the runners up will be displayed at the
RIAS Gallery, Rutland Square, Edinburgh in Feb 2006.

The RMJM Award for Art and Architecture 2005

The judging panel for the award, now in its second year, consisted of RMJM’s UK Managing Director, Tony Kettle; Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Keith Hartley; Architect and Assistant Editor of The Architectural Review, Rob Gregory; Property Director of Forth Ports PLC, Terry Smith; and Scottish-based artist and lecturer, Peter McCaughey.

The RMJM Award for Art and Architecture was launched in 2004 with the aim of challenging boundaries between disciplines and providing a focus for collaborative working between architecture and art students.

RMJM worked with Enric Miralles to design the Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh School of Art – Architecture + History

Edinburgh College of Art is based in Edinburgh’s Old Town and is one of the oldest and largest Schools of Art in Europe. The College is located in three Edinburgh campuses: Lauriston Place, Grassmarket and Inverleith.

The Drawing Academy of Edinburgh, was founded in 1760 and later became
(what is now known as) Edinburgh School of Art, formally founded in 1906, when it commenced relocation to Lauriston Place. The School joined with Heriot-Watt University in 1968, hence the School of Architecture was called Heriot-Watt School of Architecture for many decades.

Edinburgh School of Art is by J M. Dick Peddie and George Washington Brown, 1906-1909. It is in a very heavy Beaux-Arts style, notably the south-facing entry to a grassy court. The College is built in old red sandstone – a sign in Edinburgh generally of a late Victorian building, such as the Caledonian Hotel.

Contact Edinburgh College of Art: +44 (0) 131 221 6072

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