John Hope Gateway : Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
19 Jul 2010
ROYAL OPENING FOR EDWARD CULLINAN ARCHITECTS ‘JOHN HOPE GATEWAY’ AT THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, EDINBURGH
On July 12th Her Majesty The Queen officially declared the new Edward Cullinan Architects designed ‘John Hope Gateway’ at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) open.
Established in 1670 with a mission of “exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future“ RBGE has grown to become a world-renowned centre for plant science, research and education and is firmly established as one of Scotland’s leading tourist destinations, attracting over 500,000 visitors each year.
John Hope Gateway photographs, 13 Dec 2010, by Paul Raftery
pictures : Paul Raftery
Won through an open competition, the 2750 sqm building, completed in November 2009, combines a practical need for improved facilities with the opportunity to engage visitors in the work and voice of the institution. The new Gateway elegantly combines a large atrium, an extensive exhibition space, teaching and lecture rooms and a new restaurant and shop. In addition, the Gateway boasts a spectacular ‘floating ceiling’ suspended by 36 pencil-thin columns of steel, engineered by Buro Happold and a impressive helical staircase.
Located at the junction of several primary routes through the Garden, the Gateway encourages visitors to enter and leave the building from different points at different levels. For the first time, wheelchair users will be able to visit the Garden via a lift onto the upper circle path. Typical of all Edward Cullinan Architects-designed buildings, progressive architecture, innovative engineering and sustainability are the hallmarks sitting at the core of the project. The Gateway is built from timber, glass and stone and incorporates the latest environmentally aware and sustainable technologies including biomass fuelled boilers, rainwater recovery systems, a mounted wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels.
Roddy Langmuir, project leader at Edward Cullinans Architects said: “We’re honoured (UK spelling?) to have had HM The Queen open the John Hope Gateway. The new building reinforces RBGE’s position as one of Scotland’s great cultural icons and serves as a reminder of just how important plants are to life on our planet. We’ve been delighted with the positive feedback from both staff and visitors alike and feel proud to have created a building that generations of people will enjoy for years to come.”
In September 2010 Edward Cullinan Architects will be opening a second Royal Botanical Gardens building at Kew. The new Herbarium and Library Wing will house one of the world’s largest and most important sample collections of plant diversity (for further information see press release).
John Hope Gateway - Building Information
CLIENT: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
QS: Davis Langdon
INTERIORS: Edward Cullinan Architects
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Buro Happold
M&E ENGINEER: Max Fordham LLP
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Gross Max
PROJECT MANAGER: EC Harris
TIMBER SUBCONTRACTOR: Donaldson & McConnell
18 Feb 2010
Botanics' East Gate Temporary Closure
Visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) who normally use the East Gate, on Inverleith Row, are being redirected to the John Hope Gateway, at the West Gate, and to a temporary entrance at the North Gate while essential work is carried out to provide new visitor facilities at the East Gate Lodge.
The East Gate will be closed from Monday 22 February to Monday 29 March while essential exterior work is undertaken to the building and surrounding area. The contractors will then spend a further two to three months on interior alterations and renovation.
RBGE Head of Visitor Services, Alan Bennell, explained: "The transformation of the former East Gate Lodge will provide a much improved facility for people visiting the Garden. I know it could inconvenience regular visitors who are accustomed to using the East Gate but I am sure they will appreciate it is necessary while we progress this. I would urge them to be patient and hope they can readily access the other two gates in the meantime.''
He added: "We at RBGE are very aware of the need to provide a good visitor welcome. First impressions are very important. The John Hope Gateway at the West Gate is a fantastic facility and although the East Gate project is on a much smaller scale it will still greatly enhance our visitors' experience. There will be a new reception area for the Garden Rangers, a takeaway refreshments and snacks servery and much-needed toilets. There will also be an outdoor seating area with leaf-shaped canopies''.
Work is expected to be completed on the John Hope Gateway by June this year.
Topping-out at the Botanics
John Hope Gateway, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place
21 May 2009
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, officiated at the topping-out ceremony of the £15.6m John Hope Gateway visitor centre. Richard Lochhead toured the building with RBGE Regius Keeper, Professor Stephen Blackmore; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sir George Mathewson and Alex Miller, Managing Director, Xircon, the main contractor.
Successful combination of materials and rhythms - horizontal stone bedding of the tower offset by the vertical timber boarding of the facades. Rigged canvas reminiscent of Michael Hopkins' buildings such as at Lords' Cricket ground or Ron Herron's roof at Imagination in London.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland
REVEALS CONCEPT DESIGNS FOR ITS NEW FACILITY
Your Gateway - unlocking plants for people
Concept designs for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s [RBGE] new visitor Gateway were given a preview today. The designs developed over the last 10 months by senior staff at the RBGE in partnership with Edward Cullinan Architects, give a projected idea of plans for a new visitor Gateway at the West Gate entrance to the Garden.
Gateway images from RBGE
A national treasure, RBGE is one of the most popular visitor sites in Scotland and one of the most respected and prestigious scientific organisations in the world. For some time now, the RBGE has recognised the need to invest in its visitor facilities as well as build far greater awareness of the Garden’s work. In July 2003, working in partnership with an architectural consultant, an RBGE team drew together a Europe-wide architect's competition. Edward Cullinan Architects were the successful competition winners and were appointed to the Gateway project.
Now reaching an exciting stage in the design process, the RBGE over the next few months will be looking to involve visitors and local residents in the process, by holding a public meeting and putting on display a model of the Gateway that will help to visualise the design concept. “We understand that our visitors have great attachment to the Garden and will want to be kept informed of the Gateway’s progress” said Dr Ian Edwards [Director of Public Programmes at the RBGE], “The designs are sympathetic to the Garden’s surroundings and minimise the impact on the landscape as much as possible” he continued.
As Professor Stephen Blackmore, RBGE’s Regius Keeper, said the Gateway will provide an avenue to build far greater understanding of the Garden’s work and also the vital role of plants play in our world: “The Gateway will, for the first time give public access to all the treasures of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and make it an ‘all-weather’ attraction. It will offer an unparalleled insight into the whole world of plants and their conservation, helping us to retain and build on our rightful prominence amongst Scotland’s most world-renowned institutions.”
Exhibitions and live interpretation will help orientate visitors and enable them to get the most from their visit. For the first time visitors will have glimpses at unique treasures held behind the scenes and hear the experts explain what they do and why it is important. There will also be opportunities for people of all ages to participate in activities that reveal the uniqueness of plants and demonstrate what we can do to make the world a greener place.
The Edinburgh Botanic Gardens Gateway will provide a first class attraction for everyone visiting the Garden to relax, explore and enjoy the world of plants and most importantly learn about nature on our planet whatever the weather.
National Botanic Gardens of Scotland: Building PR May 2004
The estimated cost of the building will be £13m. Edinburgh Botanic Gardens receives over 700,000 visitors a year and has three Regional Gardens [Benmore Botanic Garden, Logan Botanic Garden and Dawyck Botanic Garden] which together with the Garden in Edinburgh, are jointly known as the National Botanic Gardens of Scotland.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is funded through grant-in-aid from the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and is a registered charity. International Architecture Competition included Snøhetta, etc.: won by Edward Cullinan Architects Sep 2003: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Further info on the Royal Botanic Gardens contact: 0131 552 7171