Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, Building, Photo, Location, Phone

Scottish Seabird Centre

Birdwatching Centre near Bass Rock, East Lothian, Scotland

22 Mar 2012

Scottish Seabird Centre News

National Marine Centre

The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick could be renamed under plans for a major expansion. The North Berwick centre has become a popular visitor attraction since opening 12 years ago. It could now be renamed the National Marine Centre to highlight its role in raising awareness of Scotland’s marine environment and wildlife.

Seabird Centre North Berwick Scottish Seabird Centre North Berwick
Scottish Seabird Centre : pictures © Adrian Welch

The expansion plans would create additional facilities for visitors, particularly school groups. More than a quarter of a million people already visit the five-star rated attraction every year. The centre’s original architects, Simpson & Brown, have produced some sketch drawings of what the extension could look like.

Scottish Seabird Centre North Berwick

Ornithology Centre close to Bass Rock on Firth of Forth

Phone +44 (0)1620 890 202

Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick Harbour, East Lothian
1999
Simpson & Brown Architects

Organic style building using timber boarding and rubble walls, perched on the edge of the sea. The Scottish Seabird Centre meets the visitor with a divided prow form, of modern conception but feeling timeless, redolent of Peter Salter’s work in Japan. This is the building’s best facade.

Scottish Seabird Centre Scottish Seabird Centre Scottish Seabird Centre
Scottish Seabird Centre: photos © Adrian Welch 2007

As the land falls away to either side one imagines the Scottish Seabird Centre being splashed by the waves: disappointingly there is a large tarmac carpark between the SSB and the sea, a great shame. The building’s fenestration is tucked under the eaves, hooded eyes looking into the strong winds that blow here. Inside there is too much plain timber for me. Also, the transom in the cafe blocked my view of Bass Rock and the Isle of May: however, in no way did it obstruct for my children’s task of ‘looking out for sharks’.

North Berwick
Scottish Seabird Centre: photograph from Simpson & Brown Architects

The interior of the Scottish Seabird Centre is centrifugally-planned around a double-height space that connects the lower exhibition flloor up past the entry level to the central rooflight. This allows vistas and light but is unfortunately glazed in with a timber-framed screen, limiting the poignancy.

Scottish Seabird Centre North Berwick Scottish Seabird Centre North Berwick
Bass Rock pictures © Adrian Welch 12009

In summary the Scottish Seabird Centre is a bold building that tries to do something new: neither modern nor traditional, it asks questions.

Scottish Seabird Centre, The Harbour, North Berwick: info@seabird.org

Scottish Seabird Centre
Scottish Seabird Centre: photo © Adrian Welch

The Seabird Centre is essentially a wildlife visitor centre close to Bass Rock. The Centre has a Gift Shop and Café with views and open deck over the Firth of Forth.




Scottish Architecture

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Seabird Centre – architects: Simpson & Brown




Scottish Housing

Key Scottish building by Simpson & Brown Architects: Rosslyn Chapel

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Local building by Simpson & Brown Architects:
SOC Bird Centre, Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland

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Scottish Seabird Centre : page