MUSEUMS Series 5: NEW MUSEUMS IN EDINBURGH
1999 is the year that Scotland was granted her own Parliament. It was also the year that a unique new museum to chronicle Scottish history was opened in Edinburgh. Won in competition it was designed by the architects Benson and Forsyth (see P9213 on wwww.pidgeondigital.com.). Its role is to augment Scotland's self-knowledge and emergent sense of national identify. The architects have taken the facts of the collection of exhibits and dramatised their presentation, at the same time linking the whole into Edinburgh's incomparable background. Down near Holyrood Palace, opposite the new Parliament building site, another exhibition centre has opened, the William Younger Centre, designed by Michael Hopkins & Partners. Startlingly beautiful in its setting against Salisbury Crags, it gained instant acclaim with its first show "Our Dynamic Earth", by which name the centre is currently known in the city.
MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND. Architects: Benson & Forsyth The Museum stands at the corner of George IV Bridge and Chambers St in Edinburgh's Old Town and forms an extension to the 19th century Royal Scottish Museum. Its cylindrical tower on the corner, forms a landmark at the street's junction. Its stone walls are penetrated by slots and openings that frame dramatic views over the city. The main entrance is at the base of the tower, though the building can also be extended from the Royal Scottish Museum at various levels. The Museum is designed to tell the story of Scotland from earliest times. It is divided by interrelated levels, starting with the basement 8000 BC to AD 1100 - and rising through the centuries to the present day at level 6. A roof terrace on level 7 captures view in all directions over the city. Ground floor (level 1) entrances to the building lead into the main east-west, "orientation" atrium, Hawthornden Court. South of this atrium lies the complex of galleries, large or small according to need, criss-crossed by walkways, and with views up, down and across. Images 1-79
WILLIAM YOUNGER CENTRE. Architects: Michael Hopkins & Partners The Centre lies close to Holyrood Palace and opposite the site of the future Scottish Parliament building, with Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat as a background. The Centre sits on land which used to contain a brewery, whose old wall and turret have been incorporated into the rear of the new building. The roof of the Centre is of Teflon PTF fabric, cables and masts and glass, and it covers the spacious reception area, available for many uses in the future. A wide terrace surrounds this level. During 1999 the Centre hosted a geology exhibition called Our Dynamic Earth. Depicting the evolution of the planet, it was contained in a labyrinth of 'black box' rooms and mini cinemas in the lower part of the building. Images 80-93
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