Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

Sutherland Hussey Harris, Edinburgh, 2014


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The sunken courtyard is inspired by the Ryoan-ji temple in Kyoto 

Keith Hunter     Download Original

  • The sunken courtyard is inspired by the Ryoan-ji temple in Kyoto    
  • The tower faces south over the city    
  • The courtyard    
  • The bays of the concrete frame form a cloister around the perimeter of the external space    
  • The older, three-storey building steps up to meet the street    
  • The cloisters provide space for the open-air working of individuals or groups    
  • The prismatic form of the galvanised rainwater vessel    
  • The tower faces south over the city    
  • Light cast into the interior via a clerestory    
  • The cloisters are used as open-air workshops    
  • Site plan    
  • Level 0 Plan    
  • Level 1 Plan    
  • Section AA & North Elevation    
  • Section BB & CC    
  • Section DD & South Elevation    
  • Laboratories Detail    

Phase 1 of the project (Bill Scott Sculpture Centre) contains metal, stone, wood and mixed-media workshops with 30 ‘garret’ studios sitting on top. Phase 2 (Creative Laboratories) comprises 12 external sculpture bays divided by concrete piers.

The primary structure is in-situ concrete, the bays of the concrete frame forming a cloister around the perimeter of the external space. The bays provide a basic infrastructure that can be used as temporary working spaces, areas for storage or exhibition, or to build more permanent internal studios at a later date. The concrete frame allows the opportunity to cast in fixing points for other structures.

The continuous, gently folded roof is clad with bricks; its surface folds around the outside of the inner frame forming the external skin to the new building. The concrete colonnade is managed on the south side with a cantilevered soffit to let the cloister remain uncluttered as a workspace.

An open-ended rectangular cloister has a trapezoidal-planned café block and a triangular-planned tower placed strategically at that open east end, with their angled sides gathering the approach to the courtyard. The tower, which is brick with a concrete skin lining the interior, is completely hollow, and acts as a beacon for, and gateway to, this low-lying public space.


  • Begun: Jan 2010
  • Completed: Nov 2014
  • Floor area: 1,160m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £3.1M
  • Procurement: Traditional SBCC (Phase 1 altered to allow for Gross Max Price)
  • Address: 21 Hawthornvale, Edinburgh, EH6 4JT, United Kingdom

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