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1999 – Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Architect: Hopkins Architects

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh

Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and featuring his trademark tensile fabric tent, the Dynamic Earth Centre near Holyrood Palace comprises three main parts. The most obvious one is the fabric roof and its structure, a two storey building underneath which contains the exhibition, offices and workshops, and a forecourt.

Approached via the large amphitheatre to the front of the building, the entrance to the centre floats above the plinth which covers the building beneath. Although an interior space, its form and glass walls give the feel of an outdoor space with its fine views of the city and of Arthur’s Seat. A hemispherical dome to a multi-media theatre rises into the space.Two other structures rise into the pavilion, both containing staircases and lifts to the exhibition and retail facilities for visitors who might want to linger.

The two storey exhibition space is a black box to give ideal viewing conditions. Offices and workshops are on either side of it. An old wall which once formed the edge of a brewery is restored and extended to make the external wall of the black box. The external amphitheatre can be used for outdoor performances during the Edinburgh Festival.