In 1991 architects Benson + Forsyth were selected as winners of the architectural competition to design the new Museum of Scotland. Sited opposite that other well known Edinburgh landmark, Greyfriars Bobby, the museum turns the corner with a large cylindrical volume. The inspiration for the design has come from national building traditions. The exterior walls are clad in golden Clashach sandstone from Morayshire, with natural figuring evoking windblown sand.
Like their later extension to the National Gallery of Ireland, the Museum of Scotland facades are a riot of openings and surfaces. Visitors are encouraged to look out of the building to see the city and country around it.
From the Museum’s roof-top garden visitors have an unrivalled view of the historical as well as architectural context of the building with an excellent view of the Castle and the Old Town. The interior of the museum is an exciting sequence of interior spaces and exhibition rooms. The interior conveys to visitors a great feeling of light and space. Structural form, light, creates some very interesting spaces, some top lit, and some lit from ‘slot’ like windows on the exterior.