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JMP appointed to deliver new National Collections Facility in Edinburgh for the National Galleries of Scotland

The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), together with a multidisciplinary design team led by London-based architects John McAslan + Partners, is progressing plans to deliver a new National Collections Facility (NCF) at Granton, in north-east Edinburgh.

NGS holds one of the most outstanding collections of fine art in the world as well as extensive archives of international significance. The new, state-of-the-art facility will be a world-leading exemplar for the care and conservation of museum collections, and will bring together, under one roof, the collection and archives of the Royal Scottish Academy, Historic Environment Scotland and the Demarco Archive Trust.

The NCF will mark a step-change in the Galleries’ ability to share its collection through exhibition and loan programmes across Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally. In addition, the project will create a space where the collection can be experienced in a uniquely flexible way by NGS staff and a wide variety of visitors, including the public, artists, academics, curators and conservators.

This new cultural hub will offer dynamic connections between artefacts, artworks and archives, prompting new opportunities for research, collaboration and partnership. Amenities such as publicly accessible libraries and research rooms, interpretation and display areas, lecture rooms, and external sculpture trails could all contribute towards opening up of the collection. There is additional potential for social spaces, and opportunities to enliven the surrounding landscape with a variety of soft planting, sheltered spaces, ponds and pools.

The NCF will be built on a currently empty 40,000 m2 site, situated within the Central Development Area of the Edinburgh Waterfront regeneration project, and will be one of the largest Passivhaus buildings in the world, designed to the most rigorous low-energy standards. It will be a substantial, high-profile development for the local area of Granton, contributing to its regeneration by expanding social amenities, encouraging employment, enhancing cultural activity and providing an economic stimulus.

Working in close collaboration with local communities, partners and stakeholders, NGS aims to create a place where everyone will be able explore, discover, and engage with the national collection.

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