An open day for the finalists will be held in April and the teams will have until 9 June 2017 to produce their concept designs.

Adjaye, Ingels, Ramstad and Fujimoto in the Running to Design Edinburgh Theatre and Gardens

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Seven architecture studios have made it on to the final shortlist to design a new theatre in the heart of Edinburgh – the £25m Ross Pavilion and Gardens project.

The studios in contention are:

• Adjaye Associates (UK)

• BIG Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark)

• Flanagan Lawrence (UK)

• Page Park Architects (UK)

• Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (Norway)

• wHY (USA)

• William Matthews Associates (UK) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan)

The finalists will now create concept designs for a new landmark pavilion with a natural amphitheatre, a visitor centre and cafe, and subtle updates to the listed West Princes Street Gardens.

The jury – which includes competition consultant Malcolm Reading and representatives from the project’s main financial backer, Scottish arts charity the Ross Development Trust – called for designs of “exemplary design quality inspired by, and appropriate to, the significance of its setting.”

The aim of the building, it added, is to “create an image that will, over time, come to be associated with Edinburgh.”

The Pavilion will host the “imaginative arts programming which Edinburgh excels in, from large to small scale events,” such as celebrations for Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Commenting on the design competition, the jury chair, Norman Springford, said: “We were absolutely delighted by the response of designers from around the world to the competition’s first stage.

"There were 125 teams on the longlist, formed of 400 firms, and the quality sent a strong signal that the international design community regards this as an inspirational project for Edinburgh that has huge potential to reinvigorate this prestigious site.”

An open day for the finalists will be held in April and the teams will have until 9 June 2017 to produce their concept designs

A public and digital exhibition showcasing the proposed designs will be held in mid-June and will allow for local, national and visitor feedback.

The announcement of the winner is expected in early August 2017. Construction will begin next year and be completed by December 2019.

West Princes Street Gardens are located within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage site, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

A number of leisure developments are planned for the Scottish capital over the coming years, including a rebuild of the existing Meadowbank Stadium and Sport Centre, a new hotel or music theatre within a historic listed building on Calton Hill, and a concert hall in St Andrew Square – a project for which Adjaye's studio are also shortlisted. 

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