In 2016 the RIAS will mark their 100th year. Inspired by this significant occasion, our proposal for the new Centenary Garden at 15 Rutland Square incorporates a number of architectural elements which express the passage of time over a variety of scales- from seconds to centuries, as well as looking forward to the future.

Our intent is to create an ‘outdoor room’, which, in its use of hard surfaces and loose furniture, has flexibility to be used in a variety of ways from an informal breakout space for staff, to a backdrop for larger scale gatherings. The ephemeral quality of the space is reflected in the use of a collection of baroque furniture and fittings {fireplace, clock, mirror} offset against a series of square-proportioned grids at different physical scales; in themselves these are instruments for measuring growth,movement, and progress. A square mirrored aluminium ‘ceiling’ with specifically proportioned aperture floats over the sunken garden, allowing observers to look at the sky as though it were framed. The position of shadows cast in the garden will constantly move marking the progression of each day.

Planting, consisting of a variety of native Scottish species, has been carefully selected to show changing seasons, and will mean the garden will be in a constant state of transformation. A series of lattices will act as screens and will become overgrown by vines over time. New brass elements, a handrail to the stair, and a new door handle, will gain a patina, and also become burnished over a number of years of touch by hands.

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Client: The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
Value: £10k
Status: Competition