'Hobbit House' to be Edinburgh's Ross Bandstand replacement
A design dubbed "The Hobbit House" has won the contest to create a new outdoor concert arena for Edinburgh to replace the Ross Bandstand.
American firm wHY beat off competition from 125 teams from 22 countries to design the £25m project to revitalise West Princes Street Gardens.
The design will see a series of new green spaces connected by an undulating promenade linked to the Royal Mile.
There will be a new Ross Pavilion and indoor visitor centre.
During the five-month search, seven teams were shortlisted including Adjaye Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group, Flanagan Lawrence, Page Park Architects, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, wHY and William Matthews Associate Architects.
Norman Springford, competition jury chairman, said he was delighted with the whole process. He said: "As is always the case with initiatives of this size and stature, the jury had a hard job.
"We are confident, however, that we have a winning concept that embodies an imaginative ensemble landscape approach, creating a wonderful stage for our iconic Edinburgh Castle.
"In addition, the design concept offers a creative energy and a series of unique elements which will all combine to create a new and contemporary landscape.
'We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the shortlisted teams and understanding each approach.
"However with wHY, they demonstrated an impressive collaboration which respects and enhances the historical context and backdrop of the castle and the city, whilst creating new heritage and increasing the green space within the gardens.
"All of which were key aspects for us all and respected the importance of the space within a World Heritage Site."
Kulapat Yantrasast, founder and creative director of wHY, said: "wHY is built around an ecology of disciplines, the convergence of ideas, experience, nature and people.
"The Ross Pavilion and West Princes Street Gardens represent this convergence and this was the perfect ground to further our approach to design. To be selected from so many extraordinary thinkers is an honour.
"We felt a personal connection to the gardens and believe our design embodies how important collaboration and people are to making a place remarkable."