Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to plant new roots
November 2 2018
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE) is to embark on a major transformation of its famous glasshouses in order to improve its visitor experience, research and education.
Edinburgh Biomes will see existing glasshouses rebuilt and refurbished to safeguard plant collections, many of which are now extinct or endangered in their native habitats.
Simon Milne MBE, Regius Keeper of the RGBE said: “Our heritage Glasshouses need extensive restoration to save them for the nation. Our research Glasshouses, critical to the work we do in Scotland and around the world, are well beyond their lifespan and are already suffering during extreme weather. They will only survive a few more years without essential upgrades."
Smith Scott Mullan Associates have been commissioned to bring the project forward to planning which, if approved and subject to fundraising, would allow a staged build to be undertaken.
The first phase of any work would entail construction of a sustainable energy centre and plant health suite.
Smith Scott Mullan have previously been involved in the delivery of a new Alpine House for the research gardens.
I wonder where the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens are getting the money from to embark on such an ambitious project?
Sore one to splash the cash for a middle class greenhouse in Auld Reekie when the Winter Garden is being shut to add to the growing list of public sector dereliction in the West.
A place with plenty of fight.
Unfortunately not on the park but in the home dressing room
Joking aside the issue is the precedence of Auld Reekie since Holyrood came into being. They really do have ideas above their station at the moment and everybody else is paying the price.
It's also worth pointing out that Glasgow has a lot of Scottish Government civil servants and national institutions receiving government funding such as - in the cultural field alone - Scottish Ballet, SNO, Scottish Opera & National Theatre.
The Glasgow galleries and museums are of national significance but they get funded out of local taxation by a local government organisation with limited and rapidly reducing resources and other pressing commitments.
It is galling to see funds being used for expansion in Auld Reekie while similar facilities in Glesga are having to close.
No matter the label on the cheque book this is all about the use of public funds and how one area seems to be prospering at the expense of others.
"The RBGE is not a national institution -- it is a middle class allotment society milking the working class for all that it is worth."
That statement alone FBoT, shows the lack of knowledge you have regarding the work and importance that RBGE does.. I would suggest that you stop before you embarrass yourself further. Or better yet, actually go there speak to the people who are actually involved in looking after and learning about the plantlife. It might help you understand why this proposal is so important.
(FBoT, You have on many occasion in the past show your keen understand of architecture and design policy on other buildings and structures, so perhaps you could apply that astonishing and brilliant intellect of yours to understanding such a fundamental as biodiversity and how important looking after "such middle class allotment" asl well as all the plants that it contains, not to mention role that the "society" which apparently "milking the working class for all that it is worth" is.)
Back on topic, This development is very much needed to safeguard the biodiversity that is housed within, having spoken in the past to members of the staff at RBGE. The current building is woefully old and extremely difficult to maintain especially through the winters like last year.
It will be interesting to see how this design is developed up, and also how it will be built, given the site on which it on is current home to amazing amount of plants and fauna that could be at risk if they are left unprotected or exposed to the Scottish climates. One wonders what the plan will be?
Certainly Scott Smith Mullan have had experience in work with the gardens, looking at the their portfolio, so hopefully that relationship and engagement will help them through the developing up to be a comprehensive design for the planning.
I am assuming that such commissions are tendered... not picked on merit/ skill?
Yet again, woefully and embarrassingly wide of the mark. I'd chuck it, if I were you.
I wonder if you have ever experienced what it feels like to be standing amid the wonder and physicality of a truly bio-diverse eco-system and see how infinitesimally insignificant you actually are?
This was headline news this morning:
As noted in the article this effort is being carried out to "improve its visitor experience, research and education" against an estate that is still in a usable condition.
You then have the usual icing on the cake regarding a "sustainable energy centre and plant health suite" to rub salt into an open wound.
Timing is everything -- This money no object plan grates in the context of glasshouses shutting out west on top of a historical issue of glasshouse dereliction.
Then there is the sense of entitlement that the Middle Class Allotment Society are somehow special on a seemingly global scale -- well tripe to that. They are Bono with a trowel.
Maybe if they hadn't taken the plants in the first place they wouldn't be extinct now in their natural habitat.
Finally if Scotland is critical to this exercise then why not involve the whole of Scotland rather than just a few distressed gentle folk who couldn't hack it in Financial Services?
Which means a coffee shop and restaurant, function space and some pokey offices. It is a botanical garden and not a business park, although the planned building would look at home in a dreary regional town centre.
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Story of modern Scotland.
East Coast affluence / West Coast squalor.