In February 2005, Hoskins Architects won the competition to upgrade Edinburgh Castle’s visitor reception facilities for Historic Scotland. The Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, so this element defined the approach. The overall aim was to improve the centre’s setting within the Castle grounds, simplify entry to the Castle, provide a warmer welcome for visitors and enhance their overall impressions of the attraction.
The project includes a new ticket office located on a new terrace formed over an existing service yard. The old, temporary ticket office was removed from the esplanade, greatly improving the view of the Castle on approach. The new terrace offers spectacular city views whilst visitors queue for their tickets. The building itself was conceived as a series of bands, echoing the stonework coursing, which unfold at varying angles, providing shelter and shade for visitors and staff, but also aligned to reduce its profile from the outside.