This glittering glass pavilion was built by artist Karen Forbes as a dazzling addition to the Edinburgh Arts Festival that celebrates the sun, light and optics. Situated at the base of the Melville Monument in St. Andrew Square Gardens, the Solar Pavilion is composed of nine segments forming a semi-circle in the center of the park. On display for the month of August, the pavilion works in conjunction with the obelisk tower as an informal sun-dial to mark the passage of time. The prismatic temporary pavilion will serve as the focal point of the festival and a space for artists' talks and gatherings for the rest of the month.
Opening to the public on August 4th, the Solar Pavilion is 2.8 meters high, 14 meters long and formed from 9 semi-circular segments. The pavilion is placed on the north side of the monument and acts as the plate of a sun dial to measure time during the day. The sun shines in through the glass roof providing natural daylight throughout the day. Doors on either side can be opened or closed for increased air circulation.
Shimmering, reflective and refractive, the walls of the pavilion provide a new way for visitors to experience their city. Forbes, who is a Professor of Art at Edinburgh College of Art, worked on the border between art and architecture, bringing in both Buro Happold and RMJM to assist with the design, engineering and construction of the project. The dynamic space, which draws time in light, will showcase the latest in creativity and innovation in Scottish and international art during the Edinburgh Festival.
“Between reflection and and refraction, the Solar Pavilion, in St Andrew Square offers new perspectives on the city,” said Forbes. “As an important commission funded by the Scottish Government Festivals Expo Fund, it allows me as an artist, to show my ideas from a european perspective in the heart of the Scottish Capital.”
Images ©Lisa Fleming/Karen Forbes