A8 Edinburgh Airport Interchange

Name: A8 Edinburgh Airport Interchange

Location: Edinburgh

NGR: NT15201 72378

Classification: Infrastructure/Land Art

Date: 1993

Landscape Architect: Keith Horner, Turnbull Jeffery Partnership and David F Wilson Artist stonemason

Status: not listed

Canmore ID: none

Description:

A major environmental improvement scheme featuring artistic stonework and robust planting at the important road interchange signalling both the approach to the international airport and an entrance to Scotland for many visitors.

The brief was to design a bold, eye-catching scheme of distinctly Scottish character, emphasising hard landscape features rather than planting design alone.  Working with Perthshire artist David Wilson, the theme of stone walls as three dimensional sculptural elements was pursued, taking the traditional Scottish drystone dyke and re-interpreting its’ design through its varied shape, height and the detailed pattern of stone laying.  The existing interchange consisted of a double roundabout, presenting a geometry and symmetry which was related to specific movement patterns and view directions as vehicles pass around and through the interchange. Positioning stonework features in relation to key vistas on approaches to the interchange created exciting possibilities where their scale, detailed form and stonework pattern reflecting the interweaving of tartan grids would create a constantly changing, kinetic experience for users of the interchange, as the stonework features rise out of and then merge with their surroundings.  The combination of the stonework features with a palette of gravel, pines and a predominantly evergreen planted backcloth created a potent design character of distinctive Scottish landscape elements.   

The project illustrates that close liaison between landscape architect and artist from the inception of the scheme can create memorable results which far exceed a Client’s expectations, and that many possibilities can arise from the integration of landscape design and art.  Text by: Keith Horner. Proposed by: Keith Horner

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