Tuesday, 09 Aug, 2011 Offbeat
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Solar Pavilion - Structure that Acts as Huge Sun Dial Built for Edinburgh Arts Festival

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Karen Forbes, a Professor of Art at Edinburgh College of Art, is the author of a beautiful glittering glass structure created for the Edinburgh Arts Festival to pay a tribute to the sun, light and optics.

The futuristic Solar Pavilion is located at the base of the Melville Monument found in St. Andrew Square Gardens.

Made up of 9 segments that form a semi-circle in the middle of the park, the temporary structure will be showcased during this August. In combination with an obelisk tower, the structure will act as an informal sun-dial that keeps track of the passing time.

The sun rays penetrate the glass roof, offering natural light throughout the whole day. The doors of each side can open to increase air flow. To help him with the design, engineering and development, Forbes invited Buro Happold and RMJM, a British international architectural bureau.

Besides being one of the main attractions of the festival, the pavilion will also serve as a place where artists can gather to talk on numerous topics.


The opening took place on August 4th. The structure is 2.8 meters high, 14 meters long and located on the north side of the monument.

"As an important commission funded by the Scottish Government Festivals Expo Fund, it [the pavilion] allows me as an artist, to show my ideas from a European perspective in the heart of the Scottish Capital," mentioned the artist.

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