Alistair Scott, Director, Smith Scott Mullan Associates mourns impending loss of the building which earned the practice their first ever award (an EAA Commendation), Edinburgh Zoo’s Marketing Suite,
The Marketing Suite was built to provide accommodation for the Zoo’s public relations department. At that point Smith Scott Mullan were a young emerging practice and both Alistair Scott and Eugene Mullan were involved with this tiny 45m² building. It was also their first building to win an award.
The design was a highly crafted response to a tight budget (originally established for a portakabin) and represents an early approach to agendas such as sustainability and disabled access which have become mainstream in the intervening years. It is a highly insulated timber structure which relies on passive solar gain for a substantial percentage of its heating load.
Currently “under threat” due to the Zoo’s expansion plans, where this area of the site would be developed for a comprehensive entrance statement, the opinion of the architects is summed up by SSM director Alistair Scott – “This was an important little project for us and is obviously very close to our hearts. We do, however, understand the Zoo having to move on and see their masterplan as a bold response, for which the loss of our building will be sad but ultimately necessary. We never thought we would be possible members of such an august architectural elite as the Macallan Club but now this may be approaching it has an undoubted allure.”