Opening date

National Galleries to reopen after £38m revamp

The works were delayed by difficulties on the site

The Scottish art galleries in Edinburgh will re-open to the public on 30 September following extensive re-modelling of one of the country’s top visitor attractions.

The £38.62 million refurbishment of The National Galleries of Scotland was delayed by complexities that arose on a difficult site which straddles the rail line serving Waverley station.

Construction began in October 2018 and several issues were discovered when the 1970s extension to the A-listed building was stripped back to its core concrete structure.

These included multiple instances of undocumented asbestos deposits which required safe removal; damp and water ingress issues which substantially changed the extent of the waterproofing requirements and undocumented obstructions including remnants from previous developments, which added significant complexity to the building work.

Deeply buried layers of dense concrete had to be extracted, impacting on the sequencing of the works while managing the complexity of the engineering works. All these challenges were successfully overcome to create generous, new spaces for the world’s most important collection of historic Scottish art.

Designed by Hoskins Architects, space for the nation’s Scottish art collection has been doubled and will be accessible directly from the adjoining East Princes Street Gardens.

The galleries feature work by Scottish artists such as William McTaggart, Anne Redpath, Phoebe Anna Traquair, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Boys.

The project has funded by major contributions from the Scottish Government (£15.25m), The National Lottery Heritage Fund (£6.89m) and a hugely successful fundraising campaign – which raised over £16m.

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