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Benson + Forsyth Architecture

Contemporary British Architecture Practice – London Design Studio

post updated 13 Apr 2021

Benson + Forsyth – Major Projects

Key Benson + Forsyth building

Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland – details further down page
Museum of Scotland
photo © Adrian Welch

Most Recent Design

City North, London, England, UK
Design: Benson+Forsyth Architects
City North Buildings Benson+Forsyth Architects
image from Benson + Forsyth architects
Finsbury Park has long been identified by the London Borough of Islington (LBI) as an area in need of regeneration. More specifically, the Council has identified the City North site adjacent to Finsbury Park Station as a key regeneration site and a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area.

Unbuilt Buildings

Benson + Forsyth project – Scottish Parliament Competition, Edinburgh, Scotland
Parliament Competition
image from architects practice

Cowgatehead Library Project, Edinburgh, Scotland
Benson + Forsyth architecture
image from architects office

Royal College of Surgeons – New Building, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Benson + Forsyth building
image from architecture practice

Buildings by Benson + Forsyth Architects

Beamish Museum – Visitor Centre, County Durham, northeast England, UK
Architecture Competition – winner announcement Jun 2006

House, Islington, London, England, UK [AR1251]

Maiden Lane Estate, London, England, UK
Date built: 1989

Monument to Time, Oshima, Japan [AR1168]

National Gallery of Ireland Extension – Millennium Wing, Dublin, Ireland

Oshima Time Temple, Oshima, Toyama Prefecture, Japan
Dates built: 1991-93

Victoria Transport Interchange project, London, England, UK
Dates built: 2007-18
Wilkinson Eyre with Benson + Forsyth & Patrick Lynch

Watford FC stadium, Watford, Hertfordshire, southeast England, UK

More projects by this London architectural practice online soon

Key Benson + Forsyth building

Museum of Scotland – Extension, Chambers St, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Date built: 1999

Fantastically rich assemblage of spaces/forms with references to Modernism and the immediate context of the Old Town. This is Benson + Forsyth’s first major building and was followed up by their similar Museum building in Dublin.

Museum of Scotland : Competition
This architecture practice won the design competition – judged by likes of Hans Hollein and Eva Jiricna – to design an extension in 1991.

The Museum of Scotland has excited much controversy, from displeasing Prince Charles at competition stage, to its exclusion from the 1999 RIBA Special Category Award Shortlist and later parachuting in to the 1999 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist, for which it received the Runner-up Award.

Numerous letters appeared in the architectural press about this situation with Alan Dunlop of Glaswegian practice Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop irritating some with his claim that the building was not world-class, and project architect Peter Wilson lambasting both Mr Dunlop and Sebastian Tombs – secretary of the RIAS and in charge of the three-person judging panel – for not giving the new Museum of Scotland more credit.

Museum of Scotland : Architecture
Architecturally much has been made of this Benson & Forsyth building relating to Edinburgh Castle, especially the Half Moon Battery, but most visitors will rarely see the two together, though a great view of Edinburgh Castle can be had on the Museum’s roof, and vice versa.

Entry is signified by the sentinel-like rotunda on the corner of Chambers Street. The architecture practice have introduced a distinct architectural promenade that used to start with the potent imagery of a huge table made from a single slice of tree trunk at the base of the corner tower (now just a ‘space’).

In summary this building has stirred up the Scottish architectural scene and created much-needed creativity within Edinburgh’s often overbearingly conservative society. The building acts as a beacon – even to the many who disparage it for being over-worked – for contemporary architecture, for bravely seeking to add to Edinburgh’s legacy rather than slowly kill it by preservation.

Museum of Scotland – Building Cost: Est. £40-60m

The style of the Museum of Scotland is very evident in the slightly later building by this architectural practice in Eire:
National Gallery of Ireland Millennium Wing
Clare Street, Dublin
Date built: 2001

Location: 37D Mildmay Grove North, London, N14RH, England, UK

Benson + Forsyth Practice Information

This contemporary architect studio based in London, England, UK

London Architect


London Architects

British Architecture

London Architecture : news + key projects

Pinnacle House, at Royal Wharf, Newham, East London
Architecture: Mæ
Pinnacle House Royal Wharf Newham
photo courtesy of architects firm
Pinnacle House, Royal Wharf Newham

English Architects

Edinburgh Tours : Architecture Walking Tours

Architecture Studios

Brent Cross Housing
Design: Architects pH+
Brent Cross Housing

More Scottish Architects: Scottish Tour

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