Scotland is to have a new public centre for architecture, carbon and the environment; an idea originated by Bennetts Associates Co-Founder Rab Bennetts. The opening of SpACE in Edinburgh is a long-needed public forum with a clear focus on how the built environment is critical in addressing the climate emergency.
SpACE - the Space for Architecture + Carbon + Environment – is timed to coincide with Scotland’s hosting of COP26 with a public pop-up exhibition, event space and online venue extending for 5 weeks from 1 November to 4 December 2021. The centre is housed in the former Fire Station at Edinburgh College of Art – a highly visible and publicly accessible venue in central Edinburgh, and a great example of re-using an existing building.
The initial programme is intended as a pilot for a longer-term facility in the capital and has been made possible thanks to support from the Scottish Government and organisations including the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). Edinburgh’s SpACE has a unique focus on facilitating public engagement with the role of design excellence, place-making, heritage, landscape and construction in the pursuit of net zero carbon.
All sectors within the built environment is involved including architects, engineers, heritage bodies, developers, environmental specialists, universities, planners and researchers. As a result, SpACE will take a multi-disciplinary approach, encouraging collaboration between professionals to shape public debate and understanding. SpACE will enhance Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s high level climate policies by bringing them to life through talks, workshops and displays about the practical measures and behavioural changes needed on the ground.
“There could hardly be a more appropriate moment to engage with the public about the impact of our buildings and places on climate change. As the world’s eyes are on COP26 in Glasgow, our parallel event in Edinburgh can show how the changes that are essential to our homes, workplaces and public buildings are not only possible but can also result in a cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable built environment.” - Rab Bennetts, architect and founder of Bennetts Associates and Chair of SpACE
“The Scottish Government is pleased to provide support for SpACE, and welcomes the wider backing of the RIAS and other partner organisations in delivering the pilot of this new centre focused on architecture, carbon and the environment.” - Jenny Gilruth MSP, Culture Minister