Ralph Applebaum Associates

Skip to content

Main Menu

National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

National Museum of Scotland 1
National Museum of Scotland Interior

First opening in 1866, the National Museum of Scotland is one of the finest Victorian museums in the United Kingdom. Its collection represents the diversity of thought and activity that emerged from the Scottish Enlightenment.

National Museum of Scotland_2
National Museum of Scotland_2

For its redevelopment, RAA completed a comprehensive master plan with the Museum, to reposition it as an internationally recognized learning attraction. The project refurbished fourteen galleries and the grand gallery.

National Museum of Scotland 5
National Museum of Scotland

The galleries in the newer building present Scottish history in an essentially chronological arrangement, beginning at the lowest level with prehistory to the early medieval era, with later periods on the higher levels. The Victorian building contains four zones (each with numerous galleries), covering natural history, world cultures (including galleries on the South Pacific, East Asia, and Ancient Egypt), European art and design, and science and technology.

National Museum of Scotland 7
National Museum of Scotland 7

The Grand Gallery contains a variety of large objects from the collections, with a display called the “Window on the World” rising through four storeys, containing over 800 objects reflecting the breadth of the collections. Beyond the Grand Gallery at ground level is the “Discoveries” gallery, with objects connected to remarkable Scots in the fields of invention, exploration and adventure.

National Museum of Scotland_4
National Museum of Scotland_4

According to Dr. Gordon Rintoul, former Director of the National Museums of Scotland, “the museum has quickly become both a well-loved favorite and a fantastic showcase for everyone who visits Scotland.” The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions has named it the most visited attraction outside of London in the United Kingdom.

Year 2011

Size 6,800 square metres

Architect Hoskins Architects

AwardsArt Fund Prize: Nominated, Museum of the YearCivic Trust Award: Winner, Special AwardCreativity International Award: Honorable Mention, Environmental GraphicsGraphis Design Annual: SilverIndustrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Finalist, EnvironmentsMuseums + Heritage Awards: Winner, Best Permanent Exhibit

National Museum of Scotland_5