The Scottish National Gallery is situated right in the heart of Edinburgh. It comprises in part of two buildings, both designed by the celebrated Scottish architect William Henry Playfair (1790-1857). Historically, these two buildings were known as the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy. Although the two buildings were originally built as two separate structures, their histories have long been intertwined, and since 2004 they have been physically joined by an underground link directly accessible from East Princes Street Gardens.
In recent years the Gallery’s collection of Scottish art has been displayed in a specially-designated extension that opened in 1978. There is currently no direct access to these rooms from the Gardens Entrance that has been the central hub of the Gallery complex since 2004, and the rooms are no longer suitable for displaying such an important collection of Scottish art.