Located on a rocky promontory on the north side of North Berwick Harbour, the Scottish Seabird Centre intends to use the latest technology to promote the appreciation and study of seabirds, together with the wider environment. Opened in 2000 by HRH Prince Charles, the centre occupies a futuristic building which makes use of traditional and environmentally-sustainable materials in its construction. The Edinburgh-based architects Simpson & Brown have designed the building based on sweeping curves, with a copper roof supported on dry-stone walls. Locally sourced materials have been used wherever possible, for example the stone comes from Bangly Quarry in the Garleton Hills and the cement from East Barns. During the building works archaeological investigations revealed mediaeval burials on Anchor Green, the site of the ruined 12th Century St. Andrew's Church. The centre's car park occupies the site of North Berwick's old outdoor swimming pool, designed by Edinburgh-based architect J. Macintyre Henry in 1929 but closed in 1996, although the walkways which contained the changing rooms remain.
A particular feature of the Centre is its live video connections to the seabird colonies on the nearby islands of Fidra, Craigleith and the Bass Rock. The cameras can be panned and zoomed by remote control. In addition to the exhibition, the Centre includes an auditorium and intends to fulfil an important educational role.
The Centre is a charitable trust, supported by the Millennium Commission, together with the East Lothian Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.