Thursday, June 26, 2014

Scottish National Parliament

The Scottish National Parliament lies to the east of Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile near Holyrood Palace.  Designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles (who died before the building was completed in 2004), the building was  fraught with controversary from the outset.  The selection of a site, the choosing of an architect and the cost created all sorts of public angst as did the design itself - it's not your normal parliamentary building at all. The building was completed 3 years late and considerably over budget - almost 10 fold by some accounts.  The objective of creating a profoundly Scottish building that the nation could be proud of has been achieved however.  The building seems to be very much 'of the land' and entirely appropriate on every level - it just feels like a Scottish building in all ways.  Some of the detailing is a little dodgy in places - as is usually the case with buildings that incorporate organic forms in an extreme way.

On the day we visited parliament was working and we had the chance to sit in the debating chamber as the members did their thing.  The sun was shining in through the clerestories and the Scottish oak and fir floor, walls, desks and roof structure were glowing.  The subject of debate was the usual tedious stuff but there was nothing boring about the building.  

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