World Travel GuidesScottish Parliament Building, United Kingdom

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The Scottish Parliament Building is one of the boldest piece of architectural projects in Britain. It is located on a 2-hectare (4 acre) site in Holyrood, near the Old Town of Edinburgh, and within the core zone of the World Heritage Site. The construction of the Scottish Parliament came about following the 1997 referendum where 74.3 percent of the Scottish people voted for the devolution of Scotland's independent parliament.

The Scottish Parliament Building was designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles. It was one of five shortlisted submissions out of 70 designs submitted by various architects. The site for the parliament was formerly the Scottish and Newscastle brewery. It was a rather awkward piece of land hemmed in by the royal palace and city's densely built-up areas. Work began in June 1999.

Scottish Parliament Building was a highly controversial project. Criticism came from various quarters including politicians, media and the public over the choices of location, architect, design and construction company. While it was planned to cost only £10 to at most £40 million, and be completed by 2001, the building was only ready in 2004, by which time the cost had ballooned to £414 million. A public inquiry into the construction criticised the project for the cost increases and the way design changes were implemented.

The Scottish Parliament Building got a mixed public reaction. Nonetheless members of architectural academics seem to love it. It won numerous design awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize.

Photos of Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament Building
Scottish Parliament Building
Klaus with K (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Scottish Parliament Building
Scottish Parliament Building
Russ McGinn (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)

Scottish Parliament Building
Inside the Scottish Parliament Building debating chamber

Scottish Parliament Building
Scottish Parliament Building
pschemp (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)
View Scottish Parliament Building in a larger map

Visiting Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament Building is located in Edinburgh. If you're going by bus, take the Lothian Bus No. 35 and get down at Canongate, or No. 36 and get down at Horse Wynd. The Scottish Parliament Building is just 15 minutes walking distance from the Edinburgh Waverley train station. If you come by car, the nearest car parks are at St John's Hill as well as next to Waverley Station.

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