RIBA STIRLING PRIZE WINNERS

The Scottish Parliament (2005)

Architect

Type

Government and democracy

Built

2004

Location

The proof of the extraordinary architectural ambition and design vision of the Scottish Parliament could be seen in every aspect and detail of the finished building.

The building embodied the transition between the city and the drama of the Scottish countryside surrounding it. Extremely successful landscaping made this transition even more striking.

The interiors are impressive, with some of the spaces becoming real gems in terms of internal public spaces: the crypt-like entrance hall, the committee rooms, the monastic members’ offices and above all the chamber, which imbued a fledgling parliament with a sense of the country’s long history. The list of admirable achievements is a long one and the ability of both the design and construction teams to realise a building of this complexity was truly remarkable.

The building is a statement of sparkling excellence. On the Memory Wall a statements reads, ‘Say little and say it well’. This building says a lot, but it definitely says it well.

The Stirling judges were almost unanimous in their praise for the building. Charles Jencks said, ‘This building explores new territory for Scottish identity and for architecture. In the era of the iconic building, it creates an iconology of references to nature and the locale, using complex messages as a substitute for the one-liner. Instead of being a monumental building, as is the usual capital landmark, it nestles its way into the environment, an icon of organic resolution, of knitting together nature and culture into a complex union’.

Judge Piers Gough said, ‘…This is a passionate industry, where the architects bring to it poetry, beauty, magnificence and that’s of course what the Scottish Parliament has’.

Architect: EMBT / RMJM Ltd 
Client: The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate BodyStructural Engineer: Arup

The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, © Keith HunterThe Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, © Keith HunterThe Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, © Keith HunterThe Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, © Keith HunterThe Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, © Keith Hunter
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