There Shall Be A Scottish Parliament

Yonmei

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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“There shall be a Scottish Parliament. I like that.” Donald Dewar, at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament, 1st July 1999.

This building was not built then: Enric Miralles, claiming he drew inspiration from the surrounding landscape, the flower paintings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the upturned boats on the seashore, developed a design that he said was a building “growing out of the land”. It is constructed from a mixture of steel, oak, and granite, all from Scotland: a mixture of innovative architecture and patriotic treasurehouse.

I confess, I thought it an ugly building whenever I saw it from the street (though it’s lovely enough inside, calm and plain). But from above, looking down from the footpath under Salisbury Crags, you see Miralles’ thought laid bare. The site was once a brewery: the cost of construction was meant to be £50M: the time taken to build was meant to be two years.

The Scottish Parliament Building opened for business, and to the public, in Autumn 2004, two years late, costing £414M. Donald Dewar died on 11th October 2000.

Behind the Parliament building rises Calton Hill and the other expensive “Edinburgh’s Disgrace”, also lovely from a distance, the unfinished Parthenon.

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