The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 84 (2006) > Issues > Issue 5 > The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood building
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The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood building

Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the Scottish Parliament Building (SPB) in October 2004 after 6 years of design, construction and debate – principally about time and cost. The end result has achieved much acclaim from critics and journalists and has won several prizes including the Stirling and the Concrete Society Awards. However it has also catered for many thousand of visitors, supporting the intention for the SPB to be a building for the people. From the innovative shape of the main debating chamber (Fig 1) to the contemplative seating in the façade of the Members of the Scottish Parliament’s (MSP’s) offices (Fig 2) the vision of the Spanish architect Enric Miralles has been realised despite his untimely death. Located at the opposite end of the Royal Mile and adjacent to the Holyrood Palace the main site of 1.45ha is supplemented with a further 1.86ha of new landscape. Contained within the site is the Category A listed Queensberry House where the original 1706 articles of the Union between England and Scotland were established. It is perhaps poignant that self-determination for Scotland has been established and will be practised here. The Parliament consists of an ensemble of buildings (Figs 3 & 4) that contain offices and support for the MSPs, committee rooms, media facilities and the debating chamber, all above a common basement area. Following a referendum on 11 September 1997 the development of the Parliament followed after an international competition won by the Spanish practice of Enric Miralles. Local architectural work was provided by RMJM after the EMBT appointment. Arup supported EMBT throughout the competition and was appointed the structural engineer for the project subsequently also undertaking consultancy for blast, well water, façade and civil engineering/landscaping. Bovis Lend Lease wasappointed as construction manager. David Lewis, BSc(Eng), CEng, MIStructE Director– Arup Patricia Johnstone, BSc (Hons) Civ Eng, C Eng, MIStructE, MICE Associate Director– Arup David Hadden, BA(Hons) Eng Tripos, MA, MSc/DIC, MICE, CEng, FSecInst Associate Director– Arup Robin Wilkinson, MEng, CEng, MICE Engineer – Arup Alan E. Tweedie, BSc(Hons), Dipl BA, CEng, MICE, MIStructE Director – Whitbybird

Author(s): Lewis, David;Johnstone, Patricia;Hadden, David;Wilkinson, Robin;Tweedie, Alan E

Keywords: scottish parliament building, edinburgh;government buildings;design;basements;queensberry house, edinburgh;listed structures;refurbishing;pergolas;blast resistance