Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Scottish Office, Construction and Building Control Group
Competition 1998

Denton Corker Marshall was selected as one of five finalists in a two stage competition to design the new Scottish Parliament.

The city of Edinburgh is cradled among hills, with a granite outcrop in its midst, the Salisbury Crags.  The rugged hills, fluctuating light, soft mists and big sky establish Edinburgh’s sense of place.

The scheme alludes to both the urban form of the city and the presence of its hills.  The design incorporates traditional urban morphology of laneways, creating long narrow buildings with small frontages onto the main street.  The idea of the building is walls in the landscape.

The building’s walls are made from solid blocks of grey granite – Edinburgh Stone – making it part of the land and the city, and expressing a sense of traditional Scottish identity and values.  Sheer planes of metal and glass provide a visual and semantic counterpoint to this thick, rugged material.  The stainless steel expresses contemporaneity, modernity, strength and incorruptibility.  Glass signifies lightness, openness and clarity.