Scottish Parliament Buildings


Designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, the Scottish Parliament Building was an ambitious project to provide the official home of the Scottish Parliament following devolution in 1998.


One of the aspects of the non-heirarchichal, de-institutionalised design was the idea of organic architecture that embraced the landscape, and although the Parliament is physically in Edinburgh, it belonged to a greater entity. Caithness flagstone was one of the materials from around Scotland that was used, rather than the Craigleith sandstone ubiquitous in Edinburgh.


The lines of landscape sweep in from the Salisbury Crags, and the Caithness flagstone in the area outside the entrance continues under the raised forms of the superstructure.


Around 500m2 of Caithness flagstone was supplied for the The Scottish Parliament Building, which was used in many different ways.


The first appearance of the flagstone is in the pavement at the main public entrance to the building. It is also used in other surrounding areas.


When entering the main parliament building, Caithness riven flooring is used, enhanced with oak panelling.


Stone treads and risers have been used on the staircase, stone floor panels inside the lift, and polished vanity work tops in the toilets.


Caithness stone was also used for the internal flooring at Queensberry House, a 17th century "A" listed building that contains the offices of the presiding officer. At the front of the courtyard, letter cutter Gary Breeze, in conjunction with sculptor Anthony Fanshawe, created a stainless steel inscription inlaid in Whinstone granite, supplied by another stone manufacturer. Breeze’s letterforms are designed to integrate into the Scottish vernacular style of Queensberry House.


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