Recently, I visited the Scottish Parliament buildings and was fascinated by the architectural design and features. The Parliament was designed by Spanish architect, Enric Miralles who sadly passed away before the construction of the buildings was completed.

Many of the features are considered iconic to the Parliament building, such as these windows, which cover the wall of the MSP’s office block.


These windows poke out from the wall, creating a little extra space inside the offices, referred to as ‘thinking pods’. The shape of these windows was designed so that left side creates a window seat on the inside and step-stroke-shelves on the right side. The idea is that MSPs are encouraged to sit in these seats and gaze outside, contemplating what they are going to say in Parliament.

Many people would also recognise the shape of the roof:


One interpretation is that these skylights are upturned boats, a nod towards the fishing towns and peoples that Miralles visited when he toured Scotland to get inspiration before designing the Parliament. Another interpretation is that these leaf shaped windows are indeed the leaves of the branch shape within the buildings which follow the curve of the land as it slopes off Arthur’s Seat.

In the image above you can also see the the strange shapes which edge the windows. Because Miralles passed away before completing the project, it is unclear what these shapes are but his partner, Benedatta Tagliabue has suggested that they are curtains being pulled away from the window to represent transparency; vital in Parliamentary proceedings.

I loved how every element had been carefully considered and each had a story or significance.



Image Sources:

  1.  dun_deagh (2011) Scottish Parliament Building, accessed on 07/02/2017
  2. Robert Craig (2010) accessed on 07/02/2017