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Scottish Parliament plans derided

January 12 2012

Scottish Parliament plans derided
Edinburgh City Council’s chief architect has waded into a row over the appropriateness of security upgrades around the Scottish Parliament building after branding the latest plans for a new ‘external security facility’ as “disrespectful”.

The plans, tabled by local architects Lee Boyd, call for a new Kenmay granite clad public entrance to the parliament, attached to the controversial Miralles/RMJM edifice by a glazed link.

Describing the plans in their design statement Lee Boyd said: “The proposed design of the new External Security Facility is respectful of the original architectural intent and is also influenced by the strong lines in the landscape. These contours are reinforced by the solidity of the Kemnay granite walls which clad the principal walls of the new facility.

“The new entrance to the building is set between these walls in a fully glazed façade, providing a high level of transparency and views to the park and landscape beyond. This connection with the landscape and external spaces is further emphasised by the continuation of the pattern and materials of the existing external hard landscaping in the design of both the floor and roof finishes, which seamlessly flow through the building.”

Previously the Parliament was ridiculed for installing 162 bollards and 18 concrete benches, at a cost of £1.5m, to deter ram-raiders.

The works have been instigated at the behest of MI5.
Peter Wilson has described the security precautions as "a load of bollards"
Peter Wilson has described the security precautions as "a load of bollards"


Gordon Fleming
#1 Posted by Gordon Fleming on 12 Jan 2012 at 18:03 PM
I have greatly admired Lee Boyd's work in the past but this proposal seems ill judged perhaps by the architects but more likely by the client.. It undermines the relationship between the entrance colonnade and the landscape beyond irrespective of the material and detail. This relationship to landscape was one of the key elements of the original architectural intent. A bit of unnecessary tinkering.
#2 Posted by Enjoy on 12 Jan 2012 at 19:07 PM
I agree with the sentiments around LB’s work but this looks like a portacabin with a glazed end wall. We should be resisting such nonsense
#3 Posted by hm on 12 Jan 2012 at 22:58 PM
Oh dear, that is baaaaaad.

I thought there were formidable security features were already designed into the original architecture...
#4 Posted by Rm on 13 Jan 2012 at 12:45 PM
hm - there were but the bright sparks at RMJM placed the main entrance under the main debating chamber.

Why they didn't just switch the entrances about giving only staff access through the front door and visitors access through either of the two external entrances on the royal mile I dont know. But to be honest, the building is a dog, the bollards are a dog, the spaces around the building are pretty crap, so whats one more addition. I dont think its worth all the who ha about this.
Edward Harkins
#5 Posted by Edward Harkins on 13 Jan 2012 at 13:38 PM
So far as I can judge, this just further adds to the grey and glass clutter of the entrance elevationa and environs.
I've always had doubts about the functionality of the original design - IMO the outcome of a politically-enforced decision to shoe-horn Holyrood into an over-constrained site.
Douglas Dalgleish
#6 Posted by Douglas Dalgleish on 16 Jan 2012 at 16:53 PM
On the evidence of this image, the new addition would be prosaic and disappointing. Is this the best that local architects can do? We would be wiser to commission some Catalan architects or hide an ugly new entrance in the car park. Or simply leave our iconic Parliament well alone.
Ruairidh Moir
#7 Posted by Ruairidh Moir on 19 Sep 2012 at 10:34 AM
Protest / leafleting outside Parliament this Saturday for Doors Open Day against this decision too. Petition below:
jo jo
#8 Posted by jo jo on 19 Sep 2012 at 10:43 AM
What forms the basis of the protest?

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