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Campaigners protest against new Scottish Parliament entrance

September 21 2012

Campaigners protest against new Scottish Parliament entrance
A campaign group formed by a group of former EMBY/RMJM architects to thwart construction of a security pavilion at the Scottish Parliament are to stage a protest at the Parliament this Saturday.

Outlining the basis for their opposition to the proposed addition the design team point out that the new facility lies within a roadside blast zone – potentially endangering those queuing up within.

One of these architects, John Kinsley, said: “The proposals destroy the integrity of the original building whilst providing no improvement to the security of the building. The parliament was designed at its inception with highly defined security requirements integrated into the building. These new proposals are ill considered - they will actually increase the risk to parliament visitors.”

Designed by Lee Boyd Architects the £6.5m scheme entails construction of a new ‘external security facility’ through which future visitors to the parliament will be corralled.

The Kenmay granite clad public entrance would be connected to the Parliament by way of a glazed link.

The protest has been timed to coincide with Doors Open Day this Saturday and will see visitors to the Parliament leafleted and asked to sign a petition against the plans.


#1 Posted by Cadmonkey on 21 Sep 2012 at 16:54 PM
This is interesting as I think the original entrance is ill considered. I know many people (non architects) who have actually struggled to find it despite its prominant location. Given the security issue....was it not located too close to a public road in the original design?
Not me, but for you
#2 Posted by Not me, but for you on 21 Sep 2012 at 21:23 PM
Please, have we not spent enough money on the parliament. That £6.5m could build 65 new homes for people! SMP's, why not use those thinking chairs we paid for you and use the money for the people the gutters than yourselves?
Niall Crossan
#3 Posted by Niall Crossan on 25 Sep 2012 at 11:42 AM
I'd say the public entrance was already quite clearly delineated by that big swooping shelter that reaches out from it - along with the fact that the brise soleil tapers out towards it. I found the entrance instantly.

If there was any confusion about it, it surely wouldn't be helped by putting another entrance opposite where the form of the building expresses the entrance? Especially if that new one is just an outboard box with a door on one side.

The whole thing reminds me of Vincent Sculley's quote about the replacement of Penn' Station with Madison Square Garden:

"You used to enter the city like a god, now we scuttle in like rats"
Douglas Dalgleish
#4 Posted by Douglas Dalgleish on 25 Sep 2012 at 11:57 AM
I am loath to add a negative comment to Urban Realm, which rarely lacks gain'sayers, but the obvious needs to be stated...

It should not be too difficult to have the security pavilion abandoned as a further Parliamentary waste of public money. However our real objections should be to the proposed location and the proposed design, neither of which respect the aesthetic qualities of the setting or the existing building. Surely even those who dislike Miralles' parliament building would not want its face to be disfigured with this projecting pink plook. The proposed security pavilion is an ill-considered, shameful example of contemporary Scottish architecture. A structure this awful may even provoke the explosive action it seeks to deter.
#5 Posted by Rattled on 25 Sep 2012 at 13:42 PM
An atrocity. I thought the architects of such high profile projects could veto any bad proposals in close proximity, let alone attached to their building. Pity EMBT/RMJM are forced to resort to arguments about blast zones when the argument of bad architecture should be enough.
Ruairidh Moir
#6 Posted by Ruairidh Moir on 25 Sep 2012 at 15:10 PM
your point 'rattled' is very valid. Dont be dismayed - the points about bad architecture have been made to the parliament countless times. The Presiding officer replied that the architecture of this extension is good and took them by "surprise" because it was in the form of "a pavilion divorced from the main building".

The only point which rattles the parliament is the fact that it seems they have glossed over the Roadside Blast Zone. When they tell us they are legally bound to build this hideous extension to the building - we are asking to see if they have properly considered the advice. Seems like they havent.
#7 Posted by Cadmonkey on 25 Sep 2012 at 15:14 PM
Are more drawings available than the single image here? Not sure you can call it an attrocity until more info is available.

Also, why are EMBT/RMJM not doing it?
Too expensive, or what?

Ruairidh Moir
#8 Posted by Ruairidh Moir on 25 Sep 2012 at 20:45 PM
Heres the planning application. You'll notice that Lee Boyd quotes Enric Miralles in 2004... Anyone with any sense will know exactly why that is a very very poor reflection on their effort on this project.

EMBT were refused the job in favour of Lee Boyd Limited.
See you Jimmy
#9 Posted by See you Jimmy on 2 Oct 2012 at 10:35 AM
It seems a bit ironic for the designers of the Scottish Parliament to be campaigning against bad architecture and a waste of public money!!

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