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All Photos: Adam Elder © 2004/2005 Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, UK


In October 2004, HM The Queen officially opened the Scottish Parliament Building in Holyrood, Edinburgh, as the new home for Scotland’s newly devolved parliament. After a gap of almost 300 years, the return of parliament to Scotland required a special building that would house all of the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and their support staff, and provide an inspiring environment in which to debate and make the decisions to drive the country forward. Designed by architects EMBT and RMJM, the Scottish Parliament buildings form a truly spectacular and unique home to the staff and visitors to the new Scottish Parliament.

MERO (UK) PLC. won the contract to provide three construction packages. These encompassed the roof, facade and superstructure to the MSP Entrance Foyer, the timber casement windows to the MSP building, and the specialist glazing to the debating chamber including the full structure and cladding to the public stairway that links the foyer to the debating chamber. Scottish Parliament.

MERO designed the entire structure for the MSP entrance foyer’s roof and walls from concept, which features twelve individual rooflights in the shape of upturned boats or leaves. These rooflights are separated and surrounded by a welded stainless steel standing seam roof to the outside, and stainless steel and oak shingle finishes to the inside that hang down into the foyer to spread the natural light. Supported on precast concrete frame columns within the structure at irregular intervals, curved CHS structural steel members form the edge of each rooflight and provide the support structure to the stainless steel and timber members supporting the rooflight glazing. All the glazing to the foyer rooflights and walls feature a security enhancement that was specified throughout the project.

The attention to detail throughout the entire project is exceedingly high, from the stainless steel rooflight linings with their intricate perforations in the shape of the Scottish coastline, the hand formed stainless steel and oak shingles to the foyer ceiling, through to the swathes of European oak lining the inner faces of the floor to ceiling glazing support structure.

The largest and most technically challenging package MERO was involved in on the project was the specialist glazing package. MERO designed from concept the structural steelwork supported, security enhanced, solar controlled glazing system, complete with ancillary stainless steel interface cladding to the West Elevation of the debating chamber.

This towering wall of glass provides the main source of natural light into the debating chamber, whilst providing the structural support to the west edge of the chamber’s complex feature roof. The internal faces of the glazing system are clad in European oak, as are the horizontal timber veneer glazing on the inner façade of the glazing system.

The Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) building contains 354 opening casement windows that MERO designed, manufactured and installed. These windows all feature security enhancement to protect the members of parliament and their support staff inside the offices in the event of an explosion outside.

Although much debate and opinions on the overall cost of the project have dominated the media headlines throughout it’s build, the suite of buildings that have been created for the Scottish Parliament are such a visual delight, that they will continue to capture media attention worldwide for many years to come purely on their architectural merit.

[Download this project as a PDF document] 

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Project Title:
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The Scottish Parliament
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_ Scope of Works: Superstructure and linings of MSP Entrance Foyer
East Elevation Opening Timber Casements
Specialist Glazing Works
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_ Cladding Details:

Avesta L2FF Stainless Steel
European Oak.
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_ Steelwork Details: Various Steel, Stainless Steel and Timber Sections
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_ Year of Completion: 2005
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_ Contract Duration: 2.5 years
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_ Client: Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
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M_ERO UK Architect: Enric Miralles Bendetta Tagliabue (EMBT) / RMJM.
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_ Main Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease
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_ © MERO-SCHMIDLIN (UK) PLC 2006-2010

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