Welcome to the home of the Scottish
Parliament here at Holyrood. This is the main hall where we welcome
thousands of visitors every week. Some are here in parliamentary business others come to learn more about the Parliament and its work In 1997 there was a public vote, a referendum here in Scotland where the voters voted for the setting up of a new Scottish Parliament with devolved powers over matters such as health and education. The Parliament was established under the Scotland Act 1998 and the first elections for the 129 MSPs or members of the Scottish Parliament
took place in 1999 The lead architect of the new home for the Scottish Parliament was Enric Miralles from Barcelona, working in partnership with Scottish architects RMJM Scotland. Miralles envisaged a building that almost grew from the land of Scotland and sat within the landscape. His initial drawing was of a green leafed tree branch growing from Holyrood Park to the south of the site, Scotland in miniature with its lochs and hills. Tall office towers are shaped like boats to reflect Scotland’s maritime history. Early styles of architecture are echoed within the design of the building, in vaulted ceilings angled pillars and stepped edges to the sides of stairwells and windows. Scottish building materials have been substantially used throughout the design and if you look into the ceiling above your head there is impressed the flag of Scotland the St. Andrew’s cross or saltire, a reminder that this building is of and for Scotland and its people. The building is best understood from above and there is a model here in the main hall which gives you a bird’s-eye view over the whole campus.