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Scottish Parliament

Constructed largely from concrete and masonry panels, Scotland’s new parliament building dominates in its surroundings.

Although oak screens frame the windows along the façade, it is not until the building is entered that the extensive use of wood, both structurally and decoratively, becomes evident. The debating chamber at the centre of the building presents the occupants with a masterpiece of wood engineering. Exposing the structural elements of the roof, the architects, through the use of slender stainless steel rods and large glue-laminated oak beams, have created an elaborate system of trusses where both steel and wood combine in compression and tension. The complexity of the structure is brought to life through natural light that enters the building through skylights in the ceiling.


Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize (best building of the year) 2005