The Scottish Parliament

Architects: Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue with RMJM

An interconnected vocabulary of minimalist lighting brightens common areas and circulation zones throughout the Scottish Parliament. Luminous slots, simple pendants, and cast-in-place luminaires are tailored to an array of interior situations, while a coherent lighting masterplan unites the exterior appearance of the entire pavilion-like ensemble. Nighttime lighting reinforces the intended village-like atmosphere by accentuating the light that individual buildings emit from within.

Scotland’s parliamentary debates are televised, so the Parliament’s meeting spaces needed to meet stringent lighting criteria for broadcasting. Instead of using grid gantries that would make the spaces feel like television studios, highly technical lighting requirements were integrated into the rooms’ aesthetically varied designs. At the master-planning stage of the design, OVI suggested rotating the debating chamber and positioning the adjacent leaf-shaped towers so that they would act as giant louvers in plan. Together, these buildings shield the chamber from direct sunlight during broadcast hours

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