Scottish Parliament Wins, Period


Anyone who reads this little column long enough will discern a bias towards Enric Miralles' work. If you were looking for objective news, there's always CNN.

Our friends at Archinect have reported that EMBT's Scottish Parliament building, which opened last year, won two Scottish Design Awards, including the top prize (called the Architecture Grand Prix.) I suppose everyone has their own "Architecture Grand Prix Award", like the New York City AIA, The New York State AIA, every chapter of the AIA ever, and every country on earth too. It already one Spain's top prize. Okay, so the profession is covering its ass. But after a long hoo-ha about the building's cost overruns, receipt of a local award may be confirmation that someone, somewhere in the building's local environs is satisfied.

Perhaps even excited? I respect that the cost overruns don't work for many projects: to have a developer's office building go over budget would mean to lose a lot of money, or to decrease a profit margin by a few percentage points.

I submit that it's another to be building a large public complex based on a sculptural and idiosyncratic design, something that will be the indentity to your nation. The dissenting voices in the articles Architect links is a lot of noise in the place of what those people really wanted to say: I don't like it. The 'I don't like it' conversation is much more productive, because it causes a public dialogue about public design. Which is what public design is for. Pretending the complaint is about costs doesn't build anything, it just leaves a scorched ruin where a public forum should be.

Ditto to the foolish pseudo-expose about how one of Miralles' projects resembles another. Absolute shocker, that one.


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