07 November 2013

S4M-07731 Best Buildings in Scotland

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Elaine Smith): The next item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S4M-07731, in the name of Mike MacKenzie, on the best buildings in Scotland.

Motion debated,

That the Parliament congratulates the 12 winners of the 2013 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) awards who make up the shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, which will be presented on 7 November 2013 at the Parliament; understands that there were 75 submissions for the RIAS awards, ranging from £0 to over £30 million in contract value; commends the quality, ingenuity and innovation of the projects on the shortlist for the award throughout Scotland; recognises the contribution that both Scottish and international architects make to the quality of the built environment in the Highlands and Islands and across the country and the international contribution that Scotland’s architects make, and considers that RIAS and the architectural profession stand ready to help design and build a better and more prosperous future for Scotland, ensuring a higher quality built and natural environment.

... ... ...

Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

I thank Mike MacKenzie the builder—Mike the builder, not Bob the builder—for the opportunity to debate this important subject. In describing himself as a builder, perhaps he underrates his profession’s contribution to the fine buildings that we have around Scotland. Somebody has to design them, yes, but at the end of the day, it is the builders of Scotland who deliver them.

The history of our buildings progressed for a very long time without the emergence of a separately identified profession of architecture. Yet architects’ skills are clearly present when you look at many buildings around Scotland. I was privileged to attend the University of Aberdeen and went to both Marischal and King’s colleges there, which are quite distinct from each other. Centuries apart, they represent the epitome of good design—of architecture—of their times.

It is, as Jean Urquhart said, an absolute privilege for us to be here, not simply because we achieved the support of a necessary part of the electorate, but more fundamentally because we work in one of the iconic buildings of modern Scotland, created by architects and delivered by builders, which is important.

A number of different things make a good building: its material, its locality and its function, all of which are drawn together by the skills of the architect to create something that is appropriate to its environment, that is distinctive and effective and which will endure.

The skills of our architects in Scotland stem from our historical alignment with the need for education. Builders must be able to do calculations in order to work out the number of bricks or stones they will need to get the proportions correct, and an architect takes all that to another level. We need think only of the number of places around the world that we remember for not just the people we meet there, but the buildings that we see.

I congratulate Annabel Goldie on her forthcoming elevation to the fellowship of the RIAS to add to the lustre of her deputy lieutenancy. At this stage, I have yet to be invited to be anything, if we do not include the far less distinguished award that Alan Cochrane wanted to give me in his low abuse of me last month.

I will be invidious and single out the Sir Duncan Rice library, which, in the context of Old Aberdeen, is a quite stunning building. Turning the corner from King’s college in Old Aberdeen, one suddenly looks up a slight rise at a narrowing vista and is surprised by the sight of a wonderful building glistening in the sun—facing, as it does, to the south-east. Inside, the space and grace that it provides to the students studying there some 50 years after me exemplifies all that is good in modern architecture. I certainly know that it is too late to have any influence on the judges, given that the awards are tonight—indeed, I am sure that the name has already been engraved on the trophy—but if there is a chance for a late change of mind, should it be necessary, I encourage it to take place.

Architects show ambition and it is a time for ambition in Scotland. I wish every one of the 12 finalists all the very best. Whoever wins, the building will be an exemplar for modern Scotland.


Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP