The stepped and curved forms, angled windows and patterns of branches suggest a meeting of town and country. The bare, winter branches of the single tree stand out against the smooth face of the wall, echoing the sculptural patterns above.
This is the building which houses the offices of Members of the Scottish Parliament (or MSPs). Quirkily appealing and an interesting contrast to the neighbouring stone walls but, like the rest of the complex of parliamentary buildings, controversial for its design, the choice of the architect, the cost and the management of the project.
The building facing across the water towards Holyrood Palace houses the public entrance and leads to the main hall. The abstract landscape of stepped pools was enlivened yesterday by windblown ripples.
The complex of parliamentary buildings offers a different face from every angle with a complicated mix of forms and character. Designed (controversially) by a Catalan architect, the buildings and their setting were intended to represent the union between Scotland’s landscape, people and culture and the city of Edinburgh. That’s an ambitious brief.
On family visits to Edinburgh I’ve become familiar with these two faces of the building. As the Scottish Parliament website shows, there’s much more to explore. I must venture further next time I’m in the city.