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The Emperor's New Clothes?

Here in America we have bridges to nowhere; international airports with no airline tenants; & pork barrel boondoggles in every state.

But we are amateurs compared to the government of Scotland. The ugliest building in the world is owned by the good people of Scotland and serves as their Parliament.

What happened? Did the architect marry the Prime Minister's daughter? Did he pay a pot load of money under the table to get the contract? Did they all have one hell of an LSD party just before they started building?

It reminds me of the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes. Nobody wanted to admit that they didn't appreciate the amazingly beautiful and meaningful modern architecture. Nobody wanted to be called a tasteless cretin. Everybody pretended to think it was beautiful....and the builder actually got away with it.

Mind you, these pictures are ALL of one single building.







Evidently, so much money was spent on the building, there wasn't anything left for proper windows. It looks like simple single glazed glass without any privacy tinting was used. And, of course, the employees must assume that since the exterior is so ugly and chaotic, what difference could it make if their fans, ladders & boxes are also on display?




But the funniest thing about this entire building is the plaque embedded in one of the exterior walls. Do you think the architect did this on purpose? Was it a secret gloat? Do you think the good people of Scotland can see the irony?


Comments (10)


Perhaps the good people of Scotland have a motherly denial and blindness to the unfortunate appearance of their own ...eh ... architecture?


Interesting, Deborah! Do the citizens of Scotland think the structure is ugly? Or do they think "beauty - the eyes of the beholder"... It does remind me of many buildings in developing countries.

Oh man, that is one ugly building.

Thats hilarious about the plaque, like being synthetic is the guys main stand.
I have a question. What are those stick like looking things?


Yep - thanks Deborah. My reaction on seeing this building last summer was very similar to yours -- but I didn't think to document its ugliness in photos.
It is especially jarring since it is in such proximity to Holyrood Palace, with its classic form!



Whoa, that is unfortunate!

Barb Cabot:

Crazy! That would seem like a very unproductive place for a work environment. I would be too disturbed upon entering to get anything done. Yikes what were the planners thinking when they accepted the blueprints and models on this one?

What a crazy building! The motto is too funny.

When I first looked at these photos, I thought it was a building still being constructed. What an ugly building! Sad...

The truth behind this building is that it was deliberately chosen to be as controversial and ugly as possible by the Labour Party who were then in control.

The Labour Party is pro-Unionist (that is to say they want Scotland to remain part of the UK). For this reason they did not want a positive symbol for the seat of the devolved Scottish Government as that would lend it credibility and support from the Scottish Public. If the Scots were proud of their Government then that in turn would add momentum to the Scottish National Party's fight for Independence.

The Building design was chosen by Tony Blair (and we all know what a crook he was) and the architect was a Spaniard.

The building is actually rather stunning inside and you really need to go inside to appreciate its good points. The use of light and the absence of square forms is clever.

However, I as a Scot would agree that there were better designs proposed and by Scottish architects, but the Politics of subjugation denied us that opportunity.

It will take more than an ugly building to stop us from having our Independence Day!

Deborah responds:
Very, very well said, Mike!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 29, 2010 8:08 PM.

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