Day 310/365 of Steel – Enric Miralles Moya

Enric Miralles Moya (12 February 1955 – 3 July 2000) was a Spanish architect from Barcelona, Catalonia. In 1993, Enric Miralles formed a new practice with his second wife, the Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue, under the name “EMBT Architects”. She resumed the practice under his name after his death.

The two most important projects of their collaboration were the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh and the multistoried building for the Spanish gas company Gas Natural in Barcelona, both finished after his death.

The Scottish Parliament Building (2004)

Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh
Fig 1: Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh
Photo: Alex Liivet 

From the outset, the building and its construction have been controversial. The choices of location, architect, design, and construction company were all criticized by politicians, the media and the Scottish public. Despite these criticisms and a mixed public reaction, the building was welcomed by architectural academics and critics.

Overview of the Garden Lobby with Queensberry House in the background
Fig 2: Overview of the Garden Lobby with Queensberry House in the background
Photo: Adam Elder/Scottish Parliament / Contains Scottish Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence

The building aimed to achieve a poetic union between the Scottish landscape, its people, its culture, and the city of Edinburgh. The Parliament Building won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize.

Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh
Fig 3: Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh
Photo: Reddit

One of the most notable features is the roof of the debating chamber. It is supported by a structure of laminated oak beams joined with a total of 112 stainless steel connectors, which in turn are suspended on steel rods from the walls.

The connecting nodes were fabricated by welders for Scotland’s oil industry. Such a structure enables the debating chamber to span over 30 m without any supporting columns.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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