Enjoyed last night’s tour of the Scottish Parliament building, kindly provided by Creative Edinburgh.
We were shown round by one of the civil servants who runs the place, who was frank about his non-appreciation of some of the artier elements and about some of the areas which didn’t function as intended, but nonetheless was delighted to be in the first generation of people using this innovative building.
From the front:
He didn’t seem a natural Green or Scottish Socialist, but said they were the ones who had the most friendly and appreciative attitude to the staff. When the MSP offices were allocated, Labour insisted on the top two floors, and the Lib Dems and Tories claimed the next two down, leaving the ground floor to the Greens and S; after a few months it became clear they’d got the best deal – no stairs or lifts, quickest route to the chamber and everywhere else in the building.
At the meet-and-greet session afterwards, I met Gordon, who had been one of the top architects who had taken over from Henrique Miralles on his death early in the project. While he came over as quite humble and self-effacing he was also proud to have been part of the project, full of respect for the Barcelona architects who worked with him, and not afraid to voice the idealistic notion that if you provide a light, optimistic, airy, artistic and non-confrontative parliament you raise the level of culture and pride in the country itself.
The idea, I’m told is to say ‘not only’ – stuff about the music in the film – ‘but also’ – other Scottish musicians – the Rollers ‘n’ me! But it all boils down to that full stop after Johnny Depp’s name. Very cheeky, but doing me no harm at all, I’m sure. One person I met for the first time did look at my name badge and said ‘I know your name – you’re a singer aren’t you?’.