Scotland’s architecture

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Be inspired by the events taking place throughout the Year of Homecoming Scotland
Scotland welcomes the world in 2014

Come and experience all that is great about Scotland as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014

Scotland has a rich legacy of striking and unique architecture with crofts, castles, Victorian tenements and buildings, right up to the cutting edge designs of today.

This variety gives a wonderful insight into the history of the nation through the ages from the 5,000-year-old Skara Brae on Orkney to the stunning Glasgow Riverside Museum which sits by the Clyde.

Stonework has been a major characteristic, with the long Western Isles crofthouses, Glasgow’s soft red sandstone tenements and the country’s diverse castles, which are a fascinating mix of ruined buildings and beautifully preserved structures.

Several key architects made their mark on the country over the centuries including William Henry Playfair, who transformed the centre of Edinburgh during the 1800s and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose iconic linear designs are instantly recognisable throughout Glasgow.

Find out more about Scotland’s historical sites, castles, 18th to 20th century architecture and contemporary architecture.

  • The exterior of Bute House in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
    Bute House in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
  • The exterior of the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
    Clyde Auditorium
Looking over the Forth Rail Bridge, over the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh

18th to 20th century architecture

The 300 years between the 18th and 20th centuries saw an explosion in Scottish architectural styles with Neoclassical, Gothic, Romantic, Victorian and Art Noveau designs featuring prominently across the country.

The Forth Rail Bridge - built between 1883-90 from a design by John Fowler

Engineering

Discover more about Scotland’s world-class engineers and how their engineering projects helped shape the nation.

The exterior of the Perth Concert Hall, Perth

Contemporary architecture

Scotland boasts an impressive range of strong contemporary buildings which showcase the diversity of architecture. You can see stunning and striking buildings across Scotland such as Edinburgh's Scottish Parliament and the new Riverside Museum in Glasgow.