Scotland's contemporary architecture

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  • The exterior of the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
    Clyde Auditorium
  • The exterior of the Perth Concert Hall, Perth
    Perth Concert Hall
  • The exterior of the Riverside Museum, Glasgow
    Riverside Museum
  • The exterior of the Scottish Parliament at night
    Scottish Parliament
  • Shot of the viewing area of The Lighthouse with a view behind across the centre of Glasgow
    The Lighthouse

Scotland boasts an impressive range of strong, contemporary buildings which showcase the diversity of architecture across the country.

Renovation and conservation have played an important part in Scottish architecture in recent years, with striking conversions which include Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s The Lighthouse in Glasgow, now home to Scotland’s National Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, and the glass-fronted Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

Glasgow’s role as a leader of contemporary Scottish architecture is also on show on the banks of the Clyde, an area which has seen much regeneration. The city’s innovative designs are clearly displayed in Sir Norman Foster’s ‘Armadillo’ building, home to the Clyde Auditorium, the titanium-clad Glasgow Science Centre, opened in 2001.

The iconic Glasgow Riverside Museum, designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, houses the city’s transport museum and was officially unveiled in July 2011.The massive steel structure forms an eye-catching addition to the city’s waterfront.

In Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, the imposing and controversial Scottish Parliament is situated next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom of the historic Royal Mile. The building was designed by the late Catalan architect Enric Miralles who was said to have been inspired by the surrounding The new section of the National Museum Scotland building, Edinburghlandscape, and wanted to create a building that grew out of the land. The construction is a mixture of steel, oak and granite and was officially opened in 2004. Come and see what you think on one of the regular tours.

The National Museum Scotland, also in Edinburgh and opened in 1998, perfectly integrates the new design with the stunning Victorian building. It has been described as one of the finest post-war buildings in the city.

Head to Dundee to see the city’s most architecturally significant buildings, the inspiring Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) designed by Richard Murphy.

Opened in 2005, the 1,200-seater Perth Concert Hall was the first full-scale concert hall to be built in Scotland since 1990. As well as the impressive auditorium, it also features a large-scale, glazed multi-purpose open foyer.

Find out more about Scotland’s architecture over the last three centuries.

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