The MSP Building provides accommodation for 108 backbench and opposition MSPs as well as their staff. The building is 6 storeys high at the north end, stepping down to 4 storeys at the south end. Each office is constructed around a single in-situ poured concrete frame with a pre-cast concrete vaulted ceiling weighing 18 tonnes. Each vault contains a characteristic Enric Miralles abstract design feature.
You can find more information about the MSPs and the work they do in the MSPs Section.
The unique façade of the Members' office accommodation quickly became the first iconic image of Holyrood. The shape of the windows is said to have been inspired by an outline of the Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch taken from Raeburn’s famous painting.
The windows are made from stainless steel and framed in oak, with the oak lattices providing privacy and shade for some MSPs. The cladding around the windows is a mosaic of materials, including Kemnay granite from Aberdeenshire and darker granite from South Africa. To break the uniformity of the façade the windows jut out at differing widths and face in both directions.
There are 114 projecting bay windows in total. MSPs occupy 108 of the offices and the others are used as party resource rooms.
Each bay window office has a window seat and shelving. This area was designed as a ‘contemplation space’ by Enric Miralles. There are two depths of window seat, 1m wide and 0.5m wide.
Each office space divides in two, with a room of some 12sqm facing onto the corridor for the MSPs' staff and an inner office of 15sqm for the MSP. Bespoke furniture has been created to a Miralles design. This includes a built-in storage wall made from oak and sycamore, manufactured by Ben Dawson furniture in Musselburgh, East Lothian.
The carpet is a variation of that designed by Enric Miralles for the Parliament, the main colours being grey, blue and yellow.
Running alongside the MSP Building in Reid's Close is the Bamboo Garden. This was included in the design to reflect the oak lattice work and concrete 'bamboo' poles that have been used on the exterior of the MSP Building.
The floor of Reid's Close is laid with granite sets to mirror the idea of the close being a medieval lane.