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Lee Boyd's Holyrood plans branded ‘disrespectful’

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Edinburgh City Council’s chief architect has joined detractors urging the Scottish Parliament to rethink its latest controversial security improvements

City design leader Riccardo Marini said Lee Boyd’s proposed public entrance to Enric Miralles’ and RMJM’s 2005 Stirling Prize-winning building was ‘not going to stop any terrorist’ and said the original architects should have been consulted.

‘It saddens me when I see things like this,’ he said. ‘There are other ways that we can achieve something more respectful.’

Gordon McGregor, who worked as site architect for Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and RMJM on the east superstructure where the entrance is proposed, said the project was ‘vandalism’ and had ‘all the charm of a Marks & Spencer fast-track check-out’.

Peter Wilson, director of Edinburgh Napier University’s Wood Studio, added: ‘There is surely a strong case for the original architects to be retained. The original idea for an open and democratic Parliament has been continually abused by security “consultants” who seem to see it as their role to turn the bottom of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile into an American embassy-style fortress.’

Mark Cousins of Edinburgh-based Oliver Chapman Architects said: ‘The whole exercise seems an un-necessary additional expense which merely panders to the hawkish anxieties of some insecure politicians.’

The yet to be costed entrance is the latest twist in the saga of the building’s construction, which ran 10 times over budget, finished three years late and was subject to a public enquiry.

More than £2 million has been spent on security enhancements since 2007. A spokesman said: ‘All parliament buildings are adapted to cope with evolving needs and circumstances. The Scottish Parliament is no exception.’ A planning application for the scheme was submitted in November.

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