The Scottish National Party last week branded Enric Miralles as 'a wee bit of a chancer'- just 24 hours after the architect of the new Scottish Parliament was buried in Barcelona.
Scottish Parliament member Margo MacDonald attacked Miralles for failing to be concerned about the hard facts of the building and failing to account for the effect of his design on traffic or the way it would blend into its surroundings.She described his design as a 'poor, wee scrunched up parliament' which fails to come close to the architecture of the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Reichstag in Berlin. MacDonald's column in the Edinburgh Evening News also called for the project to 'be allowed to die with him', and claimed that Miralles had no real interest in the project's effect on normal life in the city. The comments angered the profession in the Scottish capital and the Royal Incorporation of Scottish Architects communications director John Pelan said: 'It was obvious the passion he had for Scotland and he saw this as the project of his career. His death is so depressing, its almost like there is a curse of Holyrood.'
This latest controversy follows a spat between architects and the Scottish Executive, which described Miralles as just a 'concept architect' on the project (AJ 8.7.00).
But as the SNP took advantage of the publicity surrounding Miralles' death to renew its calls for the project to be cancelled, building work continued on site, with three storeys of one of the office blocks already in place.