Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Considered the Oscar of British architecture by its promoters, this £20,000 award created in memory of James Stirling marked its 10th anniversary by naming the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh the year’s best work. Designed by Enric Miralles, who passed away before construction began, and carried out by Benedetta Tagliabue and his studio, the building went up amid controversies having to do with the disproportionate swelling of the budget and delays in execution. But the jury decided to ignore them and focus on its architectural merits, letting themselves be seduced by the formal and material complexity and the intense lyricism of a fragmented and dynamic construction that welcomes and engages in dialogue with its environment, in which it seems to rise to represent the democratic aspirations of the people. The other finalists were Zaha Hadid’s building for BMW in Leipzig, O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork, Foster’s McLaren Technology Center in Woking, Bennett Associates’ Jubilee Library in Brighton, and Alsop’s Fawood Children’s Center in Harlesden.