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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Scots Parliament architect dies
Enric Miralles
Enric Miralles had an operation in the US
The architect responsible for the design of the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood has died.

Enric Miralles, 44, from Catalonia, had been ill for some time before his death at his home in Barcelona on Monday morning.

It emerged in April that he had been taken to hospital in the United States for treatment for what was thought to be a brain tumour.

First Minister Donald Dewar said: "I'm deeply sorry to hear this news. Enric Miralles was a man of great sensitivity and imagination, an architect with a growing worldwide reputation.

"His death is a great loss. The task for the team he put together for the Holyrood project is to complete the parliament building as a fitting tribute to him and his talent."
Enric Miralles and Donald Dewar
Mr Miralles explains his design to Donald Dewar
The parliament's presiding officer Sir David Steel said: "All those who have worked with Enric since the early part of 1998 could not but help be impressed by his ability, integrity and above all his commitment to the Scottish Parliament Project."

The Convener of the Holyrood Progress Group has said the project will continue on course.

Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald said he was "absolutely confident" it would be completed on time and on budget.

The death of Mr Miralles, he said, was tragic, but it did not affect the completion of the project.

The construction of Scotland's new parliament became a major controversy and its future hung in the balance as MSPs threatened to vote to scrap the project as it went millions of pounds overbudget.

Mr Miralles was chosen from a process which began in January 1998 with the launch of a competition in the international architectural press.

This attracted 70 entries from practices around the world and from this, a short-list of 12 was drawn up.

Lindisfarne trip

Five were then asked to submit initial designs, resulting in Mr Miralles, who had teamed up with architects RMJM (Scotland) Ltd (Edinburgh), being picked as the winner.

His upturned boats design prompted controversy when it emerged that it had been inspired not by a holiday to Scotland, but by a trip to Lindisfarne.

He set up his practice in Barcelona in 1984 and won many architectural prizes and competitions throughout Europe including the Madrid City prize in 1993, the National Prize of Spanish Architecture in 1995 and the Golden Lion at the Biennial of Venice in 1996.

His other high-profile designs include the Olympic Archery Pavilions in Barcelona and the new town hall in Utrecht, Holland.

Architectural critic Neil Baxter said: "The Scottish Parliament will be his monument. I think it is an extraordinary, visionary building. I've been very critical in the past of its procurement of the cost escalation and all of that.

"We now seem to have settled on a cost, we have settled on a way forward and the vision has to be achieved. It will be a monument to Miralles and we all have to hope it will be a very great building to which all Scots can rally."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Architectural critic Neil Baxter
"It will be a monument to Miralles and we all have to hope it will be a very great building to which all Scots can rally"
Political correspondent Elizabeth Quigley reports
"MSPs have been shocked by the news, both the First Minister and the Presiding Officer have paid tribute"
See also:

07 Apr 00 | Scotland
06 Apr 00 | Scotland
05 Apr 00 | Scotland
05 Apr 00 | Scotland
30 Mar 00 | Scotland
22 Mar 00 | Scotland
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