Scottish Executive, Victoria Quay Leith, Architect, Photo, Location, Scotland

Scottish Government, Leith : Victoria Quay

Administration Building, VQ, Edinburgh – design by RMJM

Scottish Government Leith

Scottish Executive Building, Victoria Quay, Leith
Dates built: 1993-96
Design: RMJM Scotland

Now titled Scottish Government Building

The Scottish Executive – formerly the Scottish Office – is a solid building in symmetrical three-storey shape possibly to recall warehouse that existed previously on the site, though one suspects the shape was highly cost-efficient; interesting sandblasted sculpture/screen at back of entrance hall, two atria to each side.

Scottish Executive, Leith
Scottish Executive building: from Victoria Dock © Adrian Welch

Victoria Quay is located in the centre of a huge redevelopment area mostly owned by Forth Ports. The building was opened on 1 Jul 1996 by HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Victoria Quay building has 35,000 sq.m of accommodation on four floors and is 250m long.

Scottish Government Leith
photograph 2007 © Jason Baxter

The East facade facing the sea presents a quiet scene devoid of any quayside life such as break-out spaces; perhaps this is due to security reasons. The Scottish Executive building has an austere symmetrical feel with sandstone coloured rational facades and ‘lighter’ grey metal cladding above. The Scottish Executive building atria are based on a sustainable approach to architecture.

Scottish Executive Building architects : RMJM Scotland

RMJM, Leith
Scottish Executive: rotunda from Commercial Quay © Adrian Welch

The Victoria Quay building was built as an extension of the old Scottish Office. It replaced New St. Andrews House on Leith St (top of Leith Walk). The building became part of the Scottish Executive following devolution to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. It is the largest single office of the Scottish Executive and contains Development and Education Departments.

The base build cost for the Scottish Executive Building was approx. £47m

Some departments migrated to the Scottish Executive Building upon its completion fromSt Andrew’s House

Scottish Government Building Leith
Scan of photo © Adrian Welch

Also by RMJM in Edinburgh: Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh Walking Tours

The original Victoria Quay (1847-51) represented a major enlargement of the Port of Leith into the sea away from the shoreline of Commercial Street. Cargo sheds and Whisky Bonds – such as Patterson’s Warehouses – were developed towards the end of the 19th Century, which have now been redeveloped into apartments, shops and restaurants.

Leith Architecture

History of Leith

Just to the north of Victoria Quay is the Ocean Terminal, Western Harbour, 2001

Comments / photos for the Scottish Government Building Edinburgh page welcome

Scottish Executive Building – page