St Andrew's House
|St. Andrew's House|
Southern aspect of St Andrew's House on Calton Hill
|Type||Office block faced in darney stone|
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|Address||Regent Road, Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH1 3DG|
|Current tenants||Scottish Government|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Thomas S. Tait|
|Architecture firm||Burnet, Tait & Lorne|
|Other designers||Sir William Reid Dick, Alexander Carrick, Phyllis Bone, Walter Gilbert, Thomas Hadden|
|Dictionary of Scottish Architects|
St. Andrew's House (SAH), on the southern flank of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is the headquarters building of the Scottish Government. The building stands on the site of the former Calton Gaol. Today, the turreted Governor's House is all that remains of the former prison, next to the Old Calton Burial Ground and Political Martyrs' Monument.
The building was designed by Thomas S. Tait of Burnet, Tait and Lorne, architects, who won the architectural competition to gain the commission. Construction began in November 1935, and was completed in 1939, the building initially housed the Scottish Office, including the offices of the Secretary of State for Scotland. The requirement for the building arose as a result of a post World War I policy of limited transfer of devolved administrative (but not legislative) power to Scotland from London. An official opening ceremony timed to take place on 12 October 1939 was "cancelled due to War" (Britain's first air raid of the war took place only four days later over the Forth Bridge). Instead, it was officially opened by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 26 February 1940.
Architecturally, the building is monolithic, symmetrical and restrained on the main north facade. To the south, facing the Waverley valley, it is much more irregular and romantic in expression. There are many Art Deco influences.
The building features a number of sculpted decorations, also in the Art Deco style, which are credited to several sculptors: Sir William Reid Dick designed symbolic figures; heraldic devices are the work of Alexander Carrick and Phyllis Bone; the large bronze doors were designed by Walter Gilbert and executed by H.H. Martyn; and the secondary doors and stairs are by Thomas Hadden.
Following the passing of the Scotland Act 1998, since 1999 St. Andrew's House now accommodates part of the Scottish Government, including the office of the First Minister of Scotland and Deputy First Minister of Scotland and the Directorates dealing with justice and health. The building underwent a major refurbishment in 2001, although the facade is still coated in a sooty residue. It now accommodates 1,400 civil servants.
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