Glazed Buildings of Scotland

Scotland is a country full of beautiful landmarks and historic buildings. But what about glazing? We thought we would take you on a short journey to some of our country’s most iconic glass buildings, so buckle up and get ready to be inspired.

The Riverside Museum Glasgow - Mark Smith Glazing Edinburgh

Riverside Museum, Glasgow

A sort of imitation of the shape-shifting fluidity of the clouds in the sky, Riverside Museum is a stunning example of modern architecture. Designed by the late prolific Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE — the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize — Riverside is an architectural portrayal of Glasgow’s rich industrial, maritime and shipbuilding heritage. The imposing glass facades allow huge amounts of light to infiltrate the building while imposing angles add to the futuristic feel of the building.

It has also been named the most innovative museum in the fields of technology, labour and social history by the European Museum Academy. Go, Glasgow!

Mark Smith Glazing Edinburgh

Scottish Parliament Building, Edinburgh

Enric Miralles’ Post-Modern Scottish Parliament complex was officially opened in 2004. Designed to mirror the surrounding landscape of crags and hills, the building is strikingly different from the traditional architecture of the Old Town it sits beside. The building, adorned with abstract, geometric shapes, sits under the gaze of Arthur’s Seat. The building, estimated to £414 million, was a hot topic for many years and despite the criticism and various public inquiries, the building was welcomed by architectural academics and critics and won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize. It was even described by landscape architect Charles Jencks as “a tour de force of arts and crafts and quality without parallel in the last 100 years of British architecture” Wow!

People's palace Glasgow - Mark Smith Glazing Edinburgh

Peoples Palace & Winter Gardens, Glasgow

Opened in 1898, The People’s Palace And Winter Gardens has served as a kind of time capsule for the preservation of the city’s social narratives, home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day.

The building is comprised of Locahrbriggs Red Sandstone, one of the most sought after of its kind, and is the work of Alexander B. McDonald, the city engineer. You can’t go without noticing the sculptural elements and the Doulton Fountain. The magical conservatory sports sheets of glass rooted by cast-iron columns and a curvaceous steel roof. Pretty impressive to say the least.

the SSE Hydro - Mark Smith Glazing Edinburgh

SSE Hydro, Glasgow

The SSE Hydro is a multi-purpose indoor arena located within the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow and is built on the site of the former Queen’s Dock, The SSE Hydro is the only UK venue of its scale built specifically for live entertainment. It is the largest entertainment venue in Scotland. The unique façade of The SSE Hydro, made up of pneumatic translucent cushions, has been made possible by using a special film originally developed for the space industry. This allows natural light to illuminate the foyers during the day and the arena to ‘glow’ at night.

Flaunting a 125-metre wide roof, with the diagonally latticed steelwork forming a shallow silver dome standing 45 metres at its highest point. The distinctive elliptical sloping shape of The SSE Hydro was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman amphitheatres. This shape offers the optimum balance of viewing angle and distance from the stage.

The question is, what glass buildings are you inspired by?

At Mark Smith Glazing, we are inspired daily by the vision of our team and partners and the installations that we are lucky to complete all over Scotland.

If you need help bringing your glazing ideas to life, then be sure to email us at or call us on 0131 669 9898.