World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

St Andrew's House

St. Andrew's House
Southern aspect of St Andrew's House on Calton Hill
General information
Type Office block faced in darney stone
Architectural style Art Deco
Location Edinburgh, Scotland
Address Regent Road, Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Current tenants Scottish Government
Construction started 1937
Completed 1939
Renovated 2001
Cost £433,200
Client Scottish Office
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, Edinburgh, is the headquarters building of the Scottish Government.[1] The building stands on the site of the former Calton Jail.[2] 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 large Category A listed Art Deco-influenced building looks out over Waverley station, the Canongate and Holyrood Park.


  • Construction 1
  • Architecture 2
  • Governmental use 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


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 heraldic sculpture on the front is by John Marshall.[3]

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.


The north facade of St Andrew's House, from Nelson's Monument.

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.

Tait's design incorporates elements of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne and is noted for being a rare example of sensitively designed modern architecture in Edinburgh.[4]

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.[5]

St Andrew's House is designated a Category A listed building by Historic Scotland.

Governmental use

Main entrance to St. Andrew's House

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 along with the Private Offices of all the Cabinet Secretaries 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.


  1. ^ "St Andrew's House". Scottish Government. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Locations - St Andrew's House - Calton jail". Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (1998). C20th Architecture: The Structures that Shaped the Century. Carlton Books.  
  5. ^ "Scottish Office buildings". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 

External links

  • St. Andrew's House on the Gazetteer for Scotland
  • Scottish Government site celebrating the 70th anniversary of the building
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.