The Main Hall is where the public first make contact with the Scottish Parliament. At the Visitor Information Desk, visitors can find out about the Parliament, pick up visitor leaflets, arrange a guided tour and book tickets for the Debating Chamber or tickets for Committee Meetings to see Parliament in action.
The Main Hall is made up of three tapered concrete vaults. The vaults were cast on site and feature Enric Miralles' abstract designs of the Saltire cross (the Scottish flag). A distinctive lightwell, of differing designs, in each of the three vaults allows natural light to penetrate the space.
Visitor Information Desk
The Visitor Information Desk was designed by David Colwell. The desk is 11 metres (36 ft) long and is made of Scottish sycamore and oak. It functions as a workstation for six members of staff, including one place suitable for disabled visitors or staff. The majority of the fixed furniture in the Main Hall is constructed from sycamore and oak.
Exhibition in the Main Hall
There is a permanent exhibition with text, artefacts, audio visual and computer-based displays which explain the workings of the Scottish Parliament. The exhibition is based on the founding principles of the Parliament. It explains the ways in which you can engage with Parliament and looks at the history of the Scottish Parliament. Information is also provided about the building and its construction history.
In the Main Hall you can also see a number of the Parliament's artworks including the Honours of Scotland sculpture presented by Her Majesty The Queen.
The crèche for visitors to Parliament features a large play area, with a huge rooflight to give an airy atmosphere, and a second smaller area. The walls are decorated with abstract figures, echoing similar shapes in the public gallery.
The Main Hall also provides access to the café, shop and the education centre.
See a 360° view of the Parliament Shop in the online photo tour.
Most of the materials used to construct the Scottish Parliament are evident in this space, including the Kemnay granite and Caithness stone used for much of the flooring throughout the building.