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Top prize for Scottish Parliament

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The Scottish Parliament: A "statement of sparkling excellence," according to RIBA's judges.

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Edinburgh (Scotland)
Norman Foster
Zaha Hadid

EDINBURGH, Scotland (CNN) -- The Scottish Parliament building, which was completed three years late and 10 times over budget, has won the UK's most prestigious architecture award.

The $757 million Edinburgh landmark was chosen from a shortlist of six buildings to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize.

The judges described the Parliament as a "statement of sparkling excellence" and praised its late architect Enric Miralles' "extraordinary architectural ambition and design vision."

"In its context the building manifests itself as an attempt at an organic transition between the city and the drama of the Scottish countryside surrounding it," the judges said in a statement.

Spaniard Miralles died in 2000, before the building was completed. His widow, Benedetta Tagliabue, attended the award ceremony in Edinburgh on Saturday to collect the $35,000 prize.

The Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer George Reid said that the Stirling Prize "confirms the Scottish Parliament as Britain's most important new building.

"The judges have decided that Holyrood is not just a working legislature but a work of art -- constructed on a world heritage site where the history and land of Scotland fuse together."

Other contenders shortlisted for the award included Zaha Hadid's BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany, and the McLaren Formula One's team's Norman Foster-designed Technology Centre in Surrey.

Foster had been in the running to win the prize for a second year in succession, having collected last year's award for the St.Mary Axe skyscraper known as the "gherkin" in London.

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