Ric Russell – Dundee Architect

Ric Russell Architect, Dundee, Scotland, Building, News, Design, Projects, Scottish Office

Ric Russell, Architect

Contemporary Scottish Architectural Practice led by Ric Russell

Ric Russell – Key Projects

Key Buildings by Nicoll Russell Studios

The Space, Dundee, Fife, southeast Scotland
The Space Dundee

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Byre Theatre

An Lanntair, Stornoway, Western Isles, Scotland
An Lanntair

Dundee Rep, Dundee, Fife, Scotland
Dundee Rep Theatre

More projects by architect Ric Russell online soon


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Ric Russell – Practice Information

Nicoll Russell Studios studio based in Dundee

Nicoll Russell Studios

Ric Russell, OBE

16 Jun 2005

Professor Ric Russell, the founding partner of Dundee’s well-known architecture practice, Nicoll Russell Studios was awarded an OBE for services to architecture in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Ric’s fellow partners Doug Binnie and Andy Baxter commented that “everyone in the practice is absolutely delighted that Ric’s tireless efforts and enthusiasm have been rewarded in this way. In today’s world it would be very easy for someone like Ric Russell to drift away to more enticing or lucrative areas further south, so it is a testament to his tenacious qualities that everything he has achieved has been generated here in Dundee. Ric has always striven to maximise the potential of often humdrum requirements to create something which is both timeless and unique.

This drive and passion has led the practice to have a national if not international reputation. It has received over 40 national and Scottish awards including 8 RIBA Awards, Dynamic Place Awards, 4 Regeneration Scotland Awards and a Special RIBA Award.

Throughout the practice’s 21-year history, Ric Russell has always underlined to all of us, the importance of creating buildings and solutions for the general public and the people who actually use them. This approach has created an architectural “style”, if we have one, which has received much public acclaim as well as professional coverage, but is slightly adrift of the “mainstream” architectural avant garde. This can be no better illustrated than at the Whitetop Centre, Dundee which was developed for profoundly disabled and institutionalised young adults. Ric’s response to the client’s brief and his care for those who need the building has created a unique sensory environment which hopefully triggers the often intangible senses of its clients and catalyses the efforts of their carers.

Sometimes it feels that it would be far easier and rewarding to be “fashionable”, but that is far removed from Ric’s and our practice’s ethos.

At times like this it is easier to reflect upon the successes of the practice and the important role Ric, the Studios and our projects have had within Scotland’s recent architectural renaissance. Project’s like the Grianan Building on Dundee’s Technology Park, have to be seen as seminal works within the Scottish architectural scene. Its ground breaking composition of glass and rural materials like rubble walling, exposed timber and metalwork was completed in 1988. It is easy to establish a clear lineage of buildings and architects, which that approach influenced across Scotland over the subsequent years.

Ric Russell has quietly built up a highly regarded portfolio of work in Tayside and beyond whilst some of his contemporaries have perhaps preferred more limelight. Beyond his work in the practice Ric Russell has made an enormous, though unpublicised, impact on Scottish architecture through his teaching, work at the former RFACS and now at Architecture Design Scotland, participation in awards committees and his presence and foresight across a raft of other activities.

Professor Ric Russell stated that
“I am very honoured and proud. It is a nice thing to happen to anybody.
But the honour also reflects on Nicoll Russell Studios, as we care about what we are doing. It is particularly important at the moment, given the grand revival of quality architecture across the country. This honour sends a message about the importance of architecture.

Although an event in your life like this makes you pick over your career it also fills me with great hopes for the future. We have numerous exciting projects: the an Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway will open later in the summer which we hope will have a huge local and national impact; our pilot Community Justice Centre in Liverpool will open in August and will be the built embodiment of the government’s new approach to the Criminal Justice system; finally we have high hopes for the multimillion pound Calyx development in Perth (Scotland’s National Garden) the brainchild of BBC TV’s Jim McCall. It is a tremendous project filled with the potential offered by the fusion of architecture and landscape. We believe that this will be a landmark of international importance and will hopefully launch us onwards to yet another level of success.”

Ric Russell Architect – information : 16 Jun 2005




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Dundee Buildings featured on this site:
Maggies Centre, Ninewells by Frank Gehry
Apex Hotel Dundee by Ian Springford Architects
Dundee Contemporary Arts – DCA by Richard Murphy Architects

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