Scottish Building News: Architecture in Scotland

Scottish Building News, Architecture, Property Scotland, Images, Links, Architects, Photos

Scottish Architecture News

New Architecture Developments + Buildings in Scotland – Built Environment + Architects Updates

Scottish Buildings News

This page contains a selection of major Scottish Architecture News, with projects arranged chronologically, latest first. Each architecture news item links to an individual project page. We’ve selected what we feel are the key Scottish Building News stories.

The focus is on contemporary Scottish buildings but we do post on changes to major traditional buildings in Scotland.

Scottish Architecture News 2019

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

23 May 2019
RICS Awards News

Two of Robertson’s most significant projects have received coveted accolades at the prestigious Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards.

Premium spirits giant Edrington’s £140m Macallan Distillery and visitor experience in Speyside picked up the ‘Design through Innovation’ award at the Scotland ceremony, with judges commending the project team’s careful management of the environment, sustainability and local resources, particularly water, and the building’s innovative design.

New Macallan Distillery Building

There was also success in the North East, with Whitley Bay’s iconic Spanish City regeneration project, which Robertson delivered for North Tyneside Council, awarded the ‘Tourism and Leisure’ title, with judges commending £10million project for transforming a declining waterfront building into a shining beacon of hope and prosperity.

Spanish City regeneration project in Whitley Bay:
Spanish City regeneration project in Whitley Bay
photo courtesy of Robertson

Derek Shewan, chief executive officer of Robertson said: “The awards celebrate the diverse range of skills and expertise that we have within the business – from the painstaking restoration and refurbishment of iconic buildings to delivering state of the art, innovative projects.

“We’re incredibly proud to have played a key role in the delivery of two hugely significant buildings that will go on to bring lasting benefits for the local community and economies for decades to come.”

George McKenzie, Edrington’s UK Engineering Manager, said: “This award is testament to the vision, hard work, commitment and collaboration from our team and our partners.

“Together, their unwavering commitment to excellence enabled us to deliver this unique and striking piece of contemporary architecture.”

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “We are immensely proud of our iconic Spanish City and the work that has gone into restoring it – so to see it claiming such a prestigious award is absolutely fantastic.

“The Spanish City is incredibly important to the people of North Tyneside and part of the reason that our borough is so special. The work from Robertson absolutely did it justice and they did an excellent job of maintaining the heart and history of a building that means so much to our community.”

Adam Serfontein, chair of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, said: “A diverse range of innovative projects, of all sizes and budgets, made the shortlist this year and the winners are truly representative of our region’s best and most innovative built projects that are having a significant positive impact on their communities.

“The teams behind these winning projects should be very proud of their exceptional achievements and contribution to the region.”

Both projects will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in October in London for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.
The titles adds to a string of high profile accolades for both projects, with the Macallan Distillery, which officially opened in June 2018, awarded ‘Building of the Year’ title at the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Saltire Awards and the Structural Timber Awards’ ‘Winner of Winners’ title.

Spanish City was commended by the Civic Trust in March and in April won two categories – ‘Planning for a Successful Economy’ and ‘Excellence and Planning for Heritage and Culture’ – at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

About Robertson
Robertson is one of the largest independently owned construction, infrastructure and support services companies in the UK, with a strong confirmed order book, diverse income streams and a dedicated, expert workforce.

11 May 2019
Applied Engineering Design to help create local landmark in West Lothian with new whisky HQ
In a £4.5 million project which will be its second biggest to date, Edinburgh engineering firm Applied Engineering Design is working with Simon Laird Associates architects on what may become a new landmark for the industrial and commercial heartland of West Lothian:
Ian Macleod Distillers Headquarters Broxburn Building

19 Apr
V&A and National Galleries of Scotland acquire spectacular Antonio Zucchi portrait from 1763

The V&A and the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) announce the joint acquisition of an exquisite 18th century portrait of architect James Adam (1732-94) by Italian artist, Antonio Zucchi (1726-95), on 18th April. James Adam was one of the leading Scottish exponents of the European Neoclassical movement and played a formative role in developing British architecture. The painting goes on display in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery today, before joining the V&A’s British Galleries this autumn. It will then rotate between the two institutions.

The portrait is the third outstanding artwork jointly-acquired by the V&A and NGS after Antonio Canova’s The Three Graces (purchased 1994) and Lorenzo Bartolini’s The Campbell Sisters (purchased 2015). It has been purchased thanks to a major grant from Art Fund.

The portrait of James Adam has been acquired for £480,000. The purchase price was raised with £150,000 from the Art Fund, with the remaining contributions from the V&A and NGS.

16 Apr 2019
Wall House, Tower House and Pool, The Trossachs, central Scotland
Architect: Alan Dunlop
Wall House Tower House and Pool in the Trossachs
drawing : Alan Dunlop

New houses in The Trossachs
Alan Dunlop has begun discussions with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Planning Authority to build two, four bedroom family homes and an outdoor pool on his 5 acre studio site.

Why Archives Matter: Heritage, Memory and Identity conference, Stirling

17th April 2019

The Engine Shed Stirling

Supported by National Records of Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland

9:45 Registration

10:00-10:20 Introduction & Welcome


Archives and Me Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation, Historic Environment Scotland

Archives and the Future of the Past Professor Richard Rodger, Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh

Architecture and Authenticity in Art Deco Glasgow Fiona Sinclair, Architect

John Nicolson and Sir Francis Tress Barry: Two Remarkable People, Two Collections, One Archive Lesley Ferguson, Head of Archives, Historic Environment Scotland

11:50-12:05 Coffee Break


The Impact of War: New Evidence from WW1 Pension Appeals’ Bruno Longmore, Head of Archive Depositor Liaison, National Records of Scotland

Scottish Poor Law Records Dr Irene O’Brien, Archivist, Glasgow City Archives

Our Place in (Scottish Publishing) History: How the HarperCollins Archive Shapes who we are Dawn Sinclair, Archivist, Harper Collins

13:15-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:55 MEMORY (continued)

Voices: Archival Experiences within the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s Bicentenary Celebrations Alison Stirling, Artistic Director, Artlink Edinburgh Miss Annabel Sings, Actor/Singer/Activist Ruth Honeybone, Archives Manager, Lothian Health Services Archive

Beyond 2022: Retrieving Lost Memories Dr Ciarán Wallace, Deputy Director, Beyond 2022, Trinity College Dublin

14:55-15:05 Comfort Break


South Asian and Muslim Identity in Scotland Dr Saqib Razzaq, Project Officer, Colourful Heritage

Preserving Jewish Heritage in Scotland: The Work of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre Harvey L. Kaplan, Director, Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

Italian Identity in Scotland: Archival Foundations Dr Terri Colpi, Honorary Research Fellow, University of St Andrews

Scotland’s Census: The Past, The Present and The Future Amy Wilson, Director of Statistical Services, National Records of Scotland 16:35-16:40 Closing Remarks


David Mitchell
Director of Conservation, Historic Environment Scotland I will talk about my early experiences of archives and how they have shaped and guided my professional career, particularly around my own research interests.

Richard Rodger
Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh

In addition to some pointers for the future of archives and archival practice, the presentation will consider a user’s point view in linking historical studies, contemporary practice and future and directions. In summary, the argument is that we need to be less defensive about archives and proactive in developing public interest in heritage through the documentary and material record.

Fiona Sinclair

My talk will describe how the use of archive material such as drawings, photographs and newspaper articles is informing a repairs strategy for Kelvin Court in Glasgow which, when built in 1938, was the largest private flatted development in Scotland. With one hundred apartments, the owners of which have collective responsibility for the maintenance of the buildings, the strategy is designed to remind the residents of how iconic the development is, and the use of original marketing brochures, period product advertisements, and architect’s drawings are all key to this.

Lesley Ferguson
Head of Archives, Historic Environment Scotland

Caithness was a hive of archaeological activity in the late 19th and early 20th century. Circumstances brought two men together: Sir Francis Tress Barry, a wealthy business man and MP and John Nicolson, a farmer with an artistic talent. Together they excavated a number of archaeological sites, including the broch at Nybster, and illustrated their discoveries through photography and watercolour drawings. Recently re-excavated, the archive provides a wealth of valuable information for modern day archaeologists and community volunteers. Through the surviving archives, the story of Barry and Nicolson is embedded in the biography of the place.

Bruno Longmore
Head of Archive Depositor Liaison, National Records of Scotland

We tend to view the Great War through the prism of commemoration and remembrance. More is written about those who never returned than those who survived and the long-term impact the war had on them and their families. But what happened to those who survived? Over 2 million men received a war pension from injuries sustained during the conflict. Pensions Appeal Tribunals were established to allow ex-servicemen and their dependents to challenge decisions relating to the war pension allocated by government. A National Records of Scotland project, funded by The Wellcome Trust, is cataloguing WW1 Pension Appeal Tribunal records for Scotland. These provide a unique insight into the impact the conflict had on those who fought in it. The documents are an important resource for those interested in the First World War and its aftermath, revealing stories that show why archives matter.

Dawn Sinclair
Archivist, HarperCollins

The HarperCollins Publishers Archive is a rich resource for the business to use to not only celebrate our heritage but also as a way to understand who we are as company today. Our history is 3-fold, that of our role within the publishing industry, the local and national history of Scotland and finally the personal history of our employees and authors. This presentation shall showcase the way in which HarperCollins archive plays a vital role in the understanding of our business history.

Alison Stirling
Artistic Director, Artlink Edinburgh

Miss Annabel Sings

Ruth Honeybone
Archive Manager, Lothian Health Services Archive

A short presentation will look at the role and impact of NHS Lothian’s archive within a programme led by Artlink Edinburgh to celebrate the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s bicentenary in 2013: ‘Ever Present Past’. It will be followed by a performance of ‘Voices’, written by Alison Stirling, bringing together the stories found in the archive with those of the contemporary hospital community.

Ciaran Wallace
Deputy Director, Beyond 2022, Trintiy College Dublin

In 1922, seven centuries of priceless records were lost in the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland during the Irish Civil War. The loss has limited Irish historical scholarship ever since. As the centenary of the calamity approaches, however, a new research project involving historians, archivists and computer scientists, is virtually recreating the building and – as far as possible – its contents. ‘Beyond 2022’ has already identified extensive volumes of transcripts, summaries, calendars and indexes created by archivists, administrators and scholars in the years preceding the fire (over 20 million words to date). Digitally reuniting them in a Virtual Reality recreation of the destroyed building offers exciting opportunities to restore Ireland’s lost archival and historical record.

Saqib Razzaq
Project Officer, Colourful Heritage

The core theme of this presentation draws evidence from the oral video stories archive recorded by Colourful Heritage ( as a form of social scientific data. This reflects on feelings of ‘Scottish-ness’ and being Muslim among the older South Asian generation of men and women across Scotland that constitute the data sample. We will explore some of the factors behind why this generation have adopted predominantly a Scottish hybrid identity and what factors within Scotland have positively contributed to this identity. Photographs and documents from the ‘Bashir Maan Archive’ will also be used to establish identity in the 1950s and 1960s and how that compares with today.

Harvey L. Kaplan
Director, Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC) documents and illustrates the Jewish experience in Scotland since the 18th century, including religious, social, economic, political, cultural and family life. SJAC demonstrates the historical contribution of Jewish people to Scottish society, as well as how Jews have been received here over the years. Immigration is a key theme of the presentation, as many Scottish Jews are descended from immigrants who came to Scotland to make a better life for themselves and their families. SJAC is working with its partners to create a Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre and a Scottish Holocaust-era Study Centre.

Terri Colpi
Honorary Research Fellow, University of St Andrews

Italians have settled in Scotland for 170 years. As knowledge and material evidence of the historic migrations have dwindled within the Italian community, passing into the realm of folk memory, archival source materials and the role of the archive have become ever more important for understanding and reconstructing the past and also facilitating realisation of identity. In particular, the 1933 Census of Italians, conducted by the Italian authorities, provides a unique treasure of retrospective data, giving an accurate picture of 1870s -1930s. Many other sources too offer both family historians and academic researchers opportunity; interest at both enquiry levels has increased steadily in recent years.

Amy Wilson
Director of Statistical Services, National Records of Scotland

This session will provide a brief overview of the history of the census and explore how it has changed over time. The talk will explore what are the key changes to Scotland’s population that the census has measured over time and will present an outline of what is planned for Scotland’s 2021 Census.

29 Mar 2019
RIAS Announces Strong Scottish Shortlist for RIAS/RIBA Awards 2019

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland announce 19 strong shortlist from 82 entries:

RIAS/RIBA Awards 2019 Shortlist news

Homes for Scotland Awards shortlist announced
27 March 2019 – Homes for Scotland (HFS) has announced the shortlist for what is the country’s premier home building industry awards as the organisation prepares to celebrate the sector’s achievements at what is the largest annual gathering of its kind.

With entries showcasing the high quality work that the industry produces and the innovative practices it engages in, those companies achieving finalist places are:

Private Development of the Year – large (100+ units):

 Barratt & David Wilson Homes East Scotland
Newcraighall Village, Edinburgh

 CALA Homes (West)
21 Mansionhouseroad, Glasgow

 Stewart Milne Homes Central Scotland
Dargaval Village, Bishopton

 Barratt Homes North Scotland
Riverside Quarter, Aberdeen

 Robertson Homes Partnership & Urban Union
Pennywell Living, Edinburgh

Private Development of the Year – medium (26-99 units):

 A & J Stephen (Builders) & ZeroC Holdings
Tornagrain Phase 1A, Tornagrain

 Barratt Homes West Scotland
Waterside, Renfrew

 Dandara
The Meadows, Aberdeen

 Mactaggart & Mickel
Greenan Views, Ayr

 Bancon Homes & Halliday Fraser Munro
Monument View, Inverurie

 CALA Homes (East)
The Crescent at Donaldson’s, Edinburgh

Private Development of the Year – small (up to 25 units):

 Bancon Homes
Aspire Mews, Aberdeen

 Headon Developments
The Mews, Edinburgh

 CALA Homes (West)
Riverside at Bothwell, Lanarkshire

 Whiteburn Projects
Ashludie House, Monifieth

Affordable Housing Development of the Year:

 Campion Homes
Former Caledonian Road School, Perth

 Glasgow Housing Association (part of the Wheatley Group) & CCG
Dougrie Drive, Glasgow

 Kingdom Housing Association
Fraser Avenue Regeneration, Inverkeithing

 Clyde Valley Housing Association
Coatbridge Library, Coatbridge

 Home Group
Muirskeith Road, Glasgow

 Sanctuary Group
Anderston Regeneration, Glasgow

Company Innovation and Best Practice:

 Barratt Homes
Building without Barriers

 McTaggart Construction
Sustainable Communities Programme

 Mactaggart & Mickel
Becoming an Employer of Choice

Supporting Organisation of the Year:

 Contract Scotland
 Perceptive Communicators

With main categories remaining the same this year, the Innovation and Best Practice award was expanded to allow HFS members to highlight examples of innovative practices they have implemented with a view to having a significant positive impact on their individual organisation.

Reflecting the continued robust nature of the programme and its stringent judging criteria, this year’s independent judging panel will again be interviewing those shortlisted in this category as well as the finalists for the Supporting Organisation of the Year award.

The judges will also be undertaking site visits to all the shortlisted entries in the Private and Affordable Housing Development categories. Those companies shortlisted for Private Development of the Year will also be considered for the prestigious Homes for Scotland Home Builder of the Year award through a rigorous interview process.

Winners will be revealed at the Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch (sponsored by Burness Paull) at the EICC on Friday 17 May which will be hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield. A keynote address will be delivered by Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell MSP. Now in its 17th year, over 900 senior industry representatives and guests already confirmed to attend.

Chair of the independent judging panel Andy Mitchell, former Land Director at CALA Homes, said:
“The Homes for Scotland awards are the most credible in our industry, and I was delighted to be asked to Chair the independent judging panel for the second year running.

“This year’s panel now faces the difficult task of determining who should take the top prizes in what is an incredibly impressive shortlist showcasing the high quality developments and innovative practices taking place within our sector, which should be rightly recognised and celebrated.”

26 Feb 2019
Historic Environment Scotland Advanced Professional Diploma in Technical Building Conservation News

Creative Design Director Amanda Jane Tervit, who runs architecture firm Auchenblae Design and Build, has achieved a Scottish first by being the first woman to successfully complete the inaugural Historic Environment Scotland Advanced Professional Diploma in Technical Building Conservation – read the article at:

Glasgow Architecture News

Auchenblae Design and Build

Auchenblae is owned and managed by Amanda and Brian Wilson, partners in work and life. A truly dynamic and compatible couple with qualifications, skills and experience that create the perfect business in the design and build sector.

Auchenblae Design & Build provides a tailored personal and bespoke service, designing dream homes from specification to desired end use. They project manage from inception to completion, bringing vision to reality.

Amanda is a former pupil of Wallace High School, Stirling and the couple live in Cambusbarron, Stirling. Amanda is a graduate of Forth Valley College and Oxford Brookes University.

For further information please contact: Amanda Jane Tervit on 07919575898 email:

The Engine Shed

The Engine Shed is Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre, based in Stirling. Run by Historic Environment Scotland, it serves as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public.

Our historic built environment is a finite and unique resource, yet its care calls for conservation skills that are in short supply. This new learning and visitor resource will help to encourage a greater understanding of traditional building materials and skills – and inspire future generations to continue to care for Scotland’s built heritage.

19 Feb 2019
Letter about proposed demolition of St Aiden’s Church, Galashiels

To e-architect

This is not so much about any issue that I have but one of which the Scottish Borders Town of Galashiels has: St Aiden’s Church is about to be torn down one of the towns oldest Gothic style Grade B Listed Building is about to be Demolished!! A building that is a vital part of our towns history.

A Building that has stood for well over 100 years, because the people that bought it left it to rot and decay, they bought it out and away from a better offer made on it via a Christian Organisation (under some very discriminating dealings!) who would have restored it and made use of it. But now it is going to smashed and a piece of history is about to be destroyed forever! This is a building that I feel Prince Charles (would support) who I’m aware is a VERY keen supporter of historical Buildings.

History that also includes the desecration of War Memorials from both World Wars that are inside of this church and dishonouring those who fought and died, is this not an illegal act??!

This email should be sent to someone who can save it like Prince Charles (I plan to write to him but time is of the essence) and thus save a iconic piece of Galahsiels from being lost forever a building that needs to be saved before it is too late! Help me to save this building it is scheduled to start demolition within the month it seriously needs to be stopped! Please and thank you!

Yours Sincerely
Michael T Arnot
Galashiels TD1

11 Feb 2019
Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland External Review News
The RIAS commissions an external review into historic events and decisions made by the organisation around the time its Secretary and Treasurer Neil Baxter departed, report the AJ: Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland External Review

31 Jan 2019
Maven strengthens senior management team with promotion to partner of two property investment directors

Partnership promotions reflect the expertise of Maven’s specialist property investment team and its ongoing expansion

This company is headquartered in Glasgow.

Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, has promoted Colin Anderson and Andrew Whiteley from Maven’s specialist property investment team to partnership positions. The strengthening of its partnership base reflects Maven’s continued commitment to expanding Maven’s property investment offering.

Colin Anderson joined Maven in 2014 to further grow Maven’s property investment business, having previously spent 11 years in the corporate banking and real estate finance roles at The Royal Bank of Scotland. Since joining Maven as an investment director, Colin has been responsible for growing the number of property assets from five to 23 and has led investments in the student accommodation, hotel, office space and residential sectors, Colin has also been instrumental in increasing the Gross Development Value (GDV) of these assets from £41m to £295m, prior to recent exits, and has led, or co-led, eight investments with a value of £135m and raised total equity of £47m.

Andrew Whiteley joined Maven in 2013 to help further advance Maven’s diversification into property investment and development and has been instrumental in the division’s growth. Key to this has been Andrew’s relationship with Hong Kong and Singapore based investment group, IP Investment Management (IPIM), with which Maven has collaborated on eight high value property development projects in the student accommodation sector. Andrew joined Maven from Hotbed, where, as co-head of property, he had responsibility for portfolio management, sourcing, structuring and executing transactions on behalf of high net worth investors. Prior to his role at Hotbed, Andrew jointly ran the £2bn flagship UK commercial property fund at New Star Asset Management.

Maven’s specialist property investment team has extensive knowledge and experience of the UK property sector and identifies opportunities to combine capital and project management expertise in order to generate investor profits. The team has led on a number of transactions across a wide range of sub-sectors, including residential developments, hotels, student accommodation and offices and retirement living.

Between them, Colin and Andrew have led investments including:

• the sale of three fully developed and let purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) assets in Dundee, Birmingham and Edinburgh for c.£50m;
• the build of a 200-bed PBSA development in Liverpool, the development of 365 PBSA beds across two locations in Stirling city centre and acquisition of a site close to Southampton University with planning for 204-bed property;
• a £35m development of a 221-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel in Manchester, due to open Q1 2020;
• the development of 129 family homes and affordable housing units at two residential development sites in the Central belt of Scotland;
• an investment in Goldcrest Communities, which specialises in obtaining planning consent and facilitating retirement villages;
• the investment in and board director position of Horizon cremation, developer / operator of new build crematoria facilities across the UK;
• the redevelopment of vacant office buildings in Marlow and Maidenhead to a Grade A office HQ totalling 49,000 sq ft and employing more than £10m of Maven co-investor equity across the two locations;
• The acquisition of a 110,000 sq ft industrial warehouse in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow leased to John McGavigan Limited.

Bill Nixon, Managing Partner at Maven said: “We are very pleased to announce these partnership promotions, which reflect the excellent contribution both Andrew and Colin have built upon over the years as property investment directors at Maven. The appointments are timely, coinciding with rapid expansion for our property business and will only help to enhance our property investment offering by providing investors with access to well-researched UK property transactions whilst offering attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors.”

About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is an independent private equity and property manager, focused on the provision of growth capital and mezzanine finance to SMEs across the UK, as well as funding a range of attractive property investments. Headquartered in Glasgow, and with ten other offices throughout the UK, Maven has £600 million funds under management and available to invest.

Maven has developed a track record in the hotel, student accommodation and office space sectors, sourcing and structuring transactions with a gross development value of up to £30m. With a hands-on proactive portfolio management approach, Maven works closely with property developers to add value and maximise investor returns, and also provides a fully integrated back-office support function to client and third party fund managers.

For more information about Maven visit: @maven_cp

Scottish Architecture News 2018

12 Dec 2018
The RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2019, celebrating the best in Scottish architecture

Entries are now invited for the RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2019. The deadline for entries is 21 February 2019:

RIAS / RIBA Awards for Scotland 2019 News

30 Nov 2018
Hill House Box, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, western Scotland
Construction is officially underway on a pioneering project designed to save the Hill House – regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s domestic masterpiece. The ‘Box’ which will envelop the famous building in Helensburgh to protect it from the elements as part of the National Trust for Scotland’s ambitious restoration plans:

Hill House Box

26 Nov 2018
Professor McAra-McWilliam appointed Director of The Glasgow School of Art
The Board of The Glasgow School of Art has announced today, 26 November 2018, that it has appointed Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam as Director of The Glasgow School of Art.
Director of The Glasgow School of Art News

15 Nov 2018
Cairngorms National Park Authority’s HQ, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, Northern Scotland
Design: Moxon Architects
Cairngorms National Park Authoritys Headquarters
image courtesy of architects

Cairngorms National Park Authority HQ Building
Shortlisted at the Scottish Design Awards 2017 in the Future Building category, the project provides a new public-facing entrance to a nineteenth century building, as well as a new wing of flexible open plan office space and meeting accommodation.

12 Nov 2018
Fruitmarket Gallery Building Refurbishment
Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh building
photo : Stefan Schäfer, Lich [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
Fruitmarket Gallery Building News
The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh has appointed Reiach and Hall Architects to lead the refurbishment of its existing gallery building and the opening-up of the neighbouring warehouse building. The project will breathe new life into The Fruitmarket Gallery, and bring the adjacent building into active cultural use.

16 Oct 2018
Royal Wharf, Edinburgh, South East Scotland
Design: Wilson Gunn Architects
Royal Wharf launches at Edinburgh Marina
image courtesy of architects

Royal Wharf Edinburgh
Edinburgh Marina Holdings, the developer of the landmark Edinburgh Marina scheme, today announced the launch of the first phase of its luxury Royal Wharf development retirement apartments.

7 Oct 2018
Robin Webster OBE FRIAS RIBA Elected RIAS President

Robin Webster has been elected the next President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). Robin will take over from Stewart Henderson at the Incorporation’s AGM on 11th October 2018. As approved at the RIAS Council meeting on 12th September, the newly elected President will serve for 19 months.

More on our Glasgow Architecture news page

20 Sep 2018

A first glimpse inside the newly restored Moat Brae House, where Peter Pan began, has revealed the extent of the work undertaken to save a Scottish architectural gem:

Moat Brae House Building News

13 Sep 2018
Moat Brae House

Moat Brae House, the wonderful Georgian building, has been restored and new extensions have been created.

Dame Barbara Kelly and Cathy Agnew are the women who have done so much to save this wonderful piece of our heritage, a historic Scottish property.

The building is empty at the moment. It will be fitted out for opening as a centre for children’s literature and storytelling.

12 Sep 2018
Industry Professionals Have Their Say on Progress of Planning (Scotland) Bill

Survey finds Scottish Government failing in its Original Aims for Planning Review

• 92 per-cent say the Planning Bill would not result in an adequate ‘root and branch’ review of the current planning system

• 84 per-cent felt that the Planning Review will fail to improve housing and infrastructure delivery

• Only 10 per-cent felt that the Planning Review will provide a strong and high-performing Planning System.

Professionals and planners across the Scottish property, development and public sectors have delivered a damning verdict of the Planning (Scotland) Bill, ahead of a debate on its progress this week in the Scottish Parliament.

On Wednesday (12 September) The Scottish Government’s Local Government & Communities Committee will start to consider amendments to the Bill brought forward by MSPs.

But an in-depth survey commissioned by leading planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has revealed high levels of dissatisfaction with the current direction of the Bill. More than 100 industry professionals from across the private and public sectors, who work day in and day out with the planning system, completed the survey.

Headline findings, released last week, delivered a strong message to the Scottish Parliament with more than 92 per-cent of survey responders believing that the Planning Bill would not result in an adequate ‘root and branch’ review of the current planning system.
A further 85 per-cent said the Bill would not ‘improve delivery of housing and infrastructure’, while a further 90 per-cent of survey responders claimed that the Bill will not provide the industry in Scotland with a ‘strong and high performing planning system.’

Barton Willmore’s full research findings focuses on responses for four areas surrounding the content and aims of the Bill, examining the impact of its proposed changes on: delivery, inclusion, simplifying the system and the cost and resources involved. In all, the survey covered a wide range of topics relating to the Bill with in-depth questions geared to understanding key issues such as greater community involvement during the planning process and how the introduction of Local Place Plans will impact on local development.

The survey revealed that 82 per-cent of responders felt that Local Place Plans will make the system more complex, with 87 per-cent adding that this would also become a resource burden for local authorities. More than two-thirds of responders thought that the introduction of Third Party Rights of Appeal would hinder delivery, with the same number believing this would lead to a more complex planning system.

And while 85 per-cent of survey responders thought that an ‘Infrastructure First’ approach and the setting up of a national Infrastructure Agency would improve development delivery, more than three-quarters thought that this would be another significant cost and resource burden for hard-pressed local authorities.

Stephen Tucker, a Partner with Barton Willmore’s Scottish operation, said: “This is the first survey of its type to be published on the Scottish Government’s planning review. We wanted to take an initial industry pulse on the Planning Bill as a whole while it is being debated in Scottish Parliament.

“What is overwhelmingly clear from our analysis of survey responses is that the Scottish Government is failing in following through with its original aims for the Planning Bill – especially in the key areas of improving housing delivery and the introduction of an ‘infrastructure first’ approach.

“And with a further raft of amendments from MSPs expected this week, we can anticipate a further watering-down of the planning rationale that should be driving the Bill. Local Place Plans and the increased use of Local Review Bodies is leading to an increase in the role of community engagement, whilst improving delivery of development, stimulating economic growth and making the system simpler are clearly falling further down the priority list for politicians.

“Time and again, our survey responders used the phrase “missed opportunity” in relation to the Bill, which is exactly what it is fast becoming.

“It’s clear that the direction of the planning review is now moving away from its initial aims of enabling housing and infrastructure delivery, and our survey findings see to confirm our view that such fundamental considerations are now less of a focus. Although the Scottish Government have stated that they are looking at infrastructure delivery through separate processes, this is something that we feel needs to be urgently and directly addressed in the later stages of the Bill’s progression through the Scottish Parliament.”

Barton Willmore will continue to discuss the survey findings with clients and organisations such as the Scottish Property Federation, Homes for Scotland and RTPI Scotland.

Planning (Scotland) Bill – Trends Against Topics

The Barton Willmore survey asked for the opinion of respondents on 18 of the 28 topics that the Planning Review process has looked at, and categorised in the firm’s ‘Direction of Change’ Table. Four key areas were analysed:


• The majority responses revealed that respondents felt 61% of the changes (relating to each topic) would improve the delivery of development overall.
• Therefore, it was felt that 39% of the suggested key changes would hinder the delivery of development overall.


• The majority responses revealed that respondents felt 61% of the changes (relating to each topic) would result in no change with regards to inclusion for the community overall.
• 39% of the changes were seen to result in greater inclusion for the community overall.
• Not one suggested change was considered by the majority to result in less inclusion for the community.


• The majority responses revealed that respondents felt 50% of the changes (relating to each topic) would result in a more simplified planning system overall.
• 39% of the changes were seen to result in a more complicated system overall.
• Two topics had no majority verdict and were tied to two answers – one Yes/No and one No/Don’t Know.


• The majority responses revealed that respondents felt 61% of the changes (relating to each topic) would require more cost / resource from councils in order to be delivered.
• Respondents felt that 17% of the changes would require less cost / resources from councils, while no change was the majority response for 22% of topics.


• 92.7% (101/109 respondents) felt that the Planning Review will fail to be a root and branch review.
• 84.4% (92/109 respondents) felt that the Planning Review will fail to improve housing and infrastructure delivery.
• Only 10.1% (11/109 respondents) felt that the Planning Review will provide us with a strong and high-performing Planning System.
• Only 4.6% (5/108 respondents) felt that the Planning Review will re-establish the profession as a leader and innovator.
• 33% (36/109 respondents) felt that the Planning Review will result in a move towards a more plan-led system. This means that 67% felt that it would not.

7 Sep 2018
Industry Professionals Deliver “Damning Verdict” on Progress of Planning (Scotland) Bill

Professionals across the Scottish property, architecture and planning sectors are highly sceptical of any future impact of the Planning (Scotland) Bill – according to a survey conducted by leading planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore.

Barton Willmore Architecture News

29 Aug 2018
RIAS/Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award 2018 Winner News

The RIAS/Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award recognises the crucial role architects play in delivering a better world and encourages the great architects of the future at the outset of their careers. This year, the award went to Eilidh Henderson of Page\Park Architects for her inspiring work on St. Cecilia’s Chapel in Edinburgh.

We spoke to Eilidh to find out a bit more about her winning project and her role at Page\Park Architects.

Glasgow Building News

28 Aug 2018
Barton Willmore urge planners and developers to have their say and complete survey on the Planning (Scotland) Bill

Barton Willmore, a leading Planning and Design consultancy, are urging planners and developers to have their say and complete a survey to help influence the Planning (Scotland) Bill.

Barton Willmore, who recently expanded its operation in Scotland with the opening of an office in the centre of Glasgow, have been monitoring, along with their clients, the Planning (Scotland) Bill at all stages of the process in order to gain an understanding on how changes emerging from the Bill may affect the delivery of development in Scotland.

Colin Lavety, Planning Director at Barton Willmore, said: “Whilst monitoring the progress of the review, it came to our attention that fundamental changes have occurred through the key stages of the Planning Review to what is now being proposed through the Local Government & Communities Committee Stage 1 Report in May this year. The direction of the review seems to be moving away from some of the key aims – such as enabling housing and infrastructure delivery – and it is disappointing that such fundamental considerations seem now to be less of a focus, in our view.”

“To highlight these fundamental changes, we have identified those topics which we consider to be key to the discussion on the Planning Review in our survey, as well as those which now seem subject to less focus as the Bill progresses. Whilst we acknowledge that the debate is moving fast (currently, more than 90 proposed amendments to the Bill have now been proposed) and therefore the system may end up being fundamentally different to that reflected in our survey, we feel it is important to analyse how the emerging Bill (at this current time) sits against the stated aims and intentions at the start of the process.”

The survey, sent to professionals working in the property, architecture and planning industry as well as local authorities, tackles a series of issues that relate to the Bill focusing on, for example, the questions of greater community involvement during the drafting process compared to the current system and how the introduction of Local Place Plans will impact on local development.

Barton Willmore aim to use the survey to gather as many opinions as possible in order to use the information to formulate a robust industry response to the Scottish Government, and plan to discuss this further with organisations such as Homes for Scotland and RTPI Scotland.

The survey can be found on Barton Willmore’s website. The deadline for submitting your answers is on Monday, 3 September 2018.

Barton Willmore

3 Aug 2018
16 Church Street, Dumbarton, western Scotland
Design: Keppie, Architects
16 Church Street Dumbarton office building by Keppie
photo : Jim Stephenson

West Dunbartonshire Council Office Building
West Dunbartonshire Council’s flagship office building at 16 Church Street, Dumbarton, designed by Keppie, is now complete and operational.

27 Jul 2018
Scotland’s Retirees Facing Significant Property Shortfall

10 Million People Across The UK Are Approaching Retirement With Too Little Housing Provision, Says Barton Willmore Research

People approaching retirement in Scotland are facing a significant financial property shortfall, according to new research published by leading UK planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore:

Barton Willmore

21 Jul 2018
Doors Open Days News

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, new and old. Every September, you can explore hundreds of fascinating buildings across Scotland for free. Some open up once a year, some just once in a lifetime.

Doors Open Days 2018 Scotland

20 Jul 2018
Women into Construction News

hub South West concludes highly successful Women into Construction course held at New College Lanarkshire

hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which works with local authorities and private sector enterprises in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, has concluded its first highly successful eight week introductory course aimed at getting more women into the construction industry.

More info on the Glasgow Architecture website news page.

20 Jul 2018
Undersupply in Scottish Housing Market

New reports highlight need for more new homes to meet aspiration and rising number of new households

The potential for increasing social inequality as a result of undersupply in the housing market was highlighted today in the wake of the publication of two new reports.

That was the projection of industry body Homes for Scotland as new research suggests that half of Scots no longer believe they will buy their own home and official forecasts predict a 13 per cent rise in the number of households across the country in the next 25 years.

Director of Policy Karen Campbell said:

“With First Time Buyers right across the country finding it a challenge to get on the housing ladder, the single biggest pressure on house prices and rents remains lack of supply.

“Whilst there was a welcome increase in the total number of housing completions last year, this remains 30% down on pre-recession levels and equates to just 806 extra new homes on 2016 – a drop in the ocean in relation to the number of new households that are now projected to be formed, particularly by older people.

“We therefore need to better enable the delivery of new homes and avoid further widening the gap between the housing “haves” and “have nots” so it is crucial that local authorities and industry work together to ensure communities get the full range of homes of all tenures they need to sustain themselves and their economies. This requires ensuring the viability of development and, in relation to meeting the needs of our younger and older populations, ensuring that smaller homes are not disproportionately more expensive to build.”

19 Jul 2018
Statement from The Glasgow School of Art on the progress of the dismantling work

Work to dismantle the dangerous parts of the Mackintosh Building has been going to schedule it was confirmed today, 18 July 2018. Three cranes have been on site working from 7.30am – 7.30pm Monday- Thursday and 7.30am – 5pm Friday – Sunday.

Work began on the central section of the South façade, above Sauchiehall Street, on Tuesday afternoon (11 July) and this section has now been lowered to the bottom of the parapet.

Glasgow School of Art dismantling work

6 Jul 2018
Glenmorangie New Still House Building
Glenmorangie New Still House Building
The new still house will allow Glenmorangie to increase its capacity in line with ever-greater demand from discerning drinkers around the world.

29 Jun 2018
Ayr Grammar Primary School
Ayr Academy building
image courtesy of BM
Ayrshire Buildings News
Proposals to deliver a new home for Ayr Grammar Primary School are now taking shape. The first steps in the South Ayrshire Council project to refurbish the old Ayr Academy have now been taken, with the 1930s extension at the back of the building being demolished.

Former Tullis Russell Paper Mill Site

29 Jun – Land at former paper mill to be recycled in to home for new community

Plans to build a major new housing development that will transform the old Tullis Russell Paper Mill site between Glenrothes and Markinch have been submitted to Fife Council.

Glenrothes Building News

Glasgow School of Art Restoration News
29 Jun – statement released by GSA regaridng restoration contract ending.

Glasgow School of Art Fire Update
22 Jun – Comment from Glasgow architect Alan Dunlop:

“At the moment, the future of Mackintosh’s School of Art remains uncertain, whilst the cause of the fire is being investigated and the structural integrity of the little that remains is confirmed. There is anger and disbelief that such an internationally renowned, Category A listed building, designed by Scotland’s greatest architect could have caught fire twice in four years and much talk about rebuilding as before, stone by stone.

Mackintosh believed that “creative imagination is the most important” and wrote that the artist “cannot attain to mastery in his art unless he is endowed in the highest degree with the faculty of invention”.

We should now accept that Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art is now gone for ever and in its place create a new school of art, worthy of the master. That is how we best celebrate his memory and honour him as an architect of extraordinary invention.

The call to create a Glasgow School of Art replica should therefore be resisted. I believe instead that there should be an international competition organised to design a new art school.”

Professor Alan Dunlop

22 Jun 2018
Museum für Franken

Consortium of Hoskins Architects (Glasgow / Berlin), Ralph Appelbaum Associates and Wenzel+Wenzel to design the new Museum für Franken at Marienberg Fortress, Würzburg, Franconia, northern Bavaria, Germany

Museum für Franken, Marienberg Fortress

Glasgow School of Art Fire Update
19 Jun – Why was a fire supression system not fitted after the 2014 fire? Temporary sprinkler systems can be installed in active construction/refurbishment projects, so why weren’t they?

Hopes have been raised that Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, which was gutted by fire on Friday, can be saved as it emerged a new sprinkler system had not yet been fitted as part of the restoration following an earlier blaze, reports The Guardian.

On Sunday, as fire crews used thermal imaging cameras to identify any remaining hotspots, conservation experts argued that a fresh recovery project could build on the detail, skill and knowledge accumulated during the restoration of the treasured Mackintosh Library, led by Glasgow architects Page\Park, which was almost entirely destroyed by fire in May 2014.

The GSA completed a detailed digital modelling of the entire building after the last fire.

But there were also warnings of the scale of the task. One expert estimated that even if any such work was possible, the cost would be at least £100m, compared to the approximate £35m for rebuilding after the first fire.

The building’s stonework may not have survived a second round of intense heat, sufficient to avoid demolition.

The worst damage is on the East side of the building (the older part, but away from the key space, the Library), which had been far less affected by the previous smaller fire.

The building is so important both architecturally and to the pride of the city (not forgettign tourist revenues) that it will almost definitely be fully restored, but at a huge cost yet again to a city that is not overly prosperous.

Glasgow School of Art Fire Update – article in The Guardian

‘Don’t rebuild the Mac: We need to accept it’s gone’
Scottish architect Professor Alan Dunlop calls for design contest for entirely new building, reports BD.

Glasgow art school blaze: Expert warns it may have to be demolished

The fire-ravaged structure of the Glasgow School of Art may have to be demolished, a leading construction expert has warned, report BBC Scotland.

Billy Hare, a professor of construction management, said there was a “growing consensus” the globally-significant building may have to be pulled down.

Stone has splintered on the East side of the building, where the fire is believed to have started, but it is probably too early to make definitive statements.

Fire crews spent a second day working to extinguish the blaze, which also damaged the O2 ABC venue.

Many of the restored fixtures and fittings for the Mackintosh Library are believed to have remained in storage thankfully, so undamaged.

Glasgow School of Art Blaze – article on the BBC Scotland website

Glasgow School of Art Fire
16 Jun – The Glasgow School of Art suffers a catastrophic fire for the second time in four years, with more than 120 firefighters sent to fight the blaze on Friday night. The Scottish fire and rescue service said the fire in the Mackintosh building had spread to neighbouring buildings including the O2 ABC nightclub.

Glasgow School of Art Fire June 2018
aerial photo courtesy of Police Scotland

Glasgow School of Art Fire

19 June 2018
FitHome Village, Dalmore, Alness, Speyside, North East Scotland

A Saltire Award-winning concept that unites the priorities of healthcare, housing provision and tenant welfare is welcoming its first tenants in the Highlands today.

Fourteen people can now call the ‘FitHome’ village in Dalmore, Alness, their home, as the pilot development delivered by Albyn Housing Society, in partnership with Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland, welcomes its first residents ranging in age from 18 to 90 years old.

FitHome Village Scotland

15 Jun 2018
SNH urges new developments ‘Get green from the ground up’

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is launching a ground-breaking new approach that makes nature a key factor at the ‘idea stage’ of successful building projects.

To inspire developers on the benefits of nature from the outset, SNH is launching its innovative approach – Planning for Great Places. The aim is to help Scotland become the best place to live, work and visit, by directing development to where it is needed, and is the best fit.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of SNH said: “We know that living and working in great places brings huge benefits for physical and mental health. But in some areas, there is little or no opportunity to access the fundamentals of nature – grass, trees, bees and insects.

“Getting green from the ground up is a crucial way that developments can support communities for generations to come. It can make for beautiful places to live, work and visit, as well as being great for business.

“SNH has a pivotal role here, and key to our fresh approach will be talking to and supporting development interests as early as possible. We want to understand aspirations and challenges at the ideas stage, and before planning applications are in place. Working together, we can build capacity to look after nature, and make the most of the opportunities it offers.”

The Planning for Great Places approach recognises many places in Scotland can accommodate development without significant impact on the nature of the area and the benefits it brings. But some parts of our country are less suited to buildings, roads, wind farms and other types of types of development. SNH wants to help make any developments as good as they possibly can be – to invest in and sustainably use nature.

Key elements of the Planning for Great Places approach include:

• Sharing knowledge about Scotland’s nature: Helping developers, planners and other interests make use of nature-based solutions; making it easy for people to see the benefits nature gives us all.
• Supporting investing in nature Scotland’s nature is a shared resource and we all have a responsibility for it.
• Supporting plan and place making: working with planners, other key agencies, communities, developers and others to support a plan-led approach, also providing guidance and support for communities to help local place plans make best use of nature.
• Providing advice that helps achieve the right development in the right place by talking to major development interests as early as possible – before they have prepared planning applications.


Case study: Dangle cards for the environment
SNH and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association worked together, sharing ideas on construction good techniques that benefit the environment. SNH illustrated what this could mean in practice by putting some of these good ideas onto ‘dangle cards’ that a digger operator can use in his cab – quickly seeing what to do in any given situation. Tips include, ‘When cutting turf lay with grass upwards, not downwards’; ‘If you cut a scar, re-seal it’; ‘Use big stones for cross drainage, so you don’t have to replace in the future’. As a result, The Association has have set up an environmental forum to continue sharing and learning from each other’s good experiences. This is one way to help ensure SNH can intervene less as civil engineering work progresses, and instead give positive feedback.

The Planning for Great Places approach can be accessed via this link:

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government’s adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Their role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. For more information, visit SNH is also on Twitter at

25 May 2018
New Macallan Distillery, Easter Elchies estate, Speyside, North East Scotland
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
New Macallan Distillery building on Speyside interior lighting
photo © Speirs + Major

New Macallan Distillery Building
Speirs + Major have unveiled their lighting design for The Macallan new distillery and visitor experience on the Easter Elchies estate, Speyside, North East Scotland.

22 May 2018
Macallan Distillery in Speyside, Speyside, Highlands – Northern Scotland
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP)
Macallan Distillery in Speyside Scotland
photo © Simon PricePA Wire

New Macallan Distillery Building
The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape.

BETA Housing Scotland
Event at Radisson Blu Glasgow – 13th November 2018

BETA Housing Scotland will bring together key figures from Scotland’s Housing sector to discuss hot topics and key projects from the region. The event will provide a unique opportunity to hear exemplary case studies and technical presentations showcasing innovation in housing, from planning stages through to delivery on site.

Glasgow Architecture Events

17 May 2018
Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety

Local Government Minister responds to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety

Responding to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety report published today, Minister for Local Government Kevin Stewart said:
“We welcome the engagement we have had with Dame Judith Hackitt and, while her report looks specifically at the system in England and Wales, we will look closely at the findings to ensure that any lessons or actions that may be needed are swiftly considered in Scotland.
“We are particularly pleased the report recognises the benefit of the pre-emptive system in Scotland and has recommended a similar system of ‘gateway points’ to be passed before construction can begin, along with how we engage with tenants.
“Two current reviews of the building standards system are considering changes may be required and are due to report to Ministers shortly. The recommendations from these reviews will ensure that Scotland’s system remains robust, clear and that the systemic failures that contributed to the terrible Grenfell fire can never happen here in Scotland.
“The recommendations regarding building industry products and the system of accreditation which is shared across the UK are also welcome and we will actively engage with the UK and other devolved administrations on this issue.”

Professor John Cole is chair of the review of enforcement and compliance and Dr Paul Stollard is chairing the review of fire safety in building standards. The next meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety will be in June.

17 May 2018
Dalbeattie Learning Campus Building

The Dalbeattie Learning Campus, an ‘all through’ campus comprising nursery, primary, and secondary education set in an innovative, landscaped setting, has been named Best Social Infrastructure project at the prestigious international Partnership Awards at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel, London.

Dalbeattie Learning Campus Building
image courtesy of architects

The learning campus was delivered for Dumfries and Galloway Council in a collaborative partnership approach with hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership working with local authorities and national contractor, GRAHAM.

Dalbeattie Learning Campus, which was handed over in February to Dumfries and Galloway Council, is a major new community building within the town of Dumfries. It features multiple ‘learning bases’ which provide flexible and functional spaces aimed at a focus on lifelong learning and vocational qualifications as well as traditional school subjects.

The dinner, which took place on Thursday May 10, was attended by over 700 people to celebrate the best in Public/Private Partnership (PPP) projects. The Partnership Awards, now in its 20th year, is the largest event in the industry and covers projects across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West, said: “This has been a fantastic evening, and a just recognition of the work hub South West, GRAHAM and Dumfries and Galloway Council have put into the Dalbeattie Campus, as well as a clear indicator of what can be achieved in partnership.”

The project, valued at £24m, saw 58% of all sub-contracting work packages going to local businesses as part of hub South West’s commitment to ensuring that local construction projects support businesses and employees within local communities.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee, said: Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority for our Council. So, I’m delighted that our Council is being recognised for the excellence of the first of our new learning campuses. Dalbeattie Learning Campus is a first class facility that is appropriate for the 21st century and transforming education in Dalbeattie.

Councillor Ros Surtees, vice chair, said: “The campus is fabulous, it’s bright and welcoming to learners. It looks like a fabulous place to be at school and I’m sure that the pupils are enjoying it. I’m delighted that it is being recognised nationwide and has won this award.”

11 May 2018
Kilmartin Museum Building

Kilmartin Museum has received a confirmed grant of £3.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their Redevelopment Project.

Kilmartin Museum, Scotland
image courtesy of HLF

The project aims to transform Kilmartin Museum into a landmark venue that interprets and celebrates the global significance of Kilmartin Glen, one of the most significant archaeological landscapes in Britain.

10 May 2018
Urban Union Housing in Scotland

An award-winning regeneration company is gearing up for an ambitious year with plans to build more than 250 homes across Scotland.

One of the homes built at Pennywell Living in Edinburgh:
One of the homes built at Pennywell Living in Edinburgh
image courtesy of Urban Union

Urban Union – which has sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth – is committed to creating high quality accommodation, with a significant number of its stock being affordable housing.

The organisation intends to build 251 new homes across four developments, an increase of 32 per cent on the 190 it built in the 2017/18 financial year.

It follows on from a series of land acquisitions, including plans to create a brand new development in the Pollokshaws area of Glasgow. Pollokshaws Living will see the creation of 137 residential properties and will provide the area with much needed sustainable family homes.

Neil McKay, managing director, Urban Union, said: “Urban Union has an ambitious strategy to build high quality and affordable homes in some of Scotland’s most challenging areas. We are proud to contribute to the regeneration of these communities and there is a clear appetite from local people for homes of this standard.

Urban Union submitted plans for Bedford Street in Laurieston:
Urban Union Bedford Street in Laurieston homes
image courtesy of Urban Union

“Across the past 12 months we have brought in nine additional staff members and we are confident we can deliver on the plans we have for our developments in Scotland’s urban areas.”

Earlier this year, Urban Union submitted a planning application to Glasgow City Council which outlined plans for 28 new units at Laurieston Living. That will form part of the second phase of the development, which has already proved hugely popular with buyers – a total of 32 homes have been sold since January.

In Edinburgh, Urban Union has received planning permission for the next phase of regeneration at the award-winning Pennywell Living development. The plans will see 315 new homes created, complementing the 193 homes already delivered by Urban Union. A further 177 homes are currently under construction in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council’s 21st Century Homes and due for completion shortly.

At Muirton Living in Perth, Urban Union is building 203 new houses with Caledonia Housing Association and Fairfield Housing Co-operative.

Urban Union – a partnership between Robertson Group and McTaggart Construction – is focused on delivering for the local community and has established a benefits programme in addition to an award-winning arts and living strategy.

New Channel 4 Regional HQ Building for Scotland?

8 May – Research by leading UK planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has revealed the city of Glasgow to be a frontrunner in the race to become the new regional home for Channel 4.

Barton Willmore Architects News

2 May 2018
Charnock Bradley Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian, Scotland
Innovation Centre and Campus Hub at Edinburgh University
image Courtesy architecture office
Charnock Bradley Building Roslin
The £23 m Charnock Bradley Building at the university’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies provides a place at the heart of the university campus for staff, students, and businesses to share ideas, innovations and research.

2 May 2018
Threesixty Architecture at The Garment Factory
Scottish architects practice Threesixty Architecture has taken occupation of its new studio in The Garment Factory, a unique and contemporary office development in Glasgow’s city centre:
Threesixty Architecture at The Garment Factory

25 Apr 2018
Wavegarden Scotland Planning Approval News
Artificial Surf Park Scotland
image : HarrisonStevens
Wavegarden Scotland approved to develop Scotland’s first artificial surf park ad leisure complex, within a 23 hectare country park at Craigpark Quarry near Ratho, Edinburgh.

25 Apr 2018
SPF report highlights Build-to-Rent gap between Scotland and UK Regions

New data highlights the significant gap between the number of purpose-built rental properties in Scotland and those being constructed in different English regions.

According to the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), figures at the end of Q1 2018 show that for every build-to-rent (BTR) home in Scotland, North West England has nearly 10.

The research, compiled by Savills on behalf of the British Property Federation, calculated that Scotland currently has 3,365 BTR homes complete, under construction or in planning. In comparison, the North West has 29,600, the South East (excluding London) 7,101, the West Midlands 6,378 and Yorkshire and The Humber 5,131.

Across all areas of the UK including Scotland, the data shows that this sector of the housing market has grown by 30 per cent in the past year.

In the UK there are now 117,893 BTR homes – new, high-quality and professionally-managed homes built for renters – across all stages of the development lifecycle, compared to the total of 90,761 homes at the end of Q1 2017.
As the BTR sector continues to grow, it has also been able to diversify its offer – with 17 per cent of schemes in the pipeline including houses, rather than just typical high-rise apartments.

While Scotland currently accounts for just under 3 per cent of the total pipeline, there are signs that this is set to increase significantly – particularly in Glasgow.
SPF director, David Melhuish, says that while the figures are a stark reminder of how far Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK for new BTR properties, they also show a shift in gear for BTR in Scotland and indicate how attitudes to renting are changing.

He said:
“Build-to-rent has historically been characterised as simply a step up from student accommodation for millennials, but this is now changing. The sector’s growth means it can cater for a wider range of people, including families. These purpose-built rental properties are high-quality, often with linked amenities, sustainably constructed and well-managed intergenerational homes.

“As a result, there is now a significant shift in perception and we are beginning to see changes here in Scotland, which will help boost further BTR development.

“Investors want assets which are going to provide returns over the long term, which drive up quality; architects and planners have the opportunity to create a built environment for communities; and local authorities are beginning to understand how BTR could tackle brown field sites, support new infrastructure development and be a catalyst for further development.”

He continues:
“In Scotland, there has been a promising boost in the number of BTR homes, with 3,365 homes now at varying stages of the development process. The numbers are still not high in comparison to the rest of the UK, but there are now multiple sites in Glasgow which should act as a spur to other BTR projects across the country.

“BTR is an opportunity and Scotland has some important advantages for attracting the investment necessary – the Rental Income Guarantee Scheme being one and an exemption from the 3 per cent second homes tax for large-scale PRS investments is another. With planning policy guidance now amended to support BTR developments, particularly around the treatment of development viability, there is no reason why we cannot see the BTR sector provide a new catalyst of economic growth in our cities.”

The data was collated by Savills on behalf of the British Property Federation, of which SPF is a part. An interactive map showing development sites can be viewed at:

20 Apr 2018
Spyon Cop, Cairngorms National Park, North East Scotland
Architects: Brown + Brown
Spyon Cop in the Cairngorms National Park
image : Touch 3D
Contemporary Property in Cairngorms National Park
Spyon Cop sits high above the River Don overlooking the ruins of Glenbuchat Castle, on the Eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

6 April 2018
Help to Buy scheme set to benefit even more Scots

News of the Scottish Government’s decision to extend funding of its hugely successful Help to Buy shared equity scheme for two more years has been applauded by home builders who described it as good news for buyers and Scotland as a whole.

Over twelve thousand households have already used the scheme to purchase qualifying new build homes with only a five per cent deposit since Help to Buy was first introduced in Scotland in 2013. This, in turn, has supported an estimated nine thousand jobs and contributed over half a billion pounds in Gross Value Added to the economy.

Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland which represents those organisations building the majority of the country’s homes, said:

“This is great news on a number of different fronts as the Scottish Government clearly recognises the value and wide-ranging benefits that its Help to Buy initiative provides.

“By allocating further targeted funding until 2021, it is not only extending the opportunity of home ownership to more Scots who are currently saving to buy their own home but will also provide the much-needed confidence and certainty that housebuilding companies need to continue to invest and grow their businesses in Scotland. This positive message is fundamental to helping us work together to increase the supply of new housing.

“It is essential to remember that, as well as being directly responsible for additional new homes being built, Help to Buy is also relieving pressure on the public sector with earlier figures showing that around five per cent of purchasers have moved from social rented housing and a further five per cent were on a social housing waiting list.

“With Help to Buy providing an equity stake that is repayable to the Scottish Government, and with receipts received to date higher than projected, the scheme is already demonstrating its value as an effective housing policy driver for the delivery of new homes, enabling Scots to purchase a new-build home without the need for a large deposit, and with very little impact on the public purse.”

A New Chapter Statement on RIAS Reform
28 Mar 2018 – aNC is greatly encouraged by recent moves within the RIAS to implement significant reform measures. These are in line with the changes aNC has been pressing for. We are supportive of the changes proposed and agreed at this week’s Council meeting and welcome the Institution’s willingness to engage and work together for the benefit of the wider membership.

RIAS Reform Statement

Shortlist for Homes for Scotland Awards 2018
26 Mar 2018 – The shortlist for Scotland’s premier home building industry awards has been announced as Homes for Scotland prepares to celebrate the sector’s successes at the largest annual gathering of its kind.
Homes for Scotland Awards shortlist

26 Mar 2018
Scottish Support for self and custom build housing

Local projects to benefit from national fund.

Local projects will share £160,000 to take forward self and custom build housing initiatives.
The Self and Custom Build Challenge Fund will support seven pilot projects in Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Highland, Glasgow and Edinburgh that will look into the feasibility of creating more self or custom built homes.

The projects will consider how the delivery of homes through custom building projects can be expanded; the provision of information and support to those leading their own build, and also explore how more plots can be made available.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“Self and custom build properties are an innovative alternative in housing and I am delighted we have been able to fund these projects, going above and beyond our original aims.
“As the successful projects show, self and custom builds can provide new ways to deliver affordable housing, ensure homes are tailored to individual needs, and regenerate previously disused sites to breathe new life into communities – particularly in remote and rural areas.

“Support for self and custom builds is just one step we are taking to boost the availability of housing, and ensuring that it meets the needs of people and communities across Scotland.”
Applications to the fund opened in December 2017. Originally set at £90,000, a further £70,000 has been made available as a result of the number and strength of applications.
More information on the self and custom build challenge fund is available online.
The successful projects include:

Project Organisation Funding

– Former Primary School site, Lochgilphead
Creation of a brochure of house types that would comply with the simplified planning zone (SPZ) scheme and promotional marketing campaign involving a video and community engagement.
Argyll & Bute Council

– Perth West
Produce a development strategy to look at the feasibility and funding options to offer affordable self/ custom build home plots.
Fergus Purdie Architects, with Perth & Kinross Council

– Scotland-wide
Planning and delivery of sites and a marketing strategy to support self and custom built homes. Highland Small Communities Housing Trust

– Scotland-wide
Guidance on self and custom build planning and delivery.
Assemble Collective Self Build CIC

– Dundashill, Glasgow
Creation of marketing strategy for custom build development and engagement with off-site manufacturing sector to consider opportunities for on-site custom build.
Scottish Canals and Igloo Regeneration

– Perth West housing allocation
Research to explore how custom build can be improved for wider use.
Ristol Consulting

– Edinburgh/Midlothian
Establish a delivery model to facilitate custom build at scale, with emphasis on low carbon homes. University of Edinburgh and Boydell Architecture

23 Mar 2018
Scottish Borders Building News
Scottish Borders Building Design Awards 2018
Scottish Borders Building Design Awards 2018
The search is on again for the best designed new buildings in the Borders, with the launch of the Borders Building Design Awards 2018.
The awards intend to promote good building design in the Borders and to strengthen links between builders, architects, Council plannes and other professionals in the industry.

20 Mar 2018
Pennywell All Care Centre, Edinburgh
HolmesMiller, Architects
Pennywell All Care Centre in Edinburgh
photo : Keith Hunter

Pennywell All Care Centre Building
This new building enables NHS Lothian and The City of Edinburgh Council to develop an integrated and efficient model of service delivery as part of the wider Pennywell and Muirhouse Regeneration project.

19 Mar 2018
Hawkhead Centre, Paisley, South West Scotland
Design: Page \ Park Architects
Hawkhead Centre in Paisley
photo : Keith Hunter

Hawkhead Centre in Paisley
This new activity and support centre is for the charity Scottish War Blinded, who provide free support to ex-service men and women who have lost their sight during or after military service. Scottish War Blinded is a sister charity to Royal Blind, Scotland’s largest visual impairment organisation. It has been delivered in tandem with a new Royal Blind 54-room care home on the same site, and is Scottish War Blinded’s flagship facility on the west side of Scotland, building upon the success of their existing facility, the Linburn Centre, in the east.

9 Mar 2018
Inverness Justice Centre Construction News
Design: Reiach and Hall, Architects
Inverness Justice Centre Building
image courtesy of architects

Scotland’s first purpose-built Justice Centre
Construction has begun on Scotland’s first purpose-built Justice Centre. The new building is due to be completed late 2019. Specialist facilities for children and young people will be incorporated within the design.

1 Mar 2018

Muirton Living Development in Perth

Urban Union is launching a new showhome at its Muirton Living development in Perth.

The new showhome is a Coburn-style property, named after St Johnstone legend Willie Coburn, which is a two-storey, three bedroom villa. The show home reflects the high quality of homes available at the development and prices for this property type currently start from £182,000.

Muirton Living is being delivered in partnership with Caledonia Housing Association and Fairfield Housing Co-operative.

The development offers a selection of one to four-bedroom homes.

Prices currently start from £105,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and the sales office is open 7 days a week from 10am – 4pm. For more information visit or call 0131 343 3391.

21 Feb 2018
Stirling Purpose Built Student Accommodation
Maven & IP Investment Management build Stirling’s first purpose built student accommodation
£18.2m new build development will bring 207 new beds to Stirling’s underserved and over-stretched student accommodation market.

Stirling Architecture

21 Feb 2018
Scottish Property Federation 2018 Annual Conference
Industry leaders, policy makers and academics make up the list of speakers at the 2018 annual Scottish Property Federation (SPF) conference, which looks specifically at the value of place-making, the people-centric approach to planning and design of public spaces, and how it is funded.

More info at Edinburgh Architecture News

Help to Buy could further boost First Time Buyer levels
21 Feb – Responding to latest UK Finance data showing first-time buyer levels at their highest for a decade, Karen Campbell, Director of Policy at Homes for Scotland, which represents organisations delivering the majority of the country’s homes, said:

“First Time Buyers are the lifeblood of the housing market, triggering as they do a number of other transactions further up the property ladder so it is encouraging to see their numbers increasing. However, they still face a huge challenge in terms of the size of deposit they have to find. And this is where the new build sector can provide vital help since those eligible for the Scottish Government’s hugely successful Help to Buy scheme could purchase a new home up to £200,000 with just a five per cent deposit.

“With the majority of Scots aspiring to own their own home and increasing housing supply the single most effective way to address affordability concerns, we hope the Scottish Government will listen to our call to extend the Help to Buy Scheme beyond 2018/19. Not only will this allow more people to benefit from this support, relieving pressure on other sectors, it will provide builders with the confidence and certainty they need to invest in delivering more of the homes our country needs.”

20 Feb 2018
Barton Willmore appointed to support major harbour regeneration projects in Stornoway

Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has been appointed to support the development of two new harbour facilities in Stornoway, which will bring major economic benefits to the Isle of Lewis.

Stornoway harbour facilities Isle of Lewis Scotland
image courtesy of architects

Planning Director for Barton Willmore in Scotland, Colin Lavety, said: “We are thrilled to be playing a key role in regeneration projects of this scale, which are vital to growing Stornoway’s economy and will have a significant positive impact on the Hebrides.

“We have extensive ports and harbour experience, including securing the necessary planning consent for the new Aberdeen Harbour Expansion at Bay of Nigg.

“Our appointment to work for Stornoway Port Authority is a natural progression from this work and demonstrates the diversity of our service offer.”

Stornoway Port Authority chief executive, Alex MacLeod, said: “The appointment of Barton Willmore will help to realise these bold and ambitious developments. We’re extremely excited to work alongside their expert team who can help us plan these projects further, and manage a thorough engagement programme with the local community who will ultimately benefit from the projects for decades to come.”

Springfield Properties Interim Results
20 Feb 2018

Financial Highlights

H1 2017/18
£m H1 2016/17
£m Change
Revenue 54.8 49.6 +10.5%
Gross profit margin 15.4% 14.5% +90bps
Operating profit 3.6 3.1 +16.9%
Adjusted profit before tax* 3.1 2.6 +19.6%
Net debt 13.7 31.1 -55.9%
* Profit before tax adjusted for IPO-related costs of £0.3m

The Directors of Springfield have decided to declare an interim dividend of 1p per share.

Operational Highlights
• Sales grew across both Private Housing and Affordable divisions in H1 2017/18
• Completions increased by 6% to 280 new homes (H1 2016/17: 264 completions)
• Expanded 17+ year land bank: 10,605 plots (31 May 2017: 9,195), 41.6% with planning
• GDV of land bank: £1.8bn (31 May 2017: £1.6bn)
Private Housing
• Sales increased by 6% to £43.0m (H1 2016/17: £40.7m)
• Completions: 184 homes (H1 2016/17: 196)
• Average selling price: £234k (H1 2016/17: £208k)
• Planning consent secured during the period for 816 private plots
• Land bank: 6,895 plots (31 May 2017: 6,372)
• Significant progress on Village sites during the period with:
o strong sales at Dykes of Gray, Dundee, with sales of £17.2m to date;
o construction commencing at Bertha Park Perth and first phase of houses being released for sale; and
o planning approval received (subject to Section 75 agreement) for 870 homes to be built at Elgin South, Elgin.
• Expanded geographically for private homes with completion, post period end, of land swap with Persimmon of 62 plots in Dykes of Gray for land in Kinross with a GDV of £14m
• Post period end, submitted planning application for 3,000-home site at Durieshill, Stirling
• Sales increased by 40% to £11.7m (H1 2016/17: £8.4m)
• Completions: 96 homes (H1 2016/17: 68)
• Average selling price: £122k (H1 2016/17: £123k)
• Planning consent secured during the period for 518 affordable plots
• Land bank: 3,710 plots (31 May 2017: 2,823)
• Receiving increasing demand from potential development partners, including local authorities and housing associations for provision of affordable housing to meet Scottish government targets of building 50,000 affordable homes by 2021
• Springfield is currently working on affordable housing proposals worth a total of £70m-£80m for delivery over the next 1-3 years

Sandy Adam, Executive Chairman of Springfield Properties, said: “I am delighted to be announcing our first set of interim results as a quoted company and reporting another period of strong growth for Springfield. We have increased our revenue from existing sites in both our Private Housing and Affordable divisions while progressing the development of our pipeline of projects. In particular, we have invested in the development of our new Villages that will accelerate our building of new homes, private and affordable, in new communities across Scotland. We now employ over 500 people and I would like to thank them for their continued support and hard work during this period where we have transitioned to becoming a public company and are about to deliver our 5,000th home since we started the Company.

“Looking ahead, we have entered the second half of our financial year with a strong order book of contracted revenues and, together with sustained market drivers including a supportive Scottish Government policy, Springfield is poised to play a significant part in the delivery of the many new private and affordable homes needed across Scotland. As a result, the Company anticipates revenue and profit for full year 2017/18 to be 5-10% ahead of market expectations.”

9 Feb 2018
HALO Masterplan in Kilmarnock, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, South West Scotland
Architects: Keppie Design
HALO Kilmarnock building model
image courtesy of architects

HALO Masterplan Kilmarnock
Following the recent approval of Planning Permission in Principle for the HALO masterplan in Kilmarnock, the first phase of this ground-breaking development has now been submitted to East Ayrshire Council for detailed planning permission.

6 Feb 2018
Anderson High School, Shetland Building

St Andrews Housing
2 Feb 2018 – Eight new build apartments are proposed by Muir Walker and Pride Architects for the St Andrews conservation area. A 1960s home at 22 Lade Braes is to be demolished and replaced with properties clad in Ashlar sandstone with areas of zinc and render more contextual with adjacent ashlar stone Victorian properties.

Oriam Sports Performance Centre Building
5 Feb 2018 – Award-winning Oriam has been shortlisted for Project of the Year at the CIBSE 2018 Building Performance Awards. It is home to the governing bodies of Scottish football and rugby union, as well as a host of other sports including volleyball, squash and basketball:

Oriam Sports Performance Centre

News from Max Fordham

Mackintosh Building Immersive Exhibit
Mackintosh Building Immersive Exhibit 3D image
picture : 3D pointcloud image from GSA
30 Jan – The GSA has been awarded major grant by AHRC to develop Mackintosh Building immersive exhibit.

The project is one of a number of initiatives funded by the AHRC to demonstrate how collaboration between researchers and businesses can help the Creative Economy get maximum benefit from new Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) technologies:

Mackintosh Building Immersive Exhibit

Paton’s Mill Site in Johnstone
30 Jan – The owners of the former Paton’s Mill site in Johnstone, Renfrewshire have today announced the appointment of Bell Building Projects Limited as the main contractor to develop Paton’s Mill Retail Park.

Announcing the appointment of the contractor, Claire Donaldson of 4th Consulting, Project and Asset Managers for the development said:

“The redevelopment of the Paton’s Mill site offers an exciting new gateway for Johnstone’s high street. As such it will offer a prime location for shoppers and we are delighted with the progress we are making to transform this site into a thriving destination.

“We’re pleased to announce Bell Building Projects Limited as the main contractors. As a local, experienced team, they offer an extremely high quality of service and a strong track record in retail park construction.

“The contractor has been on site since mid-December and is working towards completion of Phase 1 of the development masterplan in Summer 2018.”


4th Developments
4th Developments is a private asset, project management and development company. The company specialises in improving asset performance, transforming tired buildings and sites into destination retail and leisure, managed office and workspace for existing clients and within their portfolio.

The company has a young and dynamic team with over 40 years’ combined experience and is focused on achieving high quality, creation and delivery of value and managed solutions within its managed and directly owned portfolio. The company’s strong performance is achieved through close, efficient team working to the highest standards with all project partners.

Bell Building Projects Limited
Bell Building Projects was established in 1982 and has grown to become a UK market leader in project delivery within this sector, delivering high quality industrial and commercial building projects. The company undertakes new build, extension and refurbishment projects in key market sectors and deliver them through a wide range of procurement routes from traditional to turnkey design and build.

Bell Building Projects retain an internal workforce for all key aspects of the buildings constructed including steel fabrication at the workshop in Glasgow. All of the key components of steelwork, cladding and civils can be undertaken by BBP to ensure closer control on quality and time with reduced base line costs. These benefits are transferrable to our clients. The company also retains an in-house design capability to lead (where applicable) or supplement an existing design team. This has added benefit in value engineering cost pressurised projects and ensures best value is provided at all times.

More info at Glasgow Architecture News

26 Jan 2018
A New Chapter Position Statement – RIAS

23 Jan 2018
£2.4m National Lottery funding for Scottish Great Places

Nine special places in Scotland are celebrating an injection of £2.4million to help shape their future development. They are the first awards to be made in Scotland through The National Lottery’s groundbreaking Great Place scheme.

Carloway Broch on the Isle of Lewis:
Carloway Broch on the Isle of Lewis
photo courtesy of Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland (HLF)
Scottish Great Places Funding News

19 Jan 2018
Greenock’s Custom House News

Riverside Inverclyde (ri), the organisation charged with delivering the economic redevelopment of Inverclyde in the west of Scotland, has concluded an agreement with international fashion and lifestyle brand, Joules on a three year lease at Greenock’s recently refurbished Custom House building:

Custom House Greenock Building

8 Jan 2018
Pioneering FitHomes in The Highlands

£3m funding has been agreed for a ground breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.

“The £135 million invested by the Scottish Government as part of the £315 million City Deal for the Inverness and Highland region, will continue to deliver significant long-term benefits for the city, region and Scotland as a whole.

“The Scottish Government recognises the value of this type of partnership which is why we have doubled our overall investment in city region deals in our draft budget for 2018-19.”

The £315m Deal Document sets out the projects and programmes where the Scottish and UK Governments will commit investment of up to £188m, together with £127m of further investment by the Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Led by The Highland Council, the Inverness and Highland city-region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315M investment, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

As part of the agreed programme governance, the Council is the accountable body for the majority of the City Region Deal projects. This means the Council distributes funding and monitors progress for council led projects and partner projects.

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Update
16 Dec 2017 – At their meeting last week, RIAS Council discussed the findings of the review of the RIAS governance, the vacancy resulting from the Secretary and Treasurer’s departure last month, the election of the President and the next steps toward establishing a new RIAS Strategy (2018-23).

As a matter of priority for the Incorporation, RIAS Council has agreed to advertise for a new Chief Executive and has appointed Karen Stevenson, current Director of Policy and Development, in an acting role. Neil Baxter is working his notice period and has agreed the terms of his departure at the end of January. He no longer has any involvement in the day to day running of the Incorporation.

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News

Scottish Architecture News 2017

Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Building
11 Dec 2017 – This building is primarily for veterans who have visual impairments. The design is by architects Page and Park. Around 100 military veterans have already signed up to use the £17 million facility, along with residents of the nearby Royal Blind facility, Jenny’s Well:
Scottish War Blinded Hawkhead Building

Advance Construction submit plans for major Glenrothes regeneration
5 Dec – Advance Construction has submitted plans for a major regeneration project, which will transform the historic Tullis Russell Paper Mill site in Fife.

The Bellshill-based company, who specialise in large-scale groundworks and civil engineering, is proposing circa 850 much-needed homes as well as retail and leisure facilities, employment, business space, industrial units and a new care home.

Tullis Russell Paper Mill site in Fife:
Tullis Russell Paper Mill site in Fife
image courtesy of WS

The Proposal of Application Notice to Fife Council also outlines plans for two public consultation events in December to give members of the public a first look at the plans.

At the heart of the 58-hectare site between Glenrothes and Markinch is an extension to Riverside Park, which will see the reclamation of an unused brownfield site to create another park that connects the new district to the town centre.

Lynsey Breen, development manager for Advance Construction, said the plans will spark regeneration of the town of Glenrothes.

She said: “Advance Construction’s plans to deliver a significant number of new homes, together with creating new jobs will signal a major transformation of the area over the coming years.

“It’s an exciting regeneration project that will give Glenrothes the substantial economic boost it deserves, allowing it to continue to grow in the future.”

Lead consultants Barton Willmore will work closely with Advance Construction to provide Town Planning, Masterplanning, Landscape, EIA and Socio-Economic Assessment services during the project.

Planning Director for Barton Willmore in Scotland, Colin Lavety, said: “The former Tullis Russell Paper Mill site is an important landmark historically for the town of Glenrothes. Plans to regenerate the area by delivering much needed housing together with new jobs will be a major transformation of the community over the next few years. We are delighted to be playing a part in helping give the area a new lease of life and make it an exciting place to live, work, play and visit.”

Two informal drop-in events have been organised with lead consultants Barton Willmore and design partner Fairhurst at the Rothes Halls this week.

Representatives from Advance Construction, Barton Willmore and Fairhurst will be in attendance from 1pm to 8pm on December 7 and 8 to explain the plans, discuss the project with the community and respond to any questions raised.

Lynsey added: “We would encourage members of the local community to come along to the drop-in events to find out more information and talk to members of our project team.”


Tullis Russell went into administration in April 2015, with a total of 374 employees made redundant in the process so it’s an important site historically for the town of Glenrothes.

About Advance Construction

Advance Construction is a groundworks and civil engineering firm with roofing, cladding, concrete and screed flooring divisions.
It first started trading with one digger and a few site personnel in 1993. By 2004 the company was turning over £8 million and this year, 2017, it is projected to hit the £200 million mark.
The growth is a direct result of the strong work ethic embedded in the company by its founder and the committed focus on quality workmanship and excellent customer service. / @LtdAdvance

Transforming Planning in Scotland
5 Dec – Legislation to encourage development and improve community engagement.
New legislation to simplify and improve the planning system has been set out by Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart. He described how the Planning (Scotland) Bill, will create a new structure for a more proactive and enabling system with clearer development plans, earlier engagement with communities, streamlined procedures and smarter resourcing.
Read in full on the Glasgow Architecture news page.

Scottish Planning Bill
5 Dec – Sarah Baillie, Planning Partner at international law firm, Addleshaw Goddard, shares her views on the introduction of the Planning Bill into the Scottish Parliament today. Sarah Baillie is Partner with international law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP.
Read in full on the Edinburgh Building news page.

4 Dec 2017
Second Year Student Projects at Dundee School of Architecture
e-architect follow architectural student Sean Noon through his latest project designs:
Bathing Centre
Student Projects at Dundee School of Architecture

24 + 22 Nov
Builders vow to ensure Scots not left behind following Budget for housing

With the Chancellor today announcing a raft of measures aimed at significantly increasing levels of home building and “reviving the British dream of home ownership”, Scotland’s home building industry vowed to continue to hold the Scottish Government to account to ensure those living north of the border were not left behind.

Key amongst the Chancellor’s statements were the abolition of Stamp Duty Land Tax on homes under £300k for First Time Buyers, £15.3 billion of new financial support for house building over the next five years (which includes money for the government to buy land as well as delivering supporting infrastructure) and more money to help SME builders. This is in addition to the £10bn extra funding already announced for the English version of the Help to Buy shared equity scheme.

Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland Nicola Barclay said:

“The Chancellor correctly identifies that not only have successive governments, over decades, simply failed to build enough homes to enable people’s home ownership aspirations to be achieved, solving the housing challenge also requires money, planning reform and intervention.

“The case is similar in Scotland, where we also face the same barriers that have resulted in the number of new homes being built each year flatlining at levels still 36 per cent below the pre-recession levels of 2007. If we are going to effectively tackle Scotland’s chronic undersupply of housing and address affordability, it is imperative that we have an all-tenure target that identifies the large number of homes that are required. This would focus all our minds on ensuring that the system is geared up to enable all parties to deliver the homes needed.

“With Homes for Scotland and its member companies standing ready to work with Ministers and officials to make this happen, we will be watching the Scottish budget closely to ensure that any consequentials received from the housing announcements are similarly allocated, particularly in relation to unblocking the infrastructure constraints that impact those developers who are trying to build new communities.”

Barclay also considered the Chancellor’s review into the gap between planning permissions and housing starts, saying:

“The main constraints on the use of land for housing are related to obtaining all of the necessary approvals and agreements, a process which is lengthy, complex and unpredictable. So any action taken to address such blockers, or that identifies others, is positive.”

22 Nov
Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr
Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr
image courtesy of architects
Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr
Plans to build a new Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr are a step closer with the official contracts now signed after reaching financial close.

Neil Baxter Stands Down from RIAS
17 Nov – The Royal Incorporation has agreed to the request from the Secretary, Neil Baxter Hon FRIAS Hon FRIBA, to leave the organisation after ten years of service.

Neil will be standing down as of today and the senior management team at the RIAS will continue to deal with all matters relating to the business of the Incorporation.

18 Nov – Comment added by architect Alan Dunlop.

RIAS Secretary News

Comments welcome, send to info(at)

SELECT welcomes building standards review and calls for mandatory use of approved certifier schemes
15 Nov – The Scottish Government should seize the chance of a new review into building standards to make sure that its own approved certifier schemes become mandatory across the construction industry.

That was the view last night (Nov 14, 2017) of SELECT, the campaigning body for the electrotechnical trade in Scotland as it responded to the Review Panel on Building Standards (Compliance and Enforcement).

The review was prompted by an independent report into the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools last year after the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary, and the subsequent tragic events this year at Grenfell Tower in London.

SELECT welcomed the review panel and said that it looked forward to working with the relevant bodies with a view to helping to introduce real change into the Scottish building standards system.

Dave Forrester, Head of Technical Services at SELECT, said: “Parts of the building standards regime work very well at the moment. Technical standards, for instance, are flexible enough to accommodate change and innovation.

“However, there are a number of issues surrounding approved certification which we think the review could profitably address in order to remove anomalies and build confidence in the certification process.”

Mr Forrester pointed out that approved certifiers are directly responsible for the work that is certified under a building warrant. Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS), the membership organisation representing verifiers, has issued guidelines regarding certification services.

Some local authorities, however, are still either unaware of or ignoring the LABSS guidance and accepting forms of certification without detailed scrutiny.

Mr Forrester said: “The review is an excellent and thoughtful response to the issues raised by recent tragic events. It is an opportunity to really consider the regime of compliance and enforcement and to embrace meaningful change.

“This is the ideal moment to make it a mandatory requirement to use the existing approved certifier schemes, particularly for Government-funded work, and to extend the process to all Schedule 3 work [work subject to building regulations but not requiring a warrant].”

SELECT, Scotland’s largest trade association has over 1250 member companies who account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.

The New Tenement – Residences in the Inner City Since 1970 by Florian Urban
14 Nov – A publication on the new tenement by Florian Urban, Professor and Head of Architectural History and Urban Studies at the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the GSA, has been issued by Routledge:
The New Tenement – Residences in the Inner City Since 1970

10 Nov
A New Chapter – Scottish Architects

Open letter, from A New Chapter to President Stewart Henderson of the RIAS

“A New Chapter is a loose (and growing) association of over 150 Scottish architects: many RIAS members, but all concerned at what they see as a lack of effectiveness, poor governance and insufficient financial accountability in Scottish architecture’s professional body.”

Dalbeattie Learning Campus Building
1 Nov – A £24 million state-of-the-art learning campus in Dalbeattie has been officially handed over to Dumfries and Galloway Council

The Dalbeattie Learning Campus will replace the town’s primary and secondary schools and council nursery schools, which have operated in a number of buildings on separate sites.

Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of development partner hub South West added: “The new Dalbeattie Learning Campus will be a fantastic asset to Dalbeattie and the wider Dumfries and Galloway area. Developed with the region in mind, the new contemporary campus will offer the very best amenities, tailored to this communities’ rural heritage.

“This is the first project we have completed on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway council, and through this partnership we look forward to delivering more fantastic facilities that can be enjoyed throughout the region for generations to come.”

More info on the Glasgow Architecture news page

31 Oct 2017
132 Princes Street Offices, Edinburgh, South East Scotland
Design: 3DReid
132 Princes St Office Building by 3DReid
photograph : David Cadzow, Cadzow / Pelosi

132 Princes Street Offices Edinburgh
Architecture practice 3DReid has completed a sensitive £2.0 million conversion of three of the few remaining original Princes Street townhouses to office use. By converting the vacant upper storeys of the B-listed buildings and adding a contemporary extension, 3DReid has created 15,810sqft of light and practical quality office space for client and developer Hazledene House Limited.

GSA large-scale artwork by Louise Hopkins
Mackintosh Building Artwork by Louise Hopkins in Glasgow
photograph © Alan Dimmick
25 Oct – Glasgow School of Art Artwork by the leading artist Louise Hopkins unveiled on the central wall in front of the Mackintosh Building. A 2.5m high and 12.2m long digital print on metal, Dance Number, was specially commissioned by the GSA and is the artist’s largest work to date.

Queensferry Crossing – New Forth Road Bridge
Queensferry Crossing cables
photo © Ruth Asher
9 Oct – The structure is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span:
Queensferry Crossing

Work begins on multimillion pound Green Infrastructure projects
4 Oct 2017 – Close to £20 million will be spent transforming urban green spaces, says Scottish Natural Heritage

Aberdeen Building News

Scottish Natural Heritage – Social Housing Research
2 Oct 2017 – On World Habitat Day, Scottish Natural Heritage announces recently commissioned research into the opportunities for green infrastructure within housing projects.

Everyone in Scotland should be able to access nature on their doorstep, according to new SNH Chief Executive Francesca Osowska. As part of a wider drive to encourage greater access to green spaces, SNH has commissioned research into the opportunities to provide social housing projects with green infrastructure.

The theme for the United Nations’ World Habitat Day, October 2 2017, is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes. SNH’s ambition is that everyone should have easy access to good quality greenspace and opportunities to experience nature close to where they live, which supports the national indicator on access to local greenspace.

Green space and access to nature is beneficial for individuals, communities and society at large. There is also a growing recognition that access to nature can bring a range of health benefits.
The research, which will be published in April 2018, will review existing practice and research opportunities for green infrastructure to the residents of social housing and the wider community.

Francesca Osowska said, “Social housing providers account for around a quarter of new build homes in Scotland each year, and the Scottish Government has committed £3 billion over the lifetime of this parliament to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 social homes.

“Much of SNH’s work is focused on ensuring that everyone is able to participate in and engage with nature in ways that enrich our lives. The recommendations in the report will be used to inform and support future work.

“It is our vision that nature should be accessible to all, and by continuing our work with a wide variety of individuals, businesses, the voluntary and other public sector bodies, we will continue to achieve results for Scotland’s nature and people.”


The Steering Group for the Social Housing and Green Infrastructure research project includes representatives from Scottish Government, the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership and Architecture and Design Scotland.
Francesca Osowska joins Scottish Natural Heritage on October 2 2017. She was educated in Cumbria and at Cambridge University where she obtained an MA in economics. She also received and MA in European economics from the College of Europe in Bruges.

Francesca joined the civil service as an economist in 1993. Her first posting was in the Employment Department in Sheffield. After brief stints in London and Brussels, Francesca moved to Edinburgh in 1997 as a government economist with the then Scottish Office. In 1998 Francesca moved to the policy stream of the Scottish Office in the education department. Francesca then held posts in the education and justice departments of the Scottish Executive and was Head of Sport at the Scottish Executive / Government.
Between 2007 and 2009, Francesca was Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister, the Right Honourable Alex Salmond MSP, MP and moved in December 2009 to be Director for Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

Francesca was appointed Director for Housing, Regeneration and the Commonwealth Games in the Scottish Government in January 2010 and subsequently moved to the post of Director for the Commonwealth Games and Sport in January 2013. And she was appointed as Director for the Scotland Office in the UK Government in January 2015. Francesca was awarded an OBE for services to Government and the Commonwealth Games in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2015.
The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.
The theme for World Habitat Day 2 October 2017 is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202, and was first celebrated in 1986.

19 Sep 2017
Quarry Studios in the Scottish Highlands

19 Sep 2017
Inverness Justice Centre Building News
Design: Reiach and Hall, Architects
Inverness Justice Centre Building
image courtesy of architects

Scottish Justice Centre Building News
Work set to start after Highland Council gives updated design approval. Preparations to build Scotland’s first purpose-built Justice Centre in Inverness have taken another step forward after Highland Council approved the improved design.

Builders urge Scottish Government to guard against housing complacency
13 Sep 2017 – Scotland’s home building industry is urging the Scottish Government to guard against complacency over housing as new statistics show a marginal increase of just 251 homes (one per cent) completed in 2016-17 compared to the year previous.

Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said:

“Given the chronic undersupply of housing in Scotland, any form of increase is obviously welcome but closer scrutiny of the figures shows serious systemic issues which appear to be being downplayed.

“The fact of the matter is that an additional 251 new homes doesn’t even begin to address the scale of Scotland’s housing crisis, and whilst affordable housing starts might be up, private sector numbers are down by nine per cent at their lowest level in three years. This is extremely worrying, not just in terms of its impact on the majority of Scots who aspire to own their homes but also in terms of the consequences for jobs, investment and economic growth.

“Unless there is a considered look at the big picture, the inter-dependences between sectors fully recognised and a whole system approach adopted, there must be serious doubt about the achievability of any party’s housing targets.

“The Housing Minister states that he stands ready to discuss solutions to stimulate private sector growth. These latest figures underline that now is the time for action if we are to safeguard our country’s social well-being and future prosperity.”

9 Sep 2017
Cumbernauld Community Campus Building

Home building boss wins CEO of the Year at the Scottish Women’s Awards
1 Sep 2017 – The boss of trade body Homes for Scotland (HFS), Nicola Barclay, won CEO of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Women’s Awards in Glasgow on Wednesday night.

Approaching her second year in post as Chief Executive, Nicola is focused on addressing Scotland’s housing crisis by creating the conditions that are necessary for increasing the delivery of new homes. With direct responsibility for managing the HFS secretariat, delivering business strategy and meeting the wide-ranging needs of some 200 member companies, she said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been recognised by the Scottish Women’s Awards. As a female leader in what is still very much a male-dominated industry, it is essential other women, particularly those of the younger generation, know that they can achieve in any field they choose.

“However, it remains a juggling act for many of us and that is why it is so important that we support each other and create the platform for even more brilliant women to shine.”

Previously Principal Planning Advisor and Director of Planning at HFS before becoming Chief Executive, Nicola’s 20 years’ experience also includes periods working with Scottish Futures Trust as well as a number of HFS member companies.

A Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Nicola is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University and an active member of Women in Property. She also currently sits on the Scottish Government’s Financial Innovation Advisory and Joint Housing Policy & Delivery Groups, the CITB Scotland Committee, NHBC Scottish committee and the Consumer Code for Home Builders’ Board.

In addition, Nicola has formed a charity partnership between HFS and Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, travelling to India in January 2017 to work on a build for a family within a rural tribal community – an experience she says will stay with her forever.

30 Aug 2017
Arisaig House by Philip Webb in Scotland

Doors Open Days in Scotland – Favourite Buildings
29 Aug 2017 – To celebrate the launch of Doors Open Days 2017 and its own 50th anniversary, the Scottish Civic Trust has invited writers, artists, architects, academics and members of the public to nominate their favourite Scottish door:
Doors Open Days in Scotland

The Mill Quarter, Perth
29 Aug 2017 – Expresso Property Ltd has announced that it has concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site, a brand new landmark mixed leisure scheme with residential apartments. The scheme will be a catalyst for economic change in Perth and will significantly transform the City’s visitor destination offer on completion. Construction works are due to commence in 2018 with works due for completion in summer 2019.

The Mill Quarter Perth Building
image from architect

Mill Quarter is a new leisure hub at the heart of the City, comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema: a mix of bars; restaurants and speciality shops, a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments.
During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30m, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion. The scheme has been designed by Holmes Miller Architects.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property the developer of The Mill Quarter commented, “We are delighted to announce we have concluded missives for The Mill Quarter site from Perth and Kinross Council. The next stage is to obtain planning and we hope to apply shortly in the hope that construction works will begin in the first half of 2018.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property said, “With the support of Perth and Kinross Council, Invest in Perth and designers of the scheme Holmes Miller Architects, we are pleased to be providing this new landmark leisure hub and also to play our part in creating over 300 jobs. The Mill Quarter development is a catalyst for change that will drive Perth’s economic growth and give the City’s residents a brand new leisure destination to be proud of”.

Councillor Ian Campbell, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “The Mill Quarter development is an exciting opportunity to develop and enhance Perth’s leisure offering for residents and visitors, and I’m pleased to see the project reach this milestone. Expresso Property has identified the city as a positive location for growth and investment, and this sends out an important signal to existing and potential investors that Perth is the place to be.”

For more information on developments by Expresso Property, please visit

Mosaic Architecture + Design News
Mosaic Architecture + Design news
photo from architects office
28 Aug 2017 – Mosaic Architecture + Design, one of Scotland’s most experienced practices, has acquired Burnet Bell (Glasgow’s second oldest architectural practice, dating back to 1878) for an undisclosed sum, boosting its staff numbers to 20.

The acquisition adds Glasgow School of Art, St. Aloysius’ College and St. Columba’s School amongst others to Mosaic’s burgeoning client portfolio and enhances its offering of consultancy services, which includes architecture, interior design, masterplanning, to a range of sectors, such as education, residential care and hospitality.

Perth City Hall Building Renovation
Perth City Hall interior renovation by Mecanoo
image courtesy of architects office
Perth City Hall Building Renovation
27 Aug 2017 – The category B-listed building will be transformed into a cultural facility with exhibition spaces, learning suite, café and retail space.

Springfield Properties News
22 Aug 2017 – Springfield Properties, a leading housebuilder focused on Scotland offering private and affordable housing, announces its full year results for the year ended 31 May 2017.

Affordable Housing

Springfield has achieved a solid track record since entering the affordable housing market in 2002. This part of the Group’s business has contracted revenues and low capital exposure.

Over the years the group have increasingly become a trusted partner of local authorities as they steadily increase the number of affordable homes built and handed over. One of the main aims of the company over the past two years has been to increase the size of the affordable housing business. This year the group have built 183 affordable homes, up 91% from 2015/2016. This brings the number of affordable homes built to date to over 1,500 homes, and gives the firm approximately 4% share of the affordable housing market in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has allocated £3.2 billion to build 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this parliament. This is a massive increase from the 30,000 target of the last five years. The firm’s land buying and planning team have been busy securing land to help meet this target and expect to see positive results from this activity start to feed through into the accounts next year. The company have strong relationships with 12 local authorities and housing associations and are negotiating with seven more. These relationships will be instrumental in reaching the firm’s target to double turnover in affordable housing over the next two years.

In the 2017/2018 year, the focus will continue to be to progress five villages and bring those most advanced towards completion.

Perth City Hall Competition
13 + 10 Aug 2017 – Mecanoo Architects become Perth & Kinross Council’s preferred partner to bring forward a transformation of the historic Perth City Hall following an international design competition after winning the most support during a public engagement exercise.

Seeing off four other shortlisted teams Mecanoo will now be tasked with overhauling the current attraction and surrounding public realm to create a £20m museum.

Perth City Hall Competition Winner

Buildings to Help Power Offishore Wind Faerm for SSE
Wick Harbour Buildings
image courtesy of architects
7 Aug 2017 – Historical maritime buildings in the harbour of Wick in Caithness, Scotland, will be brought back into operation when renovated to act as the hub for one of the largest new offshore wind farms in the UK.
Work is well underway to build the £2.6 billion, 84 turbine offshore wind farm in the outer Moray Firth. Designed by world famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford in 1807, the conservation of the onshore maritime buildings will play a key part in generating 588MW of sustainable energy from the wind farm to go into the grid.

More info at Pick Everard Architects

Ayr Academy Building
Ayr Academy Building
photo courtesy of developer
7 Aug – The new £25m Ayr Academy secondary school, built by Keir Construction and delivered by construction and infrastructure-focused partnership hub South West on behalf of South Ayrshire Council, is set to open when the school summer holidays end later in August.

Edinburgh’s Ross Pavilion Competition Winner
Ross Pavilion wHY
image courtesy of architects
2 Aug – An architects office based in Los Angeles wins this important international architecture competition in the heart of the Scottish capital city.

The L.A. architecture studio beat off competition from 125 teams from 22 countries to design the £25m project to revitalise West Princes Street Gardens.

Full design team: wHY, GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth with Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Beatrice Colin, Peter Ross, Alison Watson and Adrian Turpin:

wHY architecture – Ross Pavilion Competition Winner

Rest and Be Thankful Motorsport Centre
22 Jul – 17 Sep 2017 Level Two, The Lighthouse, Glasgow

The Rest and be Thankful is known throughout the motorsport world as a venue of international significance. This famous road in the south of Argyll and Bute, connecting the western shore of Loch Lomond to the Kintyre peninsula.
KennedyTwaddle Architects has designed a multi-purpose building that will celebrate Scottish motorsports heritage:
Rest and Be Thankful Motorsport Centre
image courtesy of architects

Pair of Glasgow’s iconic buildings to get new uses
Glasgow Colleges of Building & Printing
photo from wylie shanks architects
26 Jul – Plans for the Metropolitan Tower, known to generations as the College of Building and Printing and which can been seen from all of the city, will be on public display on Saturday 29 July. The exhibition will be open between 10.30am and 4pm that day in the foyer of the Metropolitan Tower.

Also on display at that exhibition will be the plans for the sister building on Cathedral Street – the Charles Oakley Building.

Metropolitan Tower Glasgow

Ripple Retreat Building
22 Jul – Ripple Retreat designed by Edinburgh architects Kettle Collective has recently opened. The respite house located in The Trossachs is for young people with cancer and their families.

Ripple Retreat Scotland by Kettle Collective

The serene £1million retreat is placed on the southern bank of Loch Venachar, Callander.

Engineers Cundall undertook dynamic thermal modelling of the building to ascertain the potential thermal comfort performance of the spaces using natural ventilation via external window openings.

Ayr Riverside Development, South West Scotland
Architects: Keppie Design ; Masterplan by Niall McLaughlin Architects
Ayr Riverside Office Development |
image courtesy of architects

Ayr Riverside Office Buildings
21 Jul – Construction work is due to start early in 2018 on a new £10m Ayr Riverside Office Development following an agreement to award the construction contract to Tier 1 contractor, Morgan Sindall.

RIAS/Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award
Scottish Waterski Centre Dunfermline Buildng |
photos © David Barbour
24 + 18 Jul – The inaugural RIAS/Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award recognises the crucial role architects play in delivering a better world and encourages the great architects of the future at the outset of their careers.

This year, the award went to TAP Architecture, recognising two innovative and technically challenging projects: the Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride, and the Scottish National Waterski Centre, Dunfermline.

21 Jul
Engine Shed Project Forthside, Stirling

A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards 2017
18 Jul – Fifteen student projects were presented at a special event held in Edinburgh on Thursday 13 July.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for best 5th year student:
Paschalis Kyrtsopoulis, University of Strathclyde

Architecture and Design Scotland Award for Best 3rd Year Student:
Naomi Rubbra, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Architecture and Design Scotland Urban Design Award:
Hannah Cattanach, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Architecture and Design Scotland Sustainable Design Award:
Naomi Rubbra, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Andy MacMillan Drawing Award:
Robert Wightman, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards 2017

Cumbernauld Community Campus
Cumbernauld Community Campus Building Theatre Wing
image courtesy of developers
Cumbernauld Community Campus Building
12 Jul – An agreement to build a new £34.5m Cumbernauld Community Campus which will bring together a purpose-built high school and a new theatre and arts venue was reached on Thursday 29th June.

The camous will be home to a purpose-built secondary education facility accommodating 950 students following the amalgamation during the 2014/15 school session of Cumbernauld and Abronhill High Schools.

HM The Queen Visits Kelpie Sculptures at Helix Falkirk
8 Jul – The Queen has unveiled a plaque officially naming Scotland’s newest section of canal after her. The canal was built as part of the £43m Helix project near Falkirk, which includes the famous Kelpies sculptures:

The Queen Visits Kelpie Sculptures at Helix Falkirk

The Custom House, Greenock’s Jewel in the Crown, opens its doors to global business
7 Jul – A Georgian architectural masterpiece in one of the most dramatic locations in Scotland has been restored to its former glory. The building was originally designed by celebrated Scottish architect William Burns.
Custom House Greenock Building |
photo © mcateer photograph
Custom House Greenock Building

A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards 2017
4 Jul 2017 – The Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Scottish Student Awards for Architecture showcase and celebrate the best of Scotland’s emerging talent. This event takes place on 13th July at Cafe Camino in Edinburgh to see presentations from this years nominated students.

In 2017, for the first time, judging will take place at a public event which has been coined ‘Chiff-Chaff’ after the little bird whose song is a short series of repeated notes. During the Chiff-Chaff each of the 15 students will have 5 minutes to present their own work to the judging panel and audience. Awards will be given for the following categories:

RIAS Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for Best 5th Year Student
A&DS Award for Best 3rd Year Student
A&DS Urban Design Award
A&DS Sustainable Design Award
RIAS Andy MacMillan Drawing Award

The awards give an opportunity to see the creativity and vision of Scotland’s future architects and emphasises current trends in architectural education. If you are looking for a Part I or Part II graduate to join your office this is an ideal opportunity to see some of the best graduates from all 5 Scottish schools of architecture in one place.

The 2017 Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture will be given by our guest judge Sunand Prasad of Penoyre Prasad Architects and will focus on his recent work and architectural philosophy.

The Prize Giving Ceremony will follow the lecture and conclude the evening at 7.30pm.

For more information and booking:
A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards 2017

Help to Buy provides £1bn economic boost as 10,000 households purchase a new home

2 July 2017 – The number of households that have purchased a new home through the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy shared equity scheme has topped ten thousand, according to latest figures.

The scheme, which means buyers can purchase a new home with only a five per cent deposit, saw a total of 2,370 sales during 2016/17. This takes the overall number of transactions since the introduction of Help to Buy (Scotland) in 2013 over the ten thousand mark – supporting thousands of jobs and contributing £1bn in Gross Value Added to the economy.

Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said:

“The fact that over 10,000 households have benefited from Help to Buy is a clear demonstration of both the scheme’s success and the aspiration of Scots to own their own home. The scheme is also helping to relieve pressure on the public sector with around five per cent of purchasers having moved from social rented housing and five per cent having been on a social housing waiting list.

“With current housing completions still over 36 per cent down on pre-recession levels, Help to Buy (Scotland) has been absolutely crucial in providing confidence and certainty for customers as well as builders in terms of planning and investment decisions.

“Above all, however, these figures illustrate the vital role home building has to play not only in terms of Scotland’s social wellbeing but also its economic success.”

Housing and Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“I am pleased that, along with our scheme partners, the Scottish Government has so far been able to help over 10,000 households to access an affordable new build home through Help to Buy (Scotland).

“This has helped boost the economy and it’s great to see that we’ve managed to help younger people, with half of purchasers under aged 30 or under, to support so many first time buyers and enable people to move from social housing and from waiting lists into sustainable home ownership.”

University of Edinburgh Student Centre
University of Edinburgh Student Centre Building
image courtesy of architects

27 Jun – Edinburgh University has unveiled plans designed by Glasgow’s Page\Park Architects for a radical extension to Teviot Row House, billed as the world’s oldest purpose-built student union, under a £75m modernization plan, report urban realm.

University of Edinburgh Student Centre Building

University of St Andrews Music Centre Building News
27 Jun – The University of St Andrews has finalised plans for an £8m music centre designed by architects Flanagan Lawrence. It is located at Queen’s Terrace and work could begin by the end of the year.

University of St Andrews Music Centre building design
images courtesy of architects

Conceived to complete the historic St Mary’s Quadrangle, replacing an area given over to temporary buildings and a car park, the new school will include rehearsal and teaching spaces as well as a studio, recording suite and library.

University of St Andrews Music Centre building design

Edinburgh School Building Investigation
22 + 21 Jun – CIOB announces Commission of Past Presidents to investigate build quality

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), in light of the report into the defects that led to the closure of 17 schools in Edinburgh earlier this year and subsequent events, announced the formation of a Commission of Past Presidents to investigate the issue of build quality in the construction industry, and what needs to be done to address it.

The Commission will consider what steps the CIOB needs to take to address the already identified issues around management and supervision, the importance for our education framework, and whether there are further steps the industry can take to contribute to improving build quality.

Edinburgh School Buildings

Inverness Justice Centre
Inverness Justice Centre Building design
image courtesy of architects
19 Jun – The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service have brought forward revised plans for a new Inverness Justice Centre, building upon the initial concept conceived by Reiach and Hall Architects, Edinburgh.

The updated design rationalizes accommodation and provides a new public space as well as improving access by car and will be placed on public display in the magnus Room of the Royal Highland Hotel between 15:00 and 19:00 on 22 June.

RIAS Awards 2017 Winners
16 Jun – At its Awards Dinner in Edinburgh, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) announced 12 winners for its 2017 Awards, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture. The judging panel was Ole Wiig FRIAS, Lorraine Landels Hon FRIAS, Stuart McKnight RIAS RIBA (representing the Royal Institute of British Architects) andKaren Anderson FRIAS (Timber Award).

Read more at RIAS Awards 2017 News

Perth City Hall Building Designs
15 Jun – Architects shortlisted designs exhibition for Perth City Hall redevelopment as cultural attraction: Mecanoo, Richard Murphy Architects, Hoskins Architects, Austin Smith Lord and LDN. enabling the public to have their say on initial concept designs.

Read more at Perth City Hall Shortlisted Design News

The Engine Shed Announces New Building Conservation Diploma
9 Jun – Historic Environment Scotland’s Engine Shed has launched its Advanced Diploma Course in Technical Building Conservation, the first of its kind.

Aimed at those with experience in the built heritage sector and interested in developing their career within building conservation, the new postgraduate course will be taught at the Engine Shed by in-house experts from Historic Environment Scotland and other leading professionals from around the UK and abroad.

The 10-month programme will begin in August 2017 and offers a unique proposition to students due to the high number of teaching hours they will receive from course leaders and lecturers. This will be enhanced with hands-on craft demonstrations, laboratory work, studio exercises in 3D digital documentation techniques and regular field trips to active projects around the HES estate.

The course seeks to raise standards in the sector by focusing on technical aspects of traditional materials which has become less of a focus in other training programmes and combining this with learning around conservation science and the latest digital documentation techniques and technologies.

Postgraduate Course Manager for Historic Environment Scotland, Gordon Urquhart, said: “The introduction of this course marks a significant new chapter for Scotland and the international conservation sector. We want to raise standards in caring for our built heritage and demonstrate the continuing cultural and economic relevance of traditional buildings, materials and skills. Scotland has world class expertise in many of these topics and we will provide unique access to them. This course sits at the heart of the Engine Shed offer.”

The postgraduate level qualification is designed to provide comprehensive training for a new generation of heritage professionals, as well as enhancing expertise and skills of experienced conversation practitioners.

Deadline for applications to the course is 31st July 2017 with only 15 places available in its first-year applicants are encouraged to apply early. On completion of the four Units, students will receive a diploma certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and issued by Forth Valley College. The course is designed to allow practising professionals to attend classes on a part-time basis and / or select modules they wish to complete as part of their continuing professional development.

In addition to the new Advanced Diploma, the Engine Shed will also run a week-long Conservation Summer School beginning Monday 12th June. The course will provide an introduction to building conservation and traditional building materials and skills through a mix of talks, workshops, field trips and hands-on activities. Targeted at home owners and professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge, tickets are priced at £150 for the day or £550 for the full week of tuition.

Opening in 2017, the Engine Shed will create and deliver educational resources and training on traditional building skills and materials for those in the industry as well as a fun and inspiring space for schools, local people, and visitors to get involved with building conservation through activities, exhibitions, and a jam-packed events programme.

For more information on the summer school, please visit or to register your interest in the advanced diploma contact Gordon Urquhart at or visit the Engine Shed website.

Scottish Design Awards Winners
28 + 26 May – e-architect attended this event.

Key winners on the night were:

Grand Prix:
ORIAM – Scotland’s Performance Centre by Reiach and Hall Architects

Chairman’s Award:
Culardoch Shieling by Moxon Architects Ltd

Practice of the Year:
Reiach and Hall Architects

See the full list at Scottish Design Awards News

The price of not buying new? It could be as much as £50,000!

15 May 2017 – New research carried out by the home building industry has found that the cost of upgrading an older property to the same standard as a new build home could be as much as £50,000. The publication of the data comes at the start of this year’s New Homes Week (15-21 May) which aims to highlight the many benefits for consumers of buying a new build home.

From living in an energy efficient home that could save you hundreds of pounds on your utility bills each year, to the brand-new fixtures and fittings that come as standard, buying a new build home offers many advantages when compared to buying an older property.

The research looked at the work that might have to be carried out when people move into an older home, and what would have to be done to a home to bring it up to the standards of a new property which also comes with a warranty protecting the buyer from liability on structural problems within the first 10 years.  Whether it’s the price of buying and fitting a new kitchen (£7,900) or having a house rewired (£8,850), the costs for people moving into an older home can quickly mount up.

For a homeowner who wants to get the same standard of finish and functionality they could expect from a new build home, the cost could be up to £51,643. This includes paying out for:

  • Kitchen – £7,900
  • Bathroom – £3,800
  • Central heating – £6,185
  • Wiring – £8,850
  • Plastering – £5,240
  • Decorating – £2,500
  • Flooring – £2,628
  • Insulation – £775
  • Windows and doors – £4,900
  • Roofing – £4,000
  • Guttering – £690
  • External rendering – £4,175

And the savings continue: while just 26% of second hand homes achieve an energy efficiency rating of A to C, 94% of homes built in 2016 could boast such standards.

Commenting on the figures, Nicola Barclay,  Chief Executive  of Homes for Scotland, said:

“Whether you are starting out on the housing ladder, upgrading with a growing family or downsizing after children have left the nest, the new build market offers the widest possible range of options to suit every stage of your housing journey.

“New homes also offer important benefits second-hand homes simply can’t match.  As well as being built to suit modern lifestyle requirements and providing the peace of mind of a ten year warranty and protection of the Consumer Code for Home Builders, they can also help save buyers a lot of money and stressful upgrading as today’s report shows.”

Download report “Avoid the Money pit – the cost of upgrading old to new”

31 May
Culardoch Shieling in the Cairngorms National Park

30 May
Wavegarden Scotland

Orkney Research + Innovation Campus
Orkney Research + Innovation Campus Building
image courtesy of architects
Orkney Research + Innovation Campus Building
5 May – Threesixty Architecture have been appointed for the redevelopment of the old Academy and former Primary School of Stromness.

More Scottish Architecture news online soon

Scottish Architecture News 2017

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