Jude Barber announces her RIBA presidency bid

Posted on June 08, 2020

Todays very exciting news.

Our practice director Jude Barber has announced her RIBA presidency bid.

Jude says;  ’My decision to run is driven by the ever-increasing climate emergency and the associated impact the public health crisis is having across society.

'This current crisis has shone a big, bright light on all that is (and was) either good or bad in the process of making of architecture and our need to better address these proactively with our clients and collaborators across practice, delivery and education. To face many of the challenges and opportunities going ahead we must harness our collective skills, abilities and voice as a matter of urgency, so we can positively support and influence each other in doing so.’

Jude wants the RIBA to have a ‘clear, strong voice’ that ‘best represented and included’ the views of all the members from across the UK and beyond.


The Watt Instiution in Greenock

Posted on May 23, 2020

Earlier this year we completed the Watt Institution in Greenock for Inverclyde Council.

The Grade 'A' Listed building sits within the heart of Greenock, and is important historically, civically, socially and culturally. It houses archives, locally bequeathed artefacts and world class artworks. The building consists of a museum, art gallery and library along with a large hall for temporary exhibitions and community events.

The fabric of the building had previously deteriorated to the point where both the building and its contents were being irreparably damaged. Our practice worked closely with Historic Environment Scotland to develop an agreed conservation approach. A number of important features were reintroduced to the facades based on historic photographs from the museum archive.

It was a bonus to photograph this stunning building with no cars on the street, so we can all fully appreciate the magnificent east elevation.


Plans submitted to transform Scottish Sculpture Workshop for artists and communities

Posted on May 05, 2020

Collective Architecture have recently submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council detailing the proposed transformation of the Scottish Sculpture Workshops in Lumsden.

The first dedicated sculpture workshop in Scotland, Scottish Sculpture Workshop is internationally recognised as a site of collective learning and skills development for artists. With an annual, ambitious programme of residency, projects, courses and open access, SSW has been welcoming artists to its site in Lumsden for over 40 years, since the founding of the workshop by artist Fred Bushe.

The transformational plans, developed by our practice in consultation with SSW’s users and local community, will upgrade the facilities to create an improved and accessible environment for artists and local makers. This will include transformed metal, wood and cold casting workshops, a new street facing community space, improvement for disability access and greater environmentally sustainability of the site.

With improved facilities, SSW plans to develop an innovative and experimental learning programme for a range of users. There will also be increased opportunities for skills development in partnership with schools, community groups, local users and artists, ensuring that local communities in Aberdeenshire will benefit from the workshop’s international connections and new facilities.

SSW Director, Sam Trotman says: “As the Director of Scottish Sculpture Workshop and a resident of Lumsden, I believe the transformation of our site will open up significant opportunities for artists and for our local community. We believe it is vital to offer the tools, skills, knowledge and networks to make and share arts and culture and to support the building of resilient and creative communities”.

From the outset, the redevelopment has been approached from the ‘ground-up’ and the plans evidence the utilisation of local skills, materials and knowledge. Function and environmental sustainability are foregrounded throughout, with a consideration for the site and local architecture.

Ewan Imrie of Collective Architecture says: “Through a highly rewarding collaborative design process with the staff and users of SSW, a proposed extension of the existing foundry has emerged, which logically connects the complex casting processes within a string of linked workshop spaces. By their U-shaped arrangement, they also separate the outdoor spaces into a busy, productive yard and a quieter, contemplative and social courtyard with lovely views to the hills.”



Thirteen Today!

Posted on May 01, 2020

Today we celebrate 13 years of Collective Architecture!

We would like to thank all our wonderful clients, consultants, and past contributors who have helped to make Collective Architecture the success it is today.


Alastair departs on his next adventure.

Posted on March 30, 2020

On Friday we said a fond farwell to Alastair Ewen, one of our Senior Architectural technologists at the practice. We plan to schedule in a proper retirement party later this year where everyone throughout Alastiar's career can join us to celebrate his long and fruitful career.

Alastair worked with Collective Architecture for just over 10 years and everyone at the practice wishes him well on his next adventure (once lockdown ends!).

Alastair's career; 

Alastair started out wanting to do architecture from the outset. His thinking was that people will always need houses, so he received some work experience at his cousins office, Millar Crawford. (It's nice to note Alastair still keeps in touch with Jim Crawford, who lives in Weymouth and is in now in his nineties).

Following his work experience and a summer on the continent doing voluntary work in Germany and France (1968), Alastair discovered that he hadn't achieved the required grades at school.  A friend was starting a QS course at the College of Building and Print, so he joined the course and soon discovered it was a Big Mistake!

So the following year he sat his Highers to achieve the right grades and received a place at Strathclyde University, studing Architecture. Alastair studied until the end of 2nd year, where he decided to “drop out” (apparently it happened a lot in those days!).  He got married, worked at TM Millers, and attended the part-time course at the Mac.  After a couple of years or studying, Alastair realised his passion was for the technical side of architecture.  He got a job at McAllister Armstrong & Partners and studied for an HNC.  Alastair noted that he had a rather crazy academic career!

In 1979 he decided to go freelance and thoroughly enjoyed the variety of jobs and going from place to place, in spite of the job insecurity while supporting a young family. Alastiar enjoyed working in a wide variety of practices which notably included Reiach & Hall, Howard Unick, Coban & Lironi, WS Atkins and more laterly RMJM, before joining Collective Architecture in 2010. 

Alastiar added without any hesitation (or persuasion!) that Collective Architecture was one of his favourite places to work.

Thank you Alastair and roll on the retirement party!


Coronavirus update: our studios are working remotely

Posted on March 24, 2020

Since Tuesday 17th March we have asked all members of Collective Architecture to work from home, in order to protect everyone as much as possible from the esculating health crisis.

All staff are still contactable via email and our main office phone numbers can still divert calls:

0141 552 3001 / 0131 516 2270

We have tested our IT infrastructure in advance of this pandemic and all platforms and are working effectively and we can respond to most eventualities.

We intend to keep project schedules running on time, but ask our clients and collaborators to bear with us in these unprecedented times. 

Wishing everyone all the best over the coming weeks.




Designing Homes in the North East

Posted on March 16, 2020

Collective Architecture has recently been appointed by Moray Council to design two new neighbourhoods in Elgin.

The first project is located at Bilbohall, south west of Elgin town centre and proposes 190 homes. The second project will see 65 new homes on the old Spynie Hospital site which is surrounded by mature woodland.

The new masterplans include a commitments to making the area less attractive for drivers by including speed bumps, narrower streets and raised junctions.

Collective Architecture were pleased to involve the local community at two drop in sessions last week at Elgin Sports and Community Centre and the Alexander Graham Bell Centre at Moray College, where the community had the opportunity to give their views on the proposed new housing developments.

We are excited to be working on two fantastic sites with such great potential for the local community.




Watt Institution Shortlisted for the RIAS Awards

Posted on March 16, 2020

The Watt Institution in Greenock for our client Inverclyde Council, has been shortlisted for a national architectural award following a major £2.1 million refurbishment.

The Kelly Street building, incorporating the McLean Museum & Art Gallery, Watt Library and Watt Hall, is in the running for The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) award.

The Watt Institution is one of 18 buildings across Scotland in the running for this award having been selected from 80 entries.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s Convener of Education & Communities, said: 'To be shortlisted for such a prestigious honour from The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland is testament to the hard work of everyone involved, from our designers at Collective Architecture to council staff across a variety of departments.  The council has invested a lot of time and money in not only preserving but greatly improving the Watt Institution to ensure future generations can continue to learn about the area’s rich history. The Watt Institution is a great opportunity to discover Inverclyde’s history and heritage and just a fortnight ago we welcomed visitors from Norway, who were impressed with the building and displays during a tour.”

The Greenock arts facility was rebranded the Watt Institution – its original and legal name, which has been brought back into everyday use – to coincide with the bicentenary of the death of James Watt in 2019 following a £2.1m refurbishment of the interior and exterior by Inverclyde Council.

The RIAS winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on May 28.



Sveikinu Jonita!

Posted on March 09, 2020

Celebrations this week for our newly qualified Architect, Jonita Karablikova.

Jonita joined Collective Architecture in 2014, working with Collective Architectre through-out her studies.  She completed an MArch in Advanced Architectural Design (with First Class Honours) at the University of Strathclyde in 2017 and returned to full-time in 2018.

Jonita has supported the development of a substantial urban regeneration masterplan at Meadowbank in Edinburgh, and is currently leading proposals for a Garnock Community Hub which has recently recieved planning permission. 

Sveikinu Jonita! 


Trip to London for the W Awards

Posted on March 06, 2020

On Friday 6th March, Emma Fairhurst travelled to London for the W Awards.

Emma was shortlisted for the MJ Long Prize, for the design and delivery of  the Calton Hill City Observatory Project in Edinburgh, alongside 3 other fantastic architects -Alice Hamlin from Mole Architects, Nicola Rutt  from Hawkins\Brown and Tracy Mellor from Rodgers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

AJ editor, Emily Booth said: ‘ The shortlist for the inaugural MJ Long Prize showcases real excellence in modern practice. From a university
building to an innovative workspace retrofit, to co-housing, to design  and restoration of a listed landmark, each of these impressive projects  demonstrates a clear understanding of context and care for the  communities they serve.’ Tracy Meller of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners won the inaugural MJ Long Prize for excellence in practice for her role on the London School of Economics’ Centre Building.

A big well congratulations to Tracy and all the finalists, an excellent way to celebrate International Women’s Day.




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