Caitlin Arbuckle-MacLeod's thoughts for Autism Acceptance Week

Posted on March 29, 2023

This week is World Autism Acceptance Week, and its my first one as an officially diagnosed, fully ‘out’ autistic. I’m sharing a piece that I wrote years ago for the Autumn 2020 issue of the RIAS Quarterly on ‘Activism in Architecture,’ when I chose to write on neurodiversity in architectural education – an issue close to my own anxious, depressed, quietly-autistic-but-not-quite-certain-yet, heart. It was a time of flux, chaos and uncertainty, but I was hopeful. It felt like an opportunity to force a rethink of long-established, somewhat unchallenged approaches to teaching architecture; suddenly we understood that students could schedule their tutorial slots for specific times, work from home, even prioritise things like sleep and leisure time, and the world would not collapse in on itself. It wasn’t a logistical nightmare to accommodate people like me after all.

I understood myself to be autistic at the time of writing, but thought it unimportant to go to the trouble of seeking an official diagnosis to allow myself to share this information comfortably in a public forum. Instead, I wrote in this vague and suggestive voice, where I shared my own complaints as an autistic student, but using a kind of ‘asking for a friend’ language to distance myself from that struggle. I could be a vocal ally, but could never undertake the great burden of having to justify myself as a self-diagnosed autistic woman who masked tirelessly and convincingly every day. It was breaking my heart to be doing this so often, I eventually realised. Last year I sought and obtained my ASD diagnosis and immediately told everyone I possibly could, which was a kind of joyful exorcism. Once again, the world did not implode.

I want to reach out to architecture students who read this and feel that any or all of it resonates with them to say: you are not alone. You also do not need to go through the often long and arduous process of seeking a diagnosis - for anything at all - in order to speak on the things that make you uncomfortable or unhappy, or to feel like your concerns are valid. Next time you feel like something isn’t quite working in your studio, share your thoughts with your peers and tutors and start a dialogue about the practice in question; it could be that you are one of many students who feel similarly, and are simply the first to speak up. The ability to see the world in a different way and to challenge the status quo by doing so is, after all, an autistic superpower.

Opening Ceremony for Ellengowan

Posted on March 10, 2023

Collective Architecture attended the formal opening of the Ellengowan regeneration in Dundee, marking the completion of the first phase of the development.

A special event attended by 82 external stakeholders, tenants and staff, was held in Craigie Bowling Club, which sits Adjacent to Ellengowan, to mark the special occasion.

The regeneration, which is being carried out by Campion Homes on behalf of Hillcrest, is replacing 128 old terraced properties that no longer adhere to modern quality and energy efficiency standards, with high quality, modern, energy efficient homes.

The new development offers a range of homes, including apartments, terraced houses, cottage flats and townhouses. The completion of this first phase of the development marks the halfway point in the wider £22 million regeneration project.

Collective Architecture love this film produced by our client Hillcrest Homes for the opening ceremony. It brings into sharp focus our motivation for producing well designed and loved homes within our communties.

Design team | Morgan Associates, KLM Partnership, Hawthorne Boyle
Contractor | Campion Homes.

Scotland’s first NPF4-ready masterplan completes for Ladyfield, Dumfries

Posted on March 03, 2023

Following a comprehensive master planning process, Collective Architecture has now submitted The Ladyfield Masterplan and the associated technical studies to Dumfries and Galloway Council to consider the next steps.

The masterplan has emerged from a truly collaborative and engaging design development process over the last 9 months, and exemplifies the newly adopted Scottish Government National Planning Framework 4.

It takes a holistic and aspirational approach to placemaking and is designed to serve the wellbeing of the people that live in Dumfries now and in future. The masterplan sets out a vision for a place planned for people, addressing the climate emergency, social mobility, work, health and energy. We’re responding to the Scottish Government’s objectives to create nature-focused, sustainable communities through the recently adopted National Planning Framework 4.

Ladyfield will promote and encourage a liveable, sustainable neighbourhood, and a diversity of housing opportunities is critical to its success. Homes will be proposed that improve affordability and choice in the local area by being adaptable to changing and diverse needs and allow people to age in place. This will support and encourage mixed communities that grow together over time, creating an intergenerational community that shares knowledge, skills, and experience.

You can now view the full masterplan online at

This project was part-funded by The UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Glasgow’s A-listed Clydeside Halls refurbishment recieves planning approval & listed building consent.

Posted on February 14, 2023

A significant milestone has been achieved as planning officials have approved Wasps’ application to transform the A-listed Clydeside Halls, into a new market and event space.

The new development designed by Collective Architecture seeks to transform the rear halls, corner block and gapsite into a creative industries hub that reconnects the building with the River Clyde and secures this important historical landmark for the city.

Currently when viewed from Clyde Street, the Briggait is an unloved building with a semi-derelict air, giving no sense to passers-by of the wonderful soaring roof and bright airy spaces. The building – originally constructed between 1873 and 1914 – was used as the city’s fish market and viewed as one of Glasgow’s architectural icons. This redevelopment will address the ongoing issues with the existing building fabric and safeguard its iconic status as an important building for Glasgow and its people.

The design aims to create a vibrant and engaging frontage to the River Clyde, providing a flexible, sustainable creative hub to complement and grow the cultural community that has been resident in the developed parts of the Briggait complex since the completion of the first phase by Nicoll Russell Studios in 2009. Wasps currently supports a creative community at The Briggait, with around 150 people already based in the redeveloped part of the building, producing art, architecture, digital design and leading cultural organisations.

Audrey Carlin, Wasps CEO said

We are so excited to embark on this next chapter at The Briggait and breathe new life into the Category-A listed halls for Glasgow’s creative industries and the public to appreciate. We’re now one step closer to realising the building’s full potential in making space for even more creativity with the news of our plans for The Briggait being approved.’

Nicole Davidson, Project Architect said

‘It is a privilege to be working with Wasps and the design team on such an important building for the people of Glasgow and the city itself. Wasps’ vision to bring the currently undeveloped Clydeside halls back into use is an exciting opportunity to breathe life back into these incredible spaces. Through conservation focused fabric repairs and minor interventions, the proposals will both safeguard the existing building, provide flexible spaces to support the creative and cultural sectors and provide a vibrant frontage to the River Clyde.’

Future Cities Forum Awards

Posted on December 15, 2022

Delighted to share the news that Granton Waterfront Strategic Plan for The City of Edinburgh Council has won a Future Cities Forum awards, in the Master planning, regeneration & mixed-use category.

projects spread across 7 Future Cities Forum categories were assessed by the Awards Judging Panel of 9 distinguished judges from across the UK.

Deborah Williams, Head of Region - Midlands, Historic England: 'Edinburgh's Granton Waterfront has job creation, strong net zero ambitions, and a vision of delivering a heritage programme. The creating of place is very important. Identifiably it's a development from where it is, rather than just anywhere.'

Helen Taylor of Practice, Scott Brownrigg: 'The threads - in the master-plan document - on the fabric of space is very good. You can forget the other parts of Edinburgh (when you visit the city centre) so connecting Granton Waterfront is very important'.

A big well done to everyone involved | Studio for New Realities, AECOM UK LTD, Arup, LUC, David Adamson Group and Cushman & Wakefield

Jude Barber, Director, Collective Architecture said 'It is wonderful to hear that Granton Waterfront Strategic Plan has been recognised with this award. We thoroughly enjoyed developing this with The City of Edinburgh Council, partners, locals, Studio for New Realities and the wider design team. The ambitious masterplan/strategic framework sets the scene for the development of Granton as a vibrant and inclusive coastal neighbourhood, rooted in its place, with a bright and promising future.'

Full Details of the master plan, which sets our the transofrmational vision of Edinburgh as a unique coastal city -

Collective Architecture Appoints New Directorate Team.

Posted on November 01, 2022

Today we are celebrating the appointed four new directors, helping shape the practice’s next chapter.

Mairi Laverty, Gerry Hogan, Ewan Imrie and Nicola Mclachlan, all of whom have been appointed from within the business, look forward to taking up their new roles within the practice’s new Directorate team from 1 November 2022.

Collective Architecture recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has been 100% employee-owned for 15 years. The practice marked this milestone by launching a new, self-owned and designed studio in Bath Street, Glasgow.

Chris Stewart, Gerry Duffy and Jude Barber have collectively led the studio for more than 15 years – building some of Scotland’s most highly acclaimed buildings. Together they have celebrated growing the studio from 12 to more than 40 people, establishing three studios across Scotland.

The opportunity for a shift in leadership comes as co-founders Chris Stewart and Gerry Duffy take new roles across the studio, remaining key and influential members of the team. Chris will be focusing on business development, mentoring and the sustainable design, whilst Gerry will focus on projects and driving technical advancements. Chris was recently appointed to a new and significant role in shaping the next steps for Scottish Architecture, as President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Chris Stewart said: “After 25 years of growing and developing Collective, the business is in a strong position and at a point where I can hand over the reins to the new generation of Collective and focus on other elements of the practice as well as my new role within RIAS.

“Organisations evolve culturally over time, and all the new directors have grown and evolved with our business. They represent the next evolution of Collective and I’m delighted that they will now have the opportunity to lead and guide our studio.

“Whilst I remain at Collective, I will continue to focus on making a real difference to the industry at a time when support and mentoring has never been more important.

“The directorate, and the entire team at Collective Architecture, are dedicated creatives, delivering work that is both ground-breaking and thought-provoking. They will continue to set the bar high within our industry with their vision and design.”

Left to Right: Mairi Laverty, Jude Barber, Nicola McLachlan, Gerry Hogan and Ewan Imrie

Update on Water Row in Govan.

Posted on June 01, 2022

Work has now started on site at Water Row in the heart of Govan, designed for Govan Housing Association, Central Govan Action Plan and Glasgow City Council.

Working to a brief for a masterplan to reinvigorate the area by creating 92 affordable homes - designed to Passivhaus standard - as well as 6 community-controlled commercial space and an improved public realm, Collective Architecture’s designs will transform a site that is currently used as an informal car park.

This transformation of Govan’s waterfront has been carefully considered to reflect the area’s unique heritage, identity and character, as well as its physical connection to the Clyde Waterfront and the requirements of the local community.

Extensive consultation with local stakeholders helped to evolve the masterplan, which comprises a blend of terraced homes, flats and townhouses as well as commercial space.

Contractor CCG started enabling work on site on 18th May 2021, with Water Row scheduled for completion in 2023.

Mairi Laverty said: “Water Row is an exciting proposition for a site with a long and fascinating history. It will bring Govan Cross back to life, as well as creating a waterfront landmark, and will become even more accessible and pivotal when the Partick to Govan bridge is opened.

“This has been a significant and thought-provoking project for us and we are delighted to see work starting on site to bring our plans and designs to life”.

Launch of our new studio on Bath Street, Glasgow.

Posted on May 26, 2022

We have launched our new studio on Bath Street, to coincide with 15 years of Employee Ownership and our 25th anniversary. 

Our new 6,738 sq ft / 625 sq m studio at Albert Chambers, represents an exciting opportunity for our team to grow, secure our future and expand our capabilities. 

The studio has been designed by our own in-house team and features a bespoke model making and display area, exhibition space, and large open plan catering kitchen. It also showcases a mural by internationally renowned Glasgow-based artist Toby Paterson, who worked with the project team to develop a colour palette, which is applied throughout the space.

Scottish Enterprise provided Collective Architecture with early-stage support, through the ‘Workspace Innovation’ fund. This funding supported the appointment of Graven, an internationally award-winning design practice, to engage the full studio in discussions on its new workplace, with workshops focusing on key themes including efficiency, connectivity, confidentiality, wellbeing and expression. Ideas from these workshops informed the brief for the design of the studio.

Ewan Imrie, Architect, who steered the project through to completion, said: “To have the opportunity to craft a new studio for the team you work with is both an exciting opportunity and great privilege.’

‘The design team was highly aware that the space had to work on a functional level, but also had to be a true reflection of our business, our ethos and our collaborative working practice. Our process was to distil the true nature and character of Collective Architecture and present this in a calm and welcoming space where our clients and team feel comfortable, motivated, and inspired’.

Jude Barber, Director said “Our move to a new studio in Glasgow City Centre is more than a physical change. Together, we’ve invested in our future, created space for growth and wider engagement between ourselves, client and collaborators. Our business has its roots in Glasgow, has weathered many storms and continues to adapt and evolve. Our team has done a wonderful job in capturing our shared heritage, vision and personality. So, this is also a moment of celebration. The new studio marks 25 years of delivering fascinating buildings, projects and places together - and now provides us the space and fresh energy to create many more.”

25 Years of Collaboration

Posted on May 01, 2022

May 2022 is a special month for Collective Architecture, it marks 25 years since our practice's formation and 15 years of employee ownership

On Friday we welcomed colleagues and their close friends and family to our newly refurbished studio at Albert Chambers in Glasgow. It was lovely catch up with everyone for the first time since the pandemic, enjoying some fantastic cooking, refreshing drinks and energetic ping-pong!

We look forward to welcoming more people to our new studio in Glasgow very soon!

Intergenerational Week 2022

Posted on April 28, 2022

Profiling Scotland’s first Intergenerational and Passivhaus facility for The City of Edinburgh Council to celebrate intergenerational week.

This project takes an intergenerational approach to design, whilst striving to achieve the Passivhaus Standard. Full project details here.

Design Team: RSP, David Adamson Group, Armour Construction Consultants, Currie & Brown, David Narro Associates, Urban Pioneers, AECOM and Sandy Brown Associates.

#intergenerationalweek #passivhaus #passivehouse #intergenerationalarchitecture #integenerationaldesign #futureready #intergenerationallearning #integenerational #intergenerationalfairness #intergenerationalfairness
#intergenerationalequality #youngpeople #futuregenerations #generations

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