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.


Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Posted on February 28, 2020

As part of RIBA's commitment to support a diverse and inclusive profession, they have published guidance for architecture practices on closing the gender pay gap.

This guidance document provides practical steps for Chartered Practices, providing recommended measures/actions practices can take to monitor, evaluate and address the issues underlying gender inequality in business and a pledge for RIBA members to sign up.

As part of the ongoing campaign to address gender inequality in practice and understand the underlying causes that exist, the RIBA invited Chartered Practices, large and small, to provide details of initiatives they have implemented as best practice examples for practices to learn from and look at how you could implement. In one of the case studies, Fiona Welch, architect at Collective Architecture, speaks about the importance of a consistent interview approach and the benefits of empployee-ownership in gender pay gap transparency.

The RIBA have also an opportunity to sign the pledge and read the further guidance.


Gigha appoints Collective Architecture to take forward plans for the island

Posted on February 25, 2020

The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust have appointed Collective Architecture to work with the community on the Isle of Gigha to take forward plans for a new housing and hub development. The new housing will specifically be designed to help older residents stay on the island and younger people be able to rent their first home. The chosen site at Ardminish is close to all island facilities and by combining housing for young and old people around a central hub facility, this development aims to help foster the spirit of intergenerational living on the island.

Ian Wilson – Chair of the Trust said: ‘This is a really exciting opportunity for Gigha. We have young people that are looking to stay on the island or return with job opportunities for them, but a lack of suitable and affordable housing is stopping them from doing this. By including housing suitable for young people to rent, together with specially designed housing for older neighbours with different needs – we think this will be a real step forward in meeting the needs for our community. The plans also include a space for young people to come together to do sport and other activities, as well as a new facility for older people to meet and chat and have services delivered.’

Chris Stewart from Collective Architecture said 'We are delighted to be working with the community on the Isle of Gigha on this important project. Our experiences during the recent Scottish Government Housing 2040 travelling exhibition highlighted just how significant the role of housing, in particular affordable housing, plays in the economies of Scotland’s Island communities. Collective Architecture enjoy long standing working relationships with Argyll and the Isle of Bute, where we completed their award-winning Recycling Centre and repurposed their B listed Council Chambers. We look forward to working with the community on the Isle of Gigha with who we share a passion for collaboration and sustainability.’

Collective Architecture will also be looking at plans for the restoration of the renowned Achamore Gardens. This first stage for the Architects will look at improvements to car parking and access around the Gardens as well as improvements to the structures and facilities within the Gardens.



RIAS Quarterly Winter Edition

Posted on January 30, 2020

The much anticipated RIAS Quarterly Winter 2019/2020 issue has been published.

Chris Stewart, guest editor has carefully selected a broad range of voices from across the profession for this issue, and the finished result is a jam packed and insightful read.

Chris says 'What happens beyond today and past 2030, 2045, and 2050 will be a matter for the architects of the future.'  Chris has ensured through-out this publication to include young voices, with an article by Nicola Mclachlan on 'Listening and Learning' and Crumble Magazine, an independent voice in Scotlands architecture world.

Robin Webster'OBE PRIAS, President, RIAS 
'I look forward to 2020 being a year in which architects individually and the profession as a whole show by example how we can address the climate emergency. I would encourage us all to create healthy, beautiful buildings and places in Scotland that will be built to last'.



Leverage - National Architecture Conference 2020

Posted on January 24, 2020

Leverage National Architecture Conference will be taking place in Perth, Australia on the 8-9th May, 2020.

Leverage 2020 is structured through four themes. Each revolves around a set of levers that can be activated through architectural intelligence, advocacy and activism and new models of practice.

POLICY + POLITICS — leverage through advice, strategy and negotiation

PEOPLE + PARTNERSHIPS — leverage through proximity, connection and mediation

PRACTICE + PROJECTS — leverage through speculation, process and production

PUBLISHING + POLEMICS — leverage through discourse, advocacy, argument and education

These themes will be explored through plenary presentations, public conversations and chaired panel discussions. Parallel ‘pivot’ sessions will extend and amplify these themes in terms of everyday actions, large and small, which delegates might explore in their own working and professional lives.

Many people are doing extraordinary work. Leverage provides delegates with the opportunity to learn from speakers and each other.

We are pleased to say that Jude Barber and Nicola McLachlan will be attending the conference to discuss our principles of creative freedom, equity and sustainability. 






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