Jude Barber speaking at Scottish Development International Conference.

Posted on March 08, 2021


Scottish Development International are hosting a two-day programme of events titled “Scotland is Now: The Race to Zero” on 9 – 10 March 2021. 

As Scotland progresses towards its ambitious target to be net zero by 2045, Scotland is gearing up to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November and will be centre stage in the global debate on tackling climate change and driving a just transition to a net zero economy.

Scottish Development International's conference represents a major milestone in the countdown to COP.

On Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 March they are hosting a series of free-to-attend online events showcasing Scotland’s green capital investment opportunities. Bringing together world-leading experts and our nation’s most senior figureheads , the event will accelerate action toward a greener, more resilient future.


  • Graham Hill, Cities Executive for Scotland, Arcadis (CHAIR)
  • Jude Barber, Director/Architect, Collective Architecture
  • Councillor Adam McVey, Leader, The City of Edinburgh
  • John Batten, Global Cities Director, Arcadis
  • Richard Thompson, Architectural Director, Parabola
  • Sat Patel, Programme Director, Edinburgh Council
  • Nick Penny, Head of Scotland, Savills


According to the UK Committee on Climate Change it is estimated that Scotland will require several billion pounds of investment per year through to the 2030s to deliver Scotland’s transition to net zero. This is a huge investment opportunity and private finance will be critical in delivering this ambition.

During our Scotland is Now: Race to Zero programme, we will discuss the opportunities of the journey towards a net zero economy across Scotland and reveal what the life sciences sector, the residential sector and Scotland’s key cities are delivering to drive this transformation across the economy by offering competitive green investment opportunities including to the real estate and investment market.

Join our sessions to hear inspirational speeches from Scottish Government, Scottish City representatives, and household names from across the investment industry to understand the opportunities Scotland has to offer.

More info: www.scotlandracetozero.co.uk

AJ Retrofit Award Success!

Posted on February 25, 2021

Woodside Multi-storeys, four of Glasgow’s most recognisable high-rise tower blocks have won a UK architecture award for their energy efficient refurbishment.

The Queens Cross Housing Association flats at St George’s X picked up an Architects’ Journal Retrofit Award in the housing category.

The development saw off a field of 83 entries from across the country to win the award. The Retrofit Awards celebrate the design expertise behind the renewal and repurposing of existing buildings.

The refit of the flats was designed and managed by our practice, with a brief to make 314 homes as energy efficient as possible. Overall the refurbishment has achieved an 80% reduction in energy demand.

The judges for the AJ Retrofit Awards said; ‘A powerful and instructive model of how to approach retrofitting and recladding a tower block holistically, with impressive consultation with residents. Technically to be commended and all achieved on an impressively tight budget of just over £40K per flat.’

Project architect Rupert Daly said:  ‘We took a fabric first approach to radically reduce energy demand and associated carbon emissions. The energy savings would be locked into the building’s fabric. By retrofitting rather than demolishing, the whole life carbon footprint of these buildings is likely to be closer to net zero than most new builds.’

‘We’re delighted that the judges saw the value of our approach. Retaining and retrofitting an existing building is always more sustainable and preferable to rebuilding one if at the same time the energy usage can be reduced through fabric improvement.’

The £16 million project is the most ambitious Queens Cross has ever taken on.

All four blocks have improved low energy lighting, new insulation, modern controllable heating and hot water systems and triple glazed windows. In addition new lifts and refuse areas have been installed along with enclosed balconies and increased security systems.

Free online tutorials for early-career creatives and final year students

Posted on February 08, 2021

The V&A's 'Work in Progress' project aims to support the future of the creative industries.

The V&A are offering vital opportunities for emerging creatives at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. The project offers free online tutorials for early-career creatives and final year students based across the UK.

The idea is simple: participants get to discuss their work or a current project with a leading designer or practitioner from across the creative industries.

Tutorials last approximately 30 minutes. They will take place via video conferencing on Wednesdays throughout March and April 2021. Each tutor is offering six free tutorials. Eligible participants will be offered a tutorial on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Jude Barber from Collective Architecture is participating in the programme and will be offering architectural expertise.

For more information: https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/i...

Application deadline: Midnight on Thursday 4 March 2021.

LGBT+ History month

Posted on February 07, 2021

This month Collective Architecture supports and celebrates LGBT+ History month. LGBT+ History Month recognises the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements. It takes place every February in the UK and aims to promote and celebrate equality and diversity.

LGBT+ month is an important event because it recognises the influence that LGBTQIA+, Queer people, and their allies have had as part of wider society. The month also recognises the discrimination. and physical and mental violence that LGBT+ people have suffered.

As recent signatories to the RIBA’s Inclusion Charter, we welcome diversity and promote inclusion within our studios. However, it is important to recognise that discriminatory behaviour within the workplace, be it discrimination related to someone’s sexuality, gender, race, ability, culture, religion, or age still occurs on a daily basis. It is equally important to remember that it is up to us as employers and employees, colleagues, and friends within the workplace, to recognise discrimination and call it out!

Up until 2003 in the UK no legislation existed to protect your employment should you be discriminated against because of your sexual orientation. LGBT rights as well as a whole series of other ‘protected characteristics’ are now protected by law. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in society as a whole. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

The first LGBT+ History Month in the UK was celebrated in 2005. Since 2011, LGBT+ History Month has taken a different theme each year. The Theme of this year’s LGBT month is ‘Body, Mind and Sprit’ which seems particularly apt for all of us during the pandemic. We are all beginning to realise the impact that the pandemic has had on our mental health and well-being. In more ordinary times, members of the LGBT community, as a direct result of discrimination, are:

- More likely to experience a range of mental health problems such as depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol and substance misuse.

- At a greater risk of experiencing hate crime compared to heterosexual people, with certain LGBT groups found to be at particular risk, including gay men, young people and those identifying as LGBT from black and ethnic minority groups.

- Are less satisfied with their life than the general UK population.

Remembering the history of the LGBT+ community is to realise that we've come a long way, but also to realise that we need to support each other and celebrate our diversity. Everyone should be able to bring their whole self to work.

A Scotland first, Intergenerational and Passivhaus facility submitted for planning approval.

Posted on February 04, 2021

The Powderhall regeneration project reaches another major milestone as the submission of a planning application for the second phase of the masterplan has been made today on behalf of The City of Edinburgh. The proposals, the first of their kind in Scotland, include an intergenerational, Passivhaus facility which combines an Early Learning and Childcare Centre for 128 children with 27 older person’s independent-living homes above. This facility will offer health and wellbeing benefits for the residents, and new learning and social opportunities for children attending the nursery.

Designed to meet the Passivhaus standard, the building will provide high-quality spaces that are comfortable, healthy and consume minimal energy. This will create an optimal learning- through-play environment for the children and help to address the acute housing needs of our ageing population. All homes have been designed to allow residents to age in place and live within their community for as long as possible.

The building is designed to nestle into its context and employs a contemporary material palette of pigmented pre-cast concrete and brickwork, along with a repetitive window pattern and architectural detailing which reference the neighbouring buildings. The Lshaped form has been positioned to maximise benefit from solar gains, securely enclosing the south-facing nursery gardens, and providing active frontages to the entrance square and pedestrian routes. A portico connects the nursery and residential entrances which provides opportunity for chance encounters between the two user groups on their daily activities. In addition, a generous access balcony with integrated window seats provides a sheltered external area for residents to socialise and creates a visual connection to the nursery gardens below. Further resident’s areas include a shared roof terrace and communal garden with sensory planting.

The new Early Learning and Childcare Centre, which will be managed by Broughton Primary School, will allow for the existing nursery provision to relocate to this new facility. This will provide more childcare places for the local community and open up more space for the primary school. It will also have a multipurpose room which will be available for public use via the school lets system.

This phase of the regeneration project also includes a civic space which provides an attractive, biodiverse entrance into the site and demarks the threshold between Broughton Road and the pedestrian prioritised development. Improvements to St Mark’s Path, part of Edinburgh’s Quite Route network, are also proposed, together with a new outdoor educational space for Broughton Primary School, again available for community use via school lets.

Community consultation has been at the heart of the project and has helped shape the proposals from the earliest opportunity. Collective Architecture worked with the local community, stakeholders, and the council to collaboratively develop a place brief for the wider site before any design work had commenced. The place brief acts as a set of guiding principles for the whole site and has underpinned Collective’s masterplan strategy and their subsequent proposals for phases one and two.

Nicola McLachlan, Project Architect, said: “The recent pandemic has reinforced the significant and detrimental impact that unsustainable living and social conditions can have on the quality of our lives,
heightening our sense of accountability. The Powderhall mixed-use masterplan is reflective of an ambitious client and a participatory place-based design approach that has developed innovative and holistic living possibilities, taking proactive steps towards ensuring future communities are both socially and environmentally sustainable and successfully rooted with their surrounding neighbours. Phase 2 of the masterplan focuses on sharing, agency, and autonomy in the context of increasing age demographics, rising levels of loneliness, and takes cognisance of the significant shortage of older persons homes – particularly within urban areas. The proposals create
a purpose-built intergenerational building where residents and nursery children can coexist, nurturing positive relationships between different ages whilst creating a variety of spaces where people can enjoy interaction and sharing space and time together. The project marks a significant step towards designing with an agenda where well-being and improved quality of life for all generations is our measure.”

AJ Retrofit Awards - Public Building Shortlist

Posted on January 28, 2021

The Watt Institution for Inverclyde Council has been shortlisted for an AJ Retrofit Award in the 'Cultural and Religious Buildings under £5 million' category.

The AJ Retrofit Awards, celebrates the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing buildings.

Greg Storrar, architect at Asif Khan and a 2019 judge, said: ‘The AJ Retrofit Awards has quickly become an exemplary champion of intelligently crafted reuse in architecture. It fosters an important discussion of design quality and sustainability at a time when we now more than ever are recognising the critical need to make the most of the buildings we already have, not just those yet to be built.’

The shortlisting of three Collective Architecture projects at this national award ceremony is without a doubt a fantastic acheivement.

AJ Retrofit Awards - Housing Shortlist

Posted on January 26, 2021

The AJ has reveal the first set of finalists vying for this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards.

Both Bell Street Stables Conversion for Wheatley Group and Woodside Multi-Storey Flats for Queens Cross Housing Association have been shortlisted for an AJ Retrofit Award, Housing Category.

The AJ Retrofit Awards, celebrates the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing buildings, which has a huge impact on the construction industry's carbon footprint. 

Other shortlised projects include; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio's transformed 18th-century steam cotton mill in Manchester, and Matheson Whiteley’s redevelopment of an existing industrial building in east London.

The list also includes projects by AHMM, Casswell Bank Architects, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Tonkin Liu.

A new RIAS Conservation Architect!

Posted on November 16, 2020

Emma Fairhurst received the news today that she is now a fully qualified RIAS Conservation Architect!

This Accreditation demonstrates Emma's extensive knowledge and experience in conservation work and her personal competence to administer grant aided conservation schemes for our clients.

Emma has completed many award winning conservation projects over the last decade, including Collective on Calton Hill, which is currently shortlisted for the Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award, celebrating the highest standards of historic building conservation in the UK.

Well done Emma - another dedicated conservation architect for our growing team!

How architects are making workplace culture more inclusive

Posted on November 05, 2020

Helen Castle, Publishing Director at the RIBA, invited five practices to describe how they are stepping up with an onus on more robust recruitment and retainment processes and greater transparency and accountability.

Mairi Laverty of Collective Architecture shared her thoughts on how Collective Architecture has set about nurturing inclusion in practice through recruitment, retainment and accountability.

For full RIBA article.

There is also an opportunity to hear from experts on a range of diversity and inclusion subjects, and to participate in an equity, diversity and inclusion action planning session, join the RIBA Inclusion Charter Workshop on 30 November, 10am-1pm

New multi-purpose community space for Possilpark

Posted on October 23, 2020

Possilpark People’s Trust have submitted a planning application for a proposed new build community centre at Possilpark, Glasgow. The new Possilpoint centre is designed by Collective Architecture to provide multi-purpose community spaces, activity halls, social enterprise spaces and nursery within a phased development. Phasing the development ensures the existing centre remains open during construction and the Phase 1 community hall will be constructed with the secured RCGF funding.

The design maximises the site constraints within the residential and industrial setting and provides a distinct centre built entirely with CLT panels, which promotes a community programme of activities that can be easily managed by Possilpark People’s Trust. The concept plan of the centre considers the connections of all phases together and individually. The space planning approach can be adapted over time as funding levels become more certain. The centre will be designed to a high specification and provide flexible activity spaces to meet the needs and aspirations of local residents.

Robert Stewart, a long term resident of Possilpark and Trust member commented;

I believe that the new Community Centre will be the catalyst for the re-birth of Possilpark. The Trust views this new-build as becoming the focal point for this community to really come together and benefit from the state of the art facilities. Consequently this will give local people the opportunity to significantly improve their quality of life, health and personal development”

More information on Possilpoint.

Next Page