Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture

Posted on September 01, 2020

This year's Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture will be given by our practice director, Jude Barber FRIAS RIBA.

The Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture 2020 celebrates the A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards shortlist announcement.

Now in their 18th year, the awards offer a rare opportunity to see all five schools together and recognise the achievement of individual students and their schools of architecture. They are a mark of the continuing high standards of Scottish architectural education and enable both the public and the profession to enjoy the creativity and vision of Scotland's future architects. This years awards ceremony will be held during the RIAS Convention (online from 28th September to 2nd October).

For more information and registering for a free ticket;  Eventbrite.

Project images above: Granton Waterfront in Edinburgh for the City of Edinburgh Council (c) Collective Architecture / Luxigon

Glasgow Doors Open Day 2020

Posted on August 25, 2020

Collective Architecture are delighted to be sponsoring Glasgow Doors Open Day 2020. ​

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is an annual event organised by Glasgow  Building Presevation Trust, celebrating the city's architecture, culture & heritage.​ Each September they bring together dozens of participants who throw open the doors of over 100 historic buildings, theatres, museum stores, factories, studios, breweries & more, across the city, to the public, for free.

Their mission is to increase civic pride among Glaswegians and to broaden awareness of the city's rich built & cultural heritage at local, national & international levels.

If your interested in any of their events on the programme, its well worth putting 10am on 1st September in your diary - it books up super fast!

Event programme: https://www.glasgowdoorsopenda...

Scottish Design Awards - Nominations 2020

Posted on August 11, 2020

Great to see 5 nominated for 3 of our projects at this year's Scottish Design Awards 2020;

Building Re-use:  The Watt Institution
Public Building: The Watt Institution
Building Re-use:  Bell Street Stables
Affordable Housing: Bell Street Stables
Master Planning: Granton Waterfront

Click here for the full shortlist.

Jude Barber Shortlisted for BD Leadership Award 2020!

Posted on July 29, 2020


Collective Architecture is delighted to announce that Jude Barber has been shortlisted for this year’s BD Leadership Award!

Jude Barber is an important founding member of Collective Architecture, and one of the country's leading architectural figures. She instigated the campaign ‘A New Chapter’ to seek reform for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and is a passionate champion for equality, people and placemaking.

Jude’s influence in promoting these views is evident everywhere, from her involvement as an RIAS Fellow, to teaching and lecturing at various Schools of Architecture across the UK and internationally. In 2019, Jude was invited by Parlour to talk in Australia on women’s participation in the built environment. In the same year she was invited to join the Place Commission, a team of experts in a variety of fields with a remit to create a better quality of place for the people of Glasgow.

She works tirelessly to achieve positive benchmarks which have pushed at the boundaries of the Architecture profession. There is no formula to the success of Jude's work; it is the result of her hard work and determined, engaging personality. Her unique combination of design ability and social awareness linked with her constant effort to pursue all forms of equality is evident in projects such as; The Empire Cafe, interrogating Scotland’s involvement in the Slave Trade, Voices of Experience; the on-going ‘Voices of Experience’ project that shines a spotlight on key female figures who have often been overlooked and ‘The Better Days’ solo exhibition, which called on politicians to recapture post-war optimism and put quality architecture and the built environment back at the heart of Scottish life.

In 2018 Jude won ‘Creative Industries Leader of the Year’ at the Scottish Women Awards, she is a member of ‘Architects for Change’, an RIBA Expert Advisory Group and is active in many campaigns to promote inclusion and diversity in architecture.

The ethos of Collective Architecture mirrors Jude’s inclusive approach, and individuals are encouraged to develop their own architecture leading to a richness of ideas and debate within our two studios. It is important to highlight Jude’s exceptional ability to work collaboratively and still produce unique and distinctive architecture. This is particularly evidenced in this series of extraordinary recent projects;

  • Granton Waterfront (2019-2020): Jude is a leading practitioner in the field of strategic planning in the UK. She led the Granton design team with Studio for New Realities to develop a Strategic Plan and Development Framework for City of Edinburgh Council and Partners.
  • Water Row Masterplan: (opposite the Glasgow Transport Museum and new public footbridge) Project Director for Glasgow’s most exciting upcoming regeneration site.
  • Glasgow Women’s Library: Project director for the superbly crafted library which was shortlisted for Art Fund ‘Museum of the Year’ 2018 and awarded the title ‘Recognised Collections of National Significance’ by Museum Galleries Scotland.
  • Collective on Calton Hill – Project director for this multi-award-winning project which won an RIAS Awards and was Shortlisted for the RIAS Andrew Doolan.

Jude is a talent who enriches architecture and the lives of those she works with and her role within Collective Architecture is never underestimated.

Observatory House on Calton Hill to be revived

Posted on July 27, 2020

Collective Architecture has submitted plans on behalf of Collective, centre for contemporary art on Calton Hill, to bring Observatory House, back into use. A significant building within the Calton Hill, UNESCO world heritage site.

Observatory House, which forms one corner of the City Observatory site redeveloped by Collective Architecture in 2018, is a residential house dating back to the 18th century and was formerly occupied by resident astronomers. Previously renovated and offered as a holiday let by the Vivat Trust until 2015, Collective now plan to upgrade the house and divide it into two apartments available as lets separately or together for larger groups.

As well as being available to hire, Observatory House will host artists visiting Collective as part of its programme of international art commissions from artists who have never shown their work in Scotland previously. The House will also be opened to the public for special events such as Doors Open Days.

Kate Gray, Director of Collective, said:

“Observatory House is a gem of a building in an incredible location. Though this is a challenging time for Collective as we emerge from an extended closure and are struggling with the loss of expected income, it is even more important that we move forward with plans to complete the full integration of our historic site. As a charity, we are dependent on fundraising and income generation to deliver our mission to bring people together around contemporary art. Giving Observatory House a new lease of life as a lettable space will allow us to generate income that will help keep Collective freely accessible to all.”

Following a formal tender process in December 2019, Collective is delighted to have appointed Collective Architecture to lead the restoration. The Scottish architects previously led the redevelopment of the rest of the site, which was shortlisted for the RIAS Best Building in Scotland Award in 2019. Plans submitted by the architects for Listed Building Consent include the retention of historic interior features such as the ‘whispering room’ on the first floor, a re-modelling of the interior spaces and a unique decorative finish which will draw on commissions from artists and makers based in Scotland.

The restoration of Observatory House follows Collective Architecture’s design of the Lookout, the unique new hilltop restaurant run by Collective’s restaurant partners the Gardener’s Cottage."

Emma Fairhurst, lead architect on the project, said:

“We’re very excited to be returning to Calton Hill and working with Collective once again. Observatory House is a beautiful building, full of character and interest. We plan to keep the rooms simple and calm and to retain the feeling of the House as a retreat, overlooking the busy city below. When complete, the restored House will offer a fusion of gothic architecture, modern interiors, contemporary art, and exquisite local cuisine.”

Renovations to the house are set to begin early in 2021, subject to a fundraising campaign and following the appointment of a suitable contractor. It is hoped both apartments in the House will be available to book from summer 2021."

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!

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