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Welcome to the Summer 2014 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects

Welcome to the Summer 2014 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects


 Candleriggs Glasgow

We are thrilled to report that we have been appointed as architects for one of the most important sites in the centre of Glasgow. Between the Merchant City and the Tron, the site is almost a whole urban block. Currently some of it is being used as an entertainment venue during the Commonwealth Games but otherwise it is virtually undeveloped. The client is Candleriggs, a joint venture between Mace and fund managers Mercer Real Estate Partners. Mace’s Development Director, Mike Myles, said: “We are fully committed to developing a high class scheme that will positively contribute to the Merchant City”. A planning application for a mixed use design will be submitted by Christmas this year. Richard Murphy said, “We have worked in the east end of Glasgow but to date have never had the opportunity of building a major project in the city centre which together with the scale of this project makes it exceptionally exciting.”



Haymarket Edinburgh

Building Warrant has been submitted for the flagship office at the Haymarket site in Edinburgh. This section drawn begins to show the size and complexity of the project. The office is due to start construction on site in April 2015. 



Postgraduate Student Housing Edinburgh

Our postgraduate student housing project for Edinburgh University is in the final straight. The tower crane has been removed and the central courtyard is beginning to emerge from scaffolding. The roof is almost complete and the fit-out is well advanced. The aerial photo was taken recently from Richard’s microlight.

 Aerial Photo of the postgradudate student housing at Holyrood South

More construction pictures can be seen on the webpage by clicking here



Anglia Ruskin University Young Street Cambridge

Also well underway on site are our projects for Anglia Ruskin University at Young Street Cambridge. The first phase of the Cambridge building won a “Silver Award” for its energy conscious design presented to the client at The Crystal, Royal Victoria Docks, London. In addition, planning consultation has started for our new Science Faculty Building at the University’s East Road campus. The second phase of our project is beginning to take shape. Attached to opposite ends of the phase 1 building which was completed in February this year the second phase will more than double the teaching accommodation and will included a 200 seat lecture theatre. A completion date of August 2015 is expected at which point the entire Young Street master plan will have been completed, a project which began in 2008. The pictures show casting of the first floor. The contractor is R G Carter who also converted the nearby Ragged School.



Our project of a new restaurant and remodeled Golf Museum entrance for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club has begun on site. The contractor is John Dennis.



Dunfermline Museum & Art Gallery has been given the go-ahead by Fife Council with work starting on site next month. The competition was won in 2008 so this has been a long haul to get on site and the building will open to the public in 2017. The contractor is BAM Construction.



House extension in Ravelston Dykes

A major extension to a detached 1920's house in Ravelston Dykes, Edinburgh, has just been completed. The client is a relative of our Associate, Graeme Armet, who designed the project. Although this was how the practice began twenty years ago, today we rarely accept projects of this scale but made an exception here. A two storey rear extension and extensive internal remodelling have completely transformed the house. More pictures can be seen on the webpage here. 



Murphy House Hart Street Edinburgh

The house for Richard Murphy in Hart Street is on the home straight. Tiles from Venice sourced from the same manufacturer who made them for Scarpa’s project at the Palazzo Querini Stampalia have been grouted onto the concrete roof terrace wall and give off a remarkable luminosity. The planting will shortly be installed as homage to Scarpa’s Venetian garden. Meanwhile, Richard has been busy working on the second edition of his book “Carlo Scarpa and Castelvecchio” which should be ready for Christmas. 



In June, Urban Realm featuredthe news that we are to lead design the former Merchant City, Selfridges Site. The news was mentioned in other publications, including The Construction Index, where Glasgow City Council Leader, Gordon Matheson was quotedas saying – “The plans for the Candleriggs site will, I am sure, be of the very highest quality and very exciting.”

Also in June, The Scotsman ran a feature called “Architects ahead of the curve on style” concerning how innovative concepts used in modern buildings have in the past and continue in the present to leave a legacy we can all enjoy. Innovative architects through the ages were mentioned and our practice was included in respect of our Dundee Contemporary Arts, saying – “….. the Dundee Contemporary Arts building designed by Richard Murphy provides a more modern example of fine Scottish architecture, offering a range of striking internal and external features that make it uniquely inspiring and influential to those who visit and use it”

In their July edition, ARK magazine interviewed Richard as part of their “Views of the City” portrait of Edinburgh architecture. Richard spoke about Edinburgh, its unique features, what it means to work as an architect in Edinburgh and the challenges Edinburgh architecture will face in the future, saying that “Edinburgh needs to understand that tomorrow’s listed buildings need imaginative risk-taking today”



Following on from his participation in a “Use of Lead” Webinar earlier in the year, Richard was invited to speak at a Lead conference in June (“Lead – Sustainable, Versatile and Modern”), held at the Building Centre in London.  Richard spoke about the versatility of and benefits of using lead.

Newcastle University

Richard was the guest speaker on 10 July at the opening of the Newcastle University (his alma mater) degree show in Clerkenwell in London.  



Royal Academy of Art London

Also in London until 17th August our two recent competitions for European projects are on display at The 246th Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition where we seem to be the only architects from North of the Border who have been selected. 


On 2nd July Matt Bremner attended the Maggies’ Scottish Schools Competition Awards and Exhibition event.  Richard and other members of the practice had judged the entries from school students from all over Scotland.   The prize was a week’s placement in the practice and this took place a week or so later, with the winner travelling down from Inverness for the work experience.

In August, Richard will be introducing speakers at the “Designing for Health and Well being” conference in Edinburgh and in January 2015 he will be speaking at the "Artist in Concrete Awards Asia Fest 2014/2015" being held in Goa, India. 


RSA Metzstein Architecture Discourse 2014

Richard was in Amsterdam in June interviewing the celebrated Australian architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Glenn Murcutt. Glenn is due to give the second Royal Scottish Academy Metzstein Discourse in May 2015 and Richard is preparing a commemorative booklet for the event. The first Discourse, founded in memory of Isi Metzstein is to be given by the Portuguese Architect Alva Siza on 9th October at the University of Edinburgh, George Square Lecture theatre. Tickets can be obtained direct from The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), but are rapidly selling out.

Further information can be found by clicking here.



We are very sorry to hear of the death of Sir Richard MacCormac. Sir Richard’s work has been a great inspiration to us and he was a very good friend and supporter of the practice. He wrote a scholarly essay as an introduction to the recent monograph about the office “Of its time and of its place” and many remember his appearances on the panel at the launch of the book at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and at a “conversation” at the publisher’s gallery in London in 2012. Richard Murphy who worked in Sir Richard’s practice in the 1980’s has written about his choice of Sir Richard’s five best buildings in the Architects’ Journal. He also contributed to the AJ website obituary. If you wish to read what he wrote click here

Sir Richard MacCormac



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