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Welcome to the Autumn 2018 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects

Welcome to the Autumn 2018 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects



Greenock Waterfront Building

Inverclyde Council have received our planning application for a £5.5M building housing three different organisations. Peel Ports will use the building as a cruise liner terminal for their successfully expanding business, the George Wyllie Trust will have dedicated gallery space for displaying their collection of the late Greenock artist's work and for visiting exhibitions and finally a restaurateur will have a new rooftop restaurant.

The project is expected to be on site in early 2019 and be receiving its first cruise liner passengers at the beginning of the 2020 season.


House in Dalkey, Ireland

In Dalkey, Ireland, a very large new house has been virtually completed. The view shows the house from the gateway to the site looking north to Dublin Bay. We hope to have professional photographs later in the year. 

House in Morningside, Edinburgh

 Meanwhile our design for a "hidden house" behind an existing stone wall in Morningside has been completed and the clients moved in during June. Again we hope to be able to have professional photographs later this year. This photograph shows the builder, Steve Evans of Inscape Joinery showing visitors around. 

Laverockbank Terrace



In Trinity, Edinburgh, we designed a house on a site which the client would like to sell. The design is for a three bedroom house of 190 sq meters and a medium sized garden. Anyone interested in becoming our client please contact us.


Proposed Royal High School Foyer

The Royal High School will be back in the press in September with the opening of the public inquiry into the proposals for conversion into a hotel previously turned down twice by Edinburgh Council Planning Committee. Our own proposals to convert the building into a home for St Mary's Music School under the aegis of the Royal High School Preservation Trust have been granted full planning and listed building consent and in the event of the refusal of the hotel planning appeal the RHSPT is in pole position to purchase the site. The trust have commissioned “The Boundary” (founded by RMA old boy Peter Guthrie) to produce this very beautiful promotional video, "Perfect Harmony", watch it and, if you wish, share it with others. From the movie is this new image of the proposed foyer to be located under the current debating chamber, converted in our proposals into a concert hall. 



Houses at Redlands Lane, Glasgow

The Wheatley Group have commissioned us to design six mews houses near the Great Western Road behind an existing block of flats they also own. The design makes “upside down” houses with living accommodation on the first floor opening onto roof terraces. The design has been submitted to Glasgow Council for planning permission.



Caernarfon "Galeri" Extension


Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre

The creation of two new cinemas, entrance, shop and offices as an extension to our original 2005 Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre has been handed over to the client. The opening ceremony is on Friday September 21st September with the new works officially opening by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.

Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre Extension, Edinburgh.


Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, Edinburgh

The alterations to the east end of the existing building are now complete and the contractor is concentrating on the major extension at the west end. This consists of a two story extension to create another consulting room, more offices and a bigger kitchen area and a new "pavilion" meeting room. The picture shows the latter and the project is due to be completed by mid-November when the landscaping starts to take place.

Donaldson's School ...the Playfair Building.


Donaldson's School Housing

Our project for "City and Country" to convert the original Playfair school into residential use is gathering pace. Various completed apartments have now been occupied. More information can be found here including three videos:

Housing at Donaldson's College, Edinburgh

The Crescent at Donaldson's for Cala Homes

The west crescent which is being build first has been handed over by contractors Bam to Cala for their fit-out. Their website with some superb images and movie can be seen here: The pictures above show both developments (top), the Cala west crescent on site (left) and a completed apartment in the City and Country development (right).


Apartments for AMA (Kinnear) Ltd at Kinnear Road


Kinnear Road, Edinburgh

The project is now on site and foundations have been completed and steel frame erection underway. Here is a photo from the crane showing the spectacular view of the skyline of Edinburgh to the south which will be enjoyed by all the apartments (photograph courtesy AMA (Kinnear) Ltd).


Acute Mental Health Facility, City Hospital, Belfast


Acute Mental Health Facility, City Hospital, Belfast

The photo shows the development of the central courtyard and cloister. This is the organising device for the whole hospital. The entrance building opens out into the cloister from which all wards are accessed. The project should be handed over in the spring of 2019.


Carlo Scarpa_and Castelvecchio Revisited

Richard's major new book "Carlo Scarpa and Castelvecchio Revisited" has officially broken even! Published by Richard under the publisher title "Breakfast Mission Publishing" 1200 copies have now been sold all over the world either by buying direct online or though one of about 40 bookshops stocking it. Over 120 have been sold at the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona itself since it went on sale in April. You can order it here direct (postage to anywhere in the world is included) . Richard is currently in negotiations with an Italian publisher regarding an Italian language edition.


Richard twice travelled to southern Europe in July. The first trip was at the invitation of Melbourne University to show their students around Scarpa buildings in Venice and Verona and the second was to talk at the European Architecture Student Assembly 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia. Richard co-founded EASA in 1981 in Liverpool when a student member of the RIBA Council, with his fellow rep. Geoff Haslam. Amazingly these annual events have grown to 600 students and two weeks of intense work (and partying) in a different European country every year. Richard was asked back to talk about the motivations in founding the event and also the logistics of how he and Geoff established it in the pre-email age! EASA 2018 can be found here:

Richard has also been busy giving talks about the work of the practice. He spoke to the Stirling Chapter of the RIAS in April, to students at Huddersfield University School of Architecture and at the University of Ulster in Belfast in May; to the Inverleith Residents’ Association AGM and at the RIAS Convention in Aberdeen also in May.

He is also going to be very busy this Autumn having accepted invitations to talk to a planners forum in Dunfermline on 27th August, to the Edinburgh Architectural Association on 5th September, to Cork University architecture school on 16th October, to the Student Society at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen on the 18th October, to the Patrons of the Royal Scottish Academy on 25th October, to the Friends of the National Gallery of Scotland to talk about the practice’s buildings for the arts on the 14th November and finally to Maltese architects in Malta on 24th November. Richard has been asked by STV to be interviewed whilst walking around the new V&A Museum in Dundee on 12th September.


Dundee Contemporary Arts (completed in 1999/2000) was one of the “Five of the best buildings to explore in Dundee beyond the V&A” featured by the Scotsman this month.  The five were described as “five gems (of architecture) ancient and modern”. Both our Perth Theatre and Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries buildings were named as significant projects delivered by Hub East Central Scotland in a feature by project Scotland in July – both contributing to the success of the Hub last year. An article by Richard to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birthday appeared in Dezeen on line in June this year as did an article he wrote about the consequences of the fire at the Glasgow School or Art in the July/August edition of “Artwork”. The first UK Maggie's Centre designed by the practice and located in the grounds of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh was featured in a general article describing the various major centres in the UK in Architecture & Design online magazine in June.  Due to overwhelming demand, the Edinburgh Maggie's Centre is currently undergoing its second extension since built in 1996. In May, our Perth Theatre was featured as a building study in the Architects’ Journal.  Entitled, “Richard Murphy’s Perth Theatre makes an entrance”, the article noted that the venue had been given “a new dynamic street presence and secured the future drama in the city”.  The building was described as an “exemplary project”. An article about Richard Murphy’s Hart Street house was featured in “Estilo Propio”, an Argentinean Home Design magazine in April and also an eight page article in “Mondo” an architectural magazine for architects in India in August entitled “Sleight of Hand”.


We are very proud that our associate Graeme Armet has been designated one of “50 faces of Hillcrest Housing Association” with a short interview you can see here. Graeme was the project architect for the very successful housing development at Wharton Square built as part of the wider Quartermile Development on the former Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.


15 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1RW | Tel 0131 220 6125 |