Welcome to the Autumn 2009 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects
Mental Health Facility, at ‘Old See House’ Belfast, Submitted for Planning Permission
The first of our buildings for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust procured under the framework of Northern Ireland NHS Primary and Community Care Infrastructure (PCCI) Programme has been submitted for planning permission. The building is designed in conjunction with our colleagues at RPP Architects Belfast (with whom we are also working together for Queen's University). The building is unprecedented in bringing together for the first time three different services on one site, an out-patient consulting service a day-patient service and a small short stay residential facility. The project budget is £5.2m and work is expected to start on site early 2010. More pictures and plans can be seen on a newly created web page.
Stratheden Dementia Centre Shortlisted for National NHS Award
Our first completed project in the mental health field, our Residential Senile Dementia Centre for Fife NHS at Stratheden Hospital near Cupar, Fife has been shortlisted in a list of four projects from the whole of the UK for an award. The ceremony takes on 12 November in London and Richard and Graeme Armet will be representing the office along with Dennis O’Keefe from Fife NHS. New photographs of the completed building have been posted on the web site.
Feasibility Study for the Corn Exchange Biggar
The Biggar Theatre Workshop have asked the practice to look at ambitious ideas for transforming the historic Corn Exchange in the centre of the South Lanarkshire town. The project has already received a total of £400,000 for restoration work from the Heritage Lottery, South Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government as part of their programme for regenerating town centres.
The feasibility study has now been presented and shows a new entrance to the side of the building and foyer in the current semi basement
A revised project following on from the competition win in 2007 has been submitted for heritage lottery funding. The design has all the ingredients of the original project but has relocated the café, and is now more integrated with the adjacent library, the world’s first Andrew Carnegie Library. A presentation of the revised design was made recently to all of the major players in Dunfermline including “Royal Dunfermline”, the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, the Dunfermline Heritage Trust and a number of councillors. A movie of the revised design can be seen here: web page.
Cheri Blair QC will be performing the opening ceremony on 8 October of our Cass School of Education for the University of East London. James Mason, the project director and Richard will be there.
Our office and hotel project at Justice Mill Lane continues apace. The hotel has now reached fifth floor level with the office at second floor. The picture shows the steelwork being erected, framing the hotel courtyard, with the office stair cores rising in the background. A major article in the Glasgow Herald on 27 August said, referring to the building’s “green credentials”that it “should be 30% more efficient than regulations require”.
Our second dementia centre at Stratheden has completed steel work erection and the roof is being constructed. The project is due to be finished in April 2010.
At our secondary school in Mosta, Malta, the basic construction phase is soon to be completed. The picture shows the school chapel on the corner and one of the outdoor “streets” which connect the classrooms. The school is due to be handed over to the Ministry of Education for fit out in around two months and open to public for the scholastic year of 2010-2011.
Our new British High Commission Building in Colombo, Sri Lanka featured in the Colombo Sunday Times Magazine of 26 July - titled “The making of a Diplomatic Coup” it said - “With the fusion of east and west, the new British High Commission serves as an ambassador both for contemporary British architecture and traditional Sri Lankan design”.
The Haymarket development continues to attract much attention in the Scottish press.
Richard has been invited to join Sir Richard MacCormac, Edward Cullinan, and Peter Stewart to form a panel of speakers at a debate at Peterhouse College, Cambridge on the subject of “Is Tall Beautiful?” being held on the evening of 17 September. The debate is part of the National Conference on Urban Design taking place at Peterhouse College on 17, 18 and 19 September.
Richard is also giving a lecture to the Dundee City Trust on the evening of the 15 October at Dundee Art Society’s Art Gallery and has been asked to speak to students of Architectural Design at the University of Edinburgh on 5 November. The theme for the programme of lectures at the University is “Constraint” and Richard will be speaking about museums in general and Carlo Scarpa in particular.