Welcome to the Christmas 2010 Newsletter of Richard Murphy Architects
We were not anticipating a newsletter until the end of January but have brought forward this edition as we have had a rush of good news, just in time for Christmas!
Richard Murphy Architects Wins RIBA Open Competition For Harbourside Development in Whitehaven Cumbria
We are thrilled to announce that the practice has won this £9m project in a two stage competition organised through the RIBA. Astonishingly 139 entries were received from all over the world with five practices shortlisted. We have won a number of limited competitions before but this is only our second open competition victory.
The project is for 42 flats, 3,800sq m of offices and parking on a very prominent site on the harbour side of Whitehaven. The client will be Magnus Homes and we are anticipating a planning application in April 2011. A webpage has been created and the competition design can be seen there, although this may be developed before planning is submitted.
Edinburgh City Council Planning Committee voted unanimously at their meeting on 8th December to approve our latest design for the Haymarket site at Edinburgh’s west end. The Committee had approved two years previously our first design for the site, but this was called in for public inquiry and eventually rejected on the advice of the inquiry reporter. The new design leaves most of the previous proposals in place but substitutes an office for the five star hotel that had been proposed for the most prominent location on the site. A start on site is anticipated in 2011.
We have been only too well aware that it is difficult to propose the redevelopment of the Haymarket site without also discussing the future of the nearby Station and the possible creation of significant urban space between the two sites. Until recently, there have been no active proposals tabled but now Network Rail have published their proposals which sadly show a development on the back of the historic station building, i.e., not contributing in any way to the future of the Haymarket as an unban place. We have been working with Architecture and Design Scotland and have volunteered as part of that ongoing debate a more ambitious proposal to stimulate discussion. A webpage has been created and drawings and a further explanation can be seen there.
In November at an Awards Ceremony at The Brewery Centre, London, Graeme Armet collected on behalf of the practice the "Best New Mental Health Building in the UK” Award for our second project at Stratheden Hospital Fife (the first project won the Best NHS Health Facilities in Scotland last year). Taken together this is a huge achievement not just for ourselves, but also for Interserve, contractors on both projects and for the design ambitions of NHS Fife.
We are very pleased to announce that Anglia Ruskin University have appointed us through the OGC Framework with Gardiner and Theobald to prepare plans for almost an entire city block at Young Street, as a new part of their Cambridge campus. Approximately £14m the site will be developed in phases with a £4m nursing faculty and some administration being part of the first phase. The appointment follows our feasibility studies for the University on the development possibilities of the site.
Stage 1 approval for a £3m grant from the Heritage Lottery has been approved and design work is expected to recommence on the project in the New Year with a planning application expected at the end of the year. In addition, Fife Council have reached an agreement in principle with the Trustees of the adjacent Abbot's House Museum to purchase the car park which sits between the two existing buildings. This is to be developed as a garden from which a new entrance will give access to the new museum obviating the need for the pivoting facade on Abbot Street. New drawings are expected to be posted by mid 2011.
Sadly we didn't succeed in our competition for the whisky headquarters at Erlang although the project has been published around the globe.
However, we have been asked to design house types for a suburban housing development also in Chengdu and are hopeful of other projects there in the near future.
Our project for 260 postgraduate places designed in conjunction with RPP Architects of Belfast has reached the second storey...
Our £10m project for the renovation and extension of Perth Theatre received planning and listed building permission from Perth and Kinross Council. We hope to recommence work on the project in 2011 when further funds have been raised. Also, our extension to Coatbridge College, due on site in April 2011, has received planning permission from North Lanarkshire Council.
Our competition entry for a whisky headquarters, hotel and conference centre at Erlang in China has received a great deal of press. On 12 November 2010, The Scotsman said “On a Chinese mountain, it looks like the new 007 set, but this is made in Scotland!” Equally eloquent, Building Design Magazine on 29 October called the design a “Dram-atic Proposal”! Funding approval for our proposed Museum & Art Gallery at Dunfermline was featured in the Scotsman on 22 November - “Home to Scotland’s First Kings - Now £10m Museum to be Town’s Crowning Glory”. Also in the news was our new housing and offices competition win at Whitehaven Harbour. The Whitehaven News was first to publish the announcement on 9 December, closely followed by the Architects’ Journal and another notable headline from the Scotsman - “San Gimignano on the Irish Sea Wins Bid for Edinburgh’s Rising Architect”. Finally, the confirmed planning approval for our development at the Haymarket in Edinburgh was reported by many local publications.
Richard has given two lectures recently. A talk on Scarpa to the architecture department of the University of Brno in the Czech republic and talks on both Scarpa’s work and the practice's recent work to students at The Architecture School at the University of Uberlandia in Brazil. Further talks are planned on 10 February to the 5710 Student Society at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Aberdeen, starting at 5.00pm and on 24 February to Newcastle University’s School of Architecture on the subjects of Scarpa and Building in Existing Fabrics. Richard is also the keynote speaker at the University of Plymouth’s “Beyond Tradition” conference in April.
Christmas Greetings from the entire office…..pictured here sitting down for our Christmas dinner last week in the office itself and joined by our colleagues at the Breakfast Mission, Paul Jenkins of Create Engineering, James Smith of We can Create Model Making and Antony Duthie of Clarendon Planning Consultants.
We wish all our newsletter readers a very happy Christmas.