WHAT WE TRY TO ACHIEVE
For us the most important person is the client. They have knowledge that we don't and so we try to be very good listeners, drawing the client(s) into the design process. Designing primarily for people (as opposed to an obsession with the image of the building) is our overriding concern and we are very gratified that many of our past clients have returned to us with new projects and almost all have become good friends. We are also passionate about how we detail our buildings as well as how to make intelligent use of a client's always limited budget and ensure together we leave behind a legacy of sustainable buildings. We aim to build buildings which are demonstrably of our own time, even in historic locations or with alterations to existing buildings, pursuing William Morris' dictum that "all history is perpetual change." At the same time we try to embed our buildings into a particular historic grain of a site in a city or landscape so that it is "locked in" to that location. We call that "architecture of its time and place" and that is the title of the book about our work. A postscript by Richard Murphy in the book fleshes out that idea.
HOW WE WORK
Richard Murphy is the design director in the practice and he is involved from conception onwards working alongside a designated project architect (usually another director or associate) who will take the project from beginning to its conclusion. During the technical drawing phases after planning permission stage the project architect takes centre stage and Richard keeps in touch with the evolution of the project in the office. During the site constriction phase Richard re-engages with the site construction detail. Within the office regular technical reviews take place at significant moments in a project's evolution.
OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
We take our responsibilities to the next generation very seriously. We have regular teaching commitments in the Mackintosh School Glasgow, the University of Dundee and the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen. In addition Richard is a frequent lecturer at universities both here and abroad. We also host school children who are considering a career in architecture. And finally, we donate regularly to Maggies Edinburgh and Richard organises annually paid tours of his house through the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy, again to raise money for Maggies.
WE ALSO HAVE FUN...
When funds and deadlines permit, we go off on a trip to look at architecture together as well as visit some interesting restaurants and bars. Destinations so far have been Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Verona, Eichstatt and Munich, Budapest, Madrid, Amsterdam and Lisbon and but after the pandemic we hope to revive our plans to go to Porto.
We are based at The Breakfast Mission, a hub for like-minded creative companies and organisations, in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town.