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Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Architecture and placemaking affects everyone in Scotland. It can make the places where we work, live and play beautiful and functional. It can also grow our economy and improve our lives. By shaping our places and spaces it also helps us say who we are as a nation. The Scottish Government is consulting the public to inform the future shape of the architecture and placemaking policy. The new policy will set out a vision and aims to support and provide direction to the development of the built environment in Scotland. The consultation period has now ended and the feedback we received from visitors to the exhibition is included from page 54 in this resource. A report analysing the responses to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on the proposed new Policy on Architecture and Placemaking can be downloaded here.

Input + Ideas Exhibition The Lighthouse, Glasgow 30 May – 26 Aug 2012






The publication of The Development of a Policy on Architecture for Scotland and the subsequent public consultation were the first steps in the process to develop Scotland’s policy on architecture.

A Policy on Architecture for Scotland was published, Scotland’s first national Architecture Policy.

A second public consultation was held to respond to the changing nature of built environment issues.



Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Why do we need a new policy?

We Think

It is eleven years since the creation of Scotland’s first national architecture policy in 2001 and six years since the policy was reviewed and updated in 2006. The 2007 elections saw a change in administration and a shift in policy priorities.

Architecture and placemaking can help address the economic, social and environmental challenges which face us. But this cannot be left to chance. Creating the conditions in which they can flourish is crucial. That is why we need a new architecture and placemaking policy.

Over this period the landscape has changed considerably in terms of economic pressures and a priority to control the effects of climate change. The political landscape has also changed in that Scotland has now embarked upon a process of constitutional change.

A range of people were asked to suggest a priority for the policy and choose a project that embodied this issue. In workshops children responded to the selected buildings through film. The nominated projects and films are presented to stimulate your input to the consultation. Click here to watch the film.

There is now greater emphasis on placemaking, street design and community participation to enable people to contribute to shaping the places in which they live and work. In recognition of these changes, the Scottish Government is reviewing its policy.

As a visitor to the exhibition we want to know what your priorities for architecture and placemaking in Scotland are. We want to hear how you would like to shape the policy and would encourage you to take part in the consultation process.

They Think

You Think



May 2012

The Scottish Executive published a second policy on architecture statement, on the basis of which architecture and planning policies were drawn closer together.

Elections saw a change in administration and the change of name from Scottish Executive to Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government launches a public consultation to review its policy objectives and identify its future priorities for architecture and placemaking.

Scotland’s Housing Expo Masterplan Inverness Image credits: Ewen Wetherspoon Plan (overleaf): Cadell2/AREA

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Planning and achieving places with long-term socially, environmentally and economically healthy communities.

Russell Jones, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

“The policy should emphasise not only the buildings, but how they contribute holistically to creating thriving and sustainable communities.”


Sustainable Neighbourhoods Case Studies

“Health, well-being and economic resilience are capable of being improved by a transformation of the residential environment. By being better linked to places and designed to foster strong communities spec-built volume housing can be transformed.”

Scotland’s Housing Expo Masterplan Inverness Cadell2 Scotland’s Housing Expo is a mix of 52 competitionwinning houses, some for Housing Associations and others for sale. With the creation of a strong community planned from the outset, master planning focused on building a convivial, walkable neighbourhood. A central green forms an outdoor social hub, and the streets are designed for walking and playing, and as places to sit and meet up. Prioritising outdoor living, a healthy lifestyle and the environment, the streets have been carefully designed to bring people together and to reduce the need for cardependent lifestyles.

Nominated by Johnny Cadell Masterplanner, AREA (formally Cadell2) Client: Highland Housing Alliance


Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


The Highland Housing Alliance chose to appoint a lead designer to generate a masterplan for Scotland’s Housing Expo




Designers consult with an advisory board to help shape the masterplan


Highland Housing Alliance and the Highland Council discuss masterplan with local residents

Collaboration between a diverse range of professionals including 27 architects

Diversity of use supported by integrated infrastructure

A central outdoor space facilitating a social hub for residents

Diverse housing stock within a small area to accommodate a mixed community


Scotland’s Housing Expo masterplan realised

Carefully designed domestic streets that serve to bring the local community together

Sustainable Neighbourhoods Other Examples

Leith Fort Edinburgh

Inveraray Argyll

In this project, a re-invention of the popular Edinburgh ‘Colonies’ housing, all the terraced homes have south-facing gardens, with each flat looking onto its own patch. The layout is centred on a shared village green and integrated within the historic walls of Leith Fort. Still in development for planning the project is part of Edinburgh’s programme to build up to 1,400 homes for sale and rent.

Most Scottish villages today are not picturesque medieval clusters but almost the opposite, planned villages of the Improvement era. From 1750, the Duke of Argyll’s Improvement works relocated the burgh of Inveraray away from his newly built castle and created a town on a low headland jutting out into Loch Fyne.

“The concentration on box-tick, validated process has directed pragmatic clients to bloodless designers who can navigate their way through to the blandest and most joyless results, to the detriment of innovation, beauty, architecture and young talent.”

“This village demonstrates what good planning and good quality architecture can achieve. Designed around people rather than the motor car, it has a scale, function and beauty that is an exemplar for modern architecture. Buildings collectively must create a community and that means placing the needs of the people first.”

Nominated by Malcolm Fraser Director, Malcolm Fraser Architects

Nominated by Alasdair Stephen Partner, Dualchas Building Design

Image credits: Malcolm Fraser Architects

Image credits: Crown Copyright RCAHMS

Malcolm Fraser Architects

John Adam and others

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

South Dalmarnock Integrated Infrastructure Framework, Glasgow Sheppard Robson

Place - Sustainable Neighbourhoods and Raising Debate Scotland’s Housing Expo stimulated public interest in housing and sustainable neighbourhoods, with lessons about improving quality. Using local materials helped raise awareness of alternatives to developer-led housing. The Expo brought different interest groups together from different sectors of the built environment,

This Framework sets out a vision for the sustainable development of the area over a 20 year period. The process involved input from a range of stakeholders and local people. The resulting masterplan includes the provision of green space, healthy design principles, urban drainage solutions and improved transport options.

“The quality of the environment affects the quality of life of residents. Far too often, the ways that humans interact with the built environment is neglected by those responsible for its creation and maintenance.”

Nominated by Russell Jones, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health Image credits: Clyde Gateway and Sheppard Robson

Sustainable Benefits In the case of the Scotland’s Housing Expo £14 million was invested in the Highland economy, providing jobs, new houses and affordable houses, and improving road infrastructure. As in the other examples it shows that sustainability and bland place-making are not synonymous.

Sustainability - Metrics These projects can address the action points raised in the publication Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Commission Scotland, Dec 2010) with regard to providing more leadership and encouragement to local authorities and developers to deliver sustainable communities with enhanced energy performance. Lessons Learnt


Neilston Town Charter Neilston Image credits: Urban Design Skills Ltd

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Empowering citizens to contribute to the social and physical improvement of their neighbourhoods.

Matt Baker, Affiliate Research Fellow, University of Glasgow

“Places belong to people, and the best places are created by the people that own them.”


Collaborative Placemaking Case Study

“There still seems to be a disconnect between the integrative aspirations of planning and urban policy and what actually transpires on the ground�

Neilston Town Charter Neilston Professor Alan Simpson (with previous input from Gehl Architects, Denmark) This project sets out a 20-year vision for Neilston village. It is ambitious, asserting the need for quality regeneration to repair the damage of successive years of clearance and second-rate development. It is fundamentally place-based, but includes social, economic and cultural dimensions. It is flexible in that it sets out key themes and projects, while not committing to hardline proposals. Most importantly, it emerges from an ongoing collaboration between those charged with statutory responsibility for planning and the community whose place it is.

Nominated by Pauline Gallacher Projects Co-ordinator, Neilston Development Trust Budget: Estimated cost of implementing projects ÂŁ15,000,000


Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

CATALYSTS Residents initiate Neilston: Space to Live

Scottish Renaissance Towns Initiative is established

Neilston Development Trust (NDT) formed

The Neilston Town Team established

Intensive public workshop held to define a vision for Neilston



NDT purchases the bank building on the main street under the Community Right to Buy

NDT reopens the Bank after refurbishment

Neilston Town Charter produced A 20-year strategic framework for a variety of scales of development

An agenda for improving sustainability First major Charter project on site. Neilston Community Windfarm LLP

A clear manifesto for the future of Neilston village

Collaborative Placemaking Other Examples

Glorious Govan Glasgow

Deveron Arts Huntly

Glorious Govan is a concept: an idea around which all of Govan can come together. It has grown from years of applied research and capacity building. Individuals and organisations sharing the same vision attract resources for their own projects and work together to develop and communicate a narrative of place.

Deveron Arts places local issues within a global perspective, and vice versa. Since 1995 it has focused on collaborative, sociallyengaged practices, exploring the relationship between artists and the community. Huntly operates as research, studio, gallery and stage for the artists who come to live among the town’s 4,000 residents.

“The policy should support grassroots initiatives (particularly cultural initiatives) that uncover, support and engage community identity and resilience - a networked approach to local planning that uses the best of local knowledge and external perspective.”

“Engaging local people in topics of regional and global concern, Deveron Arts works through its 50/50 motto, bringing together artistic and social relationships in a local/global network that extends throughout and beyond the perimeters of Huntly.”

Nominated by Matt Baker, Affiliate Research Fellow, University of Glasgow

Nominated by Claudia Zieske Deveron Arts

Image credits: Glorious Govan

Image credits: Deveron Arts

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Place - Recognising Public ValueRaising Debate These projects in their related but different ways, underline that placemaking is about people. Their interaction with their own environment is about social and cultural concerns as much as or more than the economic rationalism of the planning system.

Experience of Place Place can be experienced differently as these projects demonstrate, whether in artistic, sensory or design terms. Whatever the approach, such deep engagement leads to powerful narratives that tell the story and so create a distinctive identity.

Participation Beyond Consultation All three examples show that there are many ways to engage the community, and many ways for the community to participate in improving their immediate environment, whether through co-design, co-creativity or co-production.

Lessons Learnt


Castle Street, Rothesay Image credits: Andrew Lee

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place



Contemporary buildings and places with a strong identity respectful of their heritage, landscape and location.

Alain De Botton, Writer

“National architectural identity is created rather than dictated by the soil. History, culture, weather, and geography will offer up a great range of possible themes for architects to respond to.”

Identity, Place and Context Case Study

“Rothesay is brimming with memory, emotion and architecture. Our project to retain and transform the previous Argyll and Bute Council Chambers is one of a series of interventions to create a range of distinctive places. Each takes from the local community - its history and its need to make something special.”

Old Courthouse Rothesay, Isle of Bute Collective Architecture The Old Courthouse in the centre of Rothesay preserves an historic building and strengthens the magical spaces around Rothesay Castle. Re-using the former council chambers and court created 25 homes planned around a new courtyard. This provides circulation and calm whilst the stair tower and lift offer access and privacy. Redevelopment included demolition, facade retention and archaeological investigation. An ambitious client, skilled design team, capable contractor and local craftspersons all contributed to the delivery of the project.

Nominated by Chris Stewart Director, Collective Architecture Client: Fyne Initiative Budget: £4,300,000


Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

CATALYSTS Prominent decay of an important local asset

Client with social responsibility




Combination of refurbishment, new build and restoration Complex construction by local contractor and involvement of diverse specialists



Extensive community consultation with film screening in local cinema


Reinforced identity and regeneration of Rothesay

25 affordable barrier free homes Retention and re-use of a local historical asset

Identity, Place and Context Other Examples

Mount Stuart Visitor Centre Hillhead Primary School Isle of Bute Glasgow Munkenbeck & Marshall Architects

JM Architects

This centre serves Mount Stuart, ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute. A number of tourist facilities are hidden behind louvred wood cladding at ground level and a fully glazed upper restaurant gives views of the ancient woodlands and a taste of the surrounding estate. The strategy was to follow the line of an existing stone dyke allowing the building to slot effortlessly into the landscape and facilitating easy access to both levels.

This school demonstrates how good design and public sector procurement can meet the complex demands of an urban conservation area on the edge of one of Glasgow’s most important green spaces, Kelvingrove Park. By respecting the neighbourhood, its context and physical character, a distinctive place and identity has been created.

“An adequately contextual Scottish building might be defined as one which embodies some of the most desirable values and the highest ambitions of its era and place.”

“There needs to be a promotion of context and place as the root connection to the Scottish landscape both urban and rural as many proposals could be anywhere and are not connected to place.”

Nominated by Alain De Botton Writer

Nominated by Ian Alexander, Design Director, JM Architects

Image credits: Keith Hunter

Image credits: Andrew Lee

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Making Identity Tangible These projects represent a new generation of buildings that are both unashamedly contemporary and forwardlooking and respectful of context, while contributing to local and national identity.

Sustainable Places As well as determining what kind of place we want Scotland to be in the future, these buildings help support economic growth and social well-being. They also show that the built environment is a cross-cutting enterprise, straddling many different disciplines and different kinds of economic and social activity.

Procurement and Place Mount Stuart and the Old Courthouse exemplify good design through private sector entrepreneurship and procurement, and through the relationship between sustainability, local identity and local supply chains. Equally, Hillhead Primary School shows where design and public sector procurement can bring about a sense of place.

Lessons Learnt


Dundee Waterfront Regeneration Image credits: Dundee City Council

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Post-industrial city renewal and redevelopment key to economic and social success.

Jill Farrell Financial Services Director, Scottish Enterprise

“In the current economic climate, with pressure on costs of development, there is a real danger that the aesthetic and user quality of buildings are compromised irrevocably.”


Urban Regneration Case Study

“The waterfront development has been ranked as a UK top 20 regeneration project and is expected to become Scotland’s first sustainable community, which will help developers to meet corporate governance obligations while offering the benefit of lower whole-life development costs.”

Dundee Waterfront Regeneration Dundee City Council and Kevin Murray Associates Since 2001 Dundee City Council and its partner organisations have involved the local community and businesses in the £1bn transformation of Dundee Waterfront, 240ha of land development stretching 8km along the River Tay. It is a strategic, forward-looking project helping to propel the city to international acclaim. Familiar buildings will be gone, roads re-routed, and new civic spaces and buildings created, all to further revitalise the local economy. Public involvement in the project has happened throughout this period, more recently enhanced through the ‘Your Waterfront’ initiative.

Nominated by Mike Galloway Director of City Development, Dundee City Council Client: Dundee City Council & Scottish Enterprise Budget: £73,000,000

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


CATALYSTS £73m of public investment Dundee City Council own 95% of the site

Underused and undervalued existing waterfront


Report was commissioned to identify visionary development options for the central waterfront

Public consultation to discuss and select development options

Public engagement maintained through the Dundee Waterfront website and the ‘Your Waterfront’ initiative


Real commitment to the successful implementation of the masterplan

Construction of a £45m new international cultural attraction

Specific sectors of development are clustered into 5 zones within the masterplan to attract investment £1bn of further investment

Dundee strengthens its reputation as the home of high quality digital media and creative industries

Waterfront development to create 10,000 jobs

Masterplan supports development of Dundee as a strategic site for the renewable energy industries

Urban Regeneration Other Examples

V&A at Dundee Kengo Kuma

The V&A at Dundee, housed in an iconic £45m building by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Dundee Waterfront regeneration. It is due to open in 2015 as a centre for contemporary design, placing Dundee firmly on the international cultural map.

“This is a project that will catalyse the development of the Dundee Waterfront and the surrounding city region. A riverside location provides a high profile site for a unique building which links the river to the city centre and encourages pedestrian use of the riverside around and through the building.”

Nominated by Jill Farrell Financial Services Director, Scottish Enterprise Image credits: Dundee City Council

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Participation beyond Consultation Dundonians have been instrumental in enabling the project to progress from providing garden waste for the nature park to helping decide the winning design for the V&A at Dundee; people have been at the heart of the project throughout. The Waterfront team regularly engages with community groups to update them on progress.

Experience of Place Protagonists Beyond the Council and Scottish Enterprise initiators themselves, local partners have helped propel the development - Chamber of Commerce, City Centre Partnership, Community Councils, Professional Institutes, Rotary and Academia. This has helped secure funding and raise the profile of one of the most significant regeneration projects in the UK.

Sustainability - Making it Tangible With unrivalled potential for wind, wave and tidal power, the Scottish Government has earmarked Dundee as a strategic site for its ambitious targets for on and off-shore renewables. Catalysed by the Waterfront project, the City is rapidly establishing itself as a centre for global renewable research and development. Lessons Learnt


Try Before You Buy Campbeltown Grammar School Image credits: Alan Dimmick

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


A co-design process that actively involves users and meets their needs in the end product.

Thea McMillan, Researcher (PhD), Chambers McMillan

Architecture for all improves everyone’s experience of the built environment; when people feel included both in the process and in the built result, their involvement ensures meaningful and engaged use.”


User Inspired Design Case Study

“All too often, new schools have concentrated on the look of the building rather than on the actual design of the interior and how it would support the needs of the learners.”

Try Before You Buy Campbeltown Grammar School Space Strategies, Argyll and Bute Council, Architecture and Design Scotland As part of their briefing for a new school staff and students participated in designing an interior space to suit the teaching and learning methods required to deliver the Curriculum for Excellence in Campbeltown. Their involvement did not stop at the formation of the brief but carried on through the decision-making process including allocating the budget. The resulting space will evolve as ideas are tested and evaluated prior to the design of their new school. It demonstrates what could be achieved by re-inventing existing school buildings across Scotland.

Nominated by Michael Casey Acting Head teacher, Campbeltown Grammar School Client: Argyll & Bute Council Budget: £75,000 + donated materials


Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Collaborative discussion between Architecture + Design Scotland and Argyll & Bute Council.


Commitment to a user-led strategy for school design

End users participate in workshops and decision-making during the design process

Professional designers worked with staff and student group to produce a visual brief for the project.

Evaluating interior design settings and different learning approaches for Curriculum for Excellence.


A space designed for collaborative learning that can enable a whole year group to work together An innovative final design that has been influenced and shaped by the users themselves

Influence on the future of school design and refurbishment in Scotland

User Inspired Design Other Examples

Collaborative Learning Opportunities James Gillespie’s High School, Edinburgh

Squirrel Cottage Edinburgh Chambers McMillan

Space Strategies

James Gillespie’s High School is being replaced as part of the national Schools for the Future programme. The new school design includes four collaborative learning spaces. Focused consultation and the participation of the school users, significantly transformed the school’s understanding of how these spaces could be used more effectively.

This house is being designed by a whole family to offer their daughter a supportive home environment, not only for her, but for her family and friends too. An inclusive, barrier-free house is not just about being able to get from one floor to the other. Considering movement around a house in a whole new way offers a richness of experience of spaces that is beneficial to everyone.

“Opportunities which potentially exist within new school projects are rarely grasped, and the two most common outcomes appear to be ‘little change’ or ‘radical visions with major flaws’ - perhaps equally frustrating. In this project we tried to break the pattern, to undertake focused consultation with coherent outputs.”

“Imagine that most places you went to worked against you moving easily around them, and every space had been designed with a mobile, upright person in mind.”

Nominated by Keith Thomson, Estate Development Adviser, City of Edinburgh Council Image credits: Space Strategies

Nominated by Thea McMillan, Researcher (PhD), Chambers McMillan Image credits: Chambers McMillan

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Participation beyond Consultation Good design should elevate participation into co-design. Meaningful participation occurs within clear frameworks. Creating these frameworks in a domestic or public setting is one of the strengths of these projects.

Place and Design Thinking Co-design and co-production, which are key strategies for user engagement, require a different way of thinking - design thinking. These projects demonstrate that by democratising the thinking processes and methodologies of designers, more meaningful outcomes can emerge.

Place - Holistic Experience These projects show how to generate a holistic experience of place - places that tell stories about their purpose, such as meeting user needs and aspirations, collaborative learning or social wellbeing. In the case of schools they serve as models for adapting existing school buildings, making them fit for 21stcentury learning.

Lessons Learnt


MAKAR Workshop West Torbeck Inverness Image credits: Neil Sutherland Architects

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place



Research, development and commercial production of Scottishgrown timber products.

Richard Heggie Director, Urban Animation

“We should prioritise locally-sourced sustainable materials, particularly Scottish-grown timber. There is huge potential for timber production and supply. ”

Innovative Timber Products Case Study

“Scotland has to rapidly develop its forestry base, timber resource management, manufacturing/production, employment, supply chain and construction sector through use of an undervalued and readily available natural resource.”

MAKAR Workshop West Torbeck Inverness Neil Sutherland Architects MAKAR produces beam and panel systems with Scottish timber that are energy efficient and quick to build. Its new manufacturing workshop allows MAKAR to significantly increase production and sale of its off-site components and invest in a workforce that includes experienced joiners and apprentices. MAKAR was developed by Neil Sutherland Architects from years of research and a commitment to design, produce and use sustainable building materials. Sutherland’s ambition is truly in sync with the local landscape, climate and ecology.

Nominated by Richard Heggie Director, Urban Animation Client: N/A Budget: £400,000

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Small manufacturing enterprise with ability to expand


ÂŁ400,000 of funding and investment

Commitment to produce sustainable off-site building components In house design and project management from sister company Neil Sutherland Architects

Improved working environment and capacity to increase production


Inspiration and learning from projects in Switzerland

On site construction of new 450m2 workspace

A exemplary building demonstrating potential of construction using locally produced timber Creation of local jobs and skilled workforce


Innovative Timber Products Other Examples

Wood Products Innovation Gateway Edinburgh Napier University

The Wood Products Innovation Gateway initiative supports Scottish companies to develop a range of innovative timber products and construction processes. It intends to engage with more than 600 companies based in Scotland to identify ideas that can be taken from initial appraisal through to full research, development and testing and on to commercial production. In doing so it raises the value of the forest resource in Scotland. The images demonstrate the outcome of this technology and research and their possible applications.

Nominated by Peter Wilson, The Wood Studio, Edinburgh Napier University Image credits: Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee

“At its core is the idea of bringing to commercial production at least 20 new products, process improvements and construction systems that make exemplary use of Scottish grown timber‌and that, progressively, a new modern architectural language indigenous to Scotland and its materials can begin to emerge.â€?

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Networks - Investing in the Future Key to MAKAR’s progress are local relationships and networks of practice. As well as encouraging local planning reform, time has been invested in local collaborations and developing a network of local businesses in which mutual learning and product development are a priority. Equally, investment in long-term apprenticeships is seen as key to future success.

Re-using Existing Assets The commercial housing industry favours imported timber, overlooking local building materials. And a segmented approach to research in design, construction and materials has led to a de-skilling of the workforce and an innovation deficit. These projects are reversing this trend and rebuilding awareness in the education/research and construction sectors.

Networks - Generating Change There is now a growing innovation network building a new appreciation of local materials in the creative economy. of the Highlands along with Rural Studio and Dualchas, MAKAR works with the Wood Products Innovation Gateway, taking the local landscape, climate and resources as the starting point and driving demand for a higher value industry.

Lessons Learnt


Glentress Peel, Peebles Image credits: Michael Wolchover, Slight Shift Photography

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place



Creating distinctive, sustainable buildings with exceptional environmental performance.

Matt Bridgestock Director, John Gilbert Architects

“Architecture based on local resources promotes enterprise, new products and ideas. Together they can reduce our carbon emissions and give long lasting, contemporary buildings rooted in their place.”

Building Sustainably Case Study

“Glentress Peel uses the wealth of different types of Scottish timber to create a contemporary visitor centre. It uses natural materials throughout and its ‘eco minimal’ approach means it has a low carbon footprint and is cheap to run.”

Glentress Peel Peebles Gaia Architects This Forestry Commission centre is built on fully sustainable principles using timber from the surrounding forest. A major attraction for mountain bikers, the new centre offers modern facilities including an orientation centre and separate café and bike shop. Douglas fir was used for trusses, cladding and decking, Scottish oak for windows and birch for internal doors. The centre is heated by woodchip and rainwater flushes the toilets and washes muddy bikes. A traditional contract allowed control of materials, ensuring the building’s green credentials.

Nominated by Matt Bridgestock Director, John Gilbert Architects Client: Forestry Commission Scotland Budget: £8,500,000


Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Under-utilised and diverse local timber supply

ÂŁ8.5m investment Design team selected for their experience in delivering sustainable buildings

High standard of construction achieved through careful design, and management of work on site


Community engagement with dedicated website updating wider users


A building that regulates internal moisture levels Renewable energy used to heat building

An energy efficient building Materials specified for a healthy indoor environment On-site rainwater recycling

A new visitor centre with cafe and bike shop 300,000 visitors per year

Building Sustainably Other Examples

The Houl Dalry Simon Winstanley Architects

Scottish Housing Expo Inverness Various Architects

The Houl is a contemporary ‘long house’, sustainably constructed and low in energy consumption. It achieves a ‘zero carbon’ rating by using very high levels of insulation, whole house heat recovery ventilation, an air source heat pump and a wind turbine. The house uses mainstream construction with a cost per square metre equivalent to current social housing.

The Expo prioritised the sustainable design and performance of the buildings, some of which are to be monitored over a two-year period. This will examine both the quantitative performance and qualitative experiences of building-users, helping to close a gap between design expectation and actual building performance, which is currently substantial.

“Public awareness and expectation of good-quality low-energy housing is greater than the level of provision within the general housing market. Standards need to be raised to meet this expectation.”

“Current agendas have tended to focus on visual appearance, leading to a superficial concept of design. Architecture should have substance and purpose beyond this.”

Nominated by Simon Winstanley, Principal, Simon Winstanley Architects Image credits: Andrew Lee

Nominated by Tim Sharpe, Director, Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit Image credits: Ewen Wetherspoon

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Sinosteel Plaza Lighting Design Tianjin, China Speirs + Major

Sustainability - Making it Tangible These projects, big and small, test the full reach of the sustainability agenda. The Scottish Housing Expo was the ideal site to push innovation. Importantly, the projects convey this message in the context of a contemporary architectural aesthetic.

The lighting design for this 350m tower enhances the architectural form and structure using a constantly animated ‘swarm of light’. The impact is strong and engaging yet uses very limited amounts of light energy. Speirs + Major, a design practice credited with raising awareness of the lighting design profession globally, received the commission through a competitive bid.

“Sustainability is a broad and complex issue. Low energy does not mean a project cannot look good. Sustainability should be built into design, not considered as a separate activity.”

Nominated by Keith Bradshaw, Director, Speirs + Major Image credits: Spiers + Major

Networks - Creating Capacity Public initiatives such as the Scottish Housing Expo help boost wider awareness of the need to build sustainably at a large scale. It is important that its lessons interconnect with smaller scale successful examples such as the Houl, creating a national network and spreading knowledge and awareness.

Sustainability – Exporting Skills These projects demonstrate how Scotland could become world-leading by exporting its architecture and design capabilities; in the case of the Sinosteel Plaza Lighting, by promoting low-energy sustainable design solutions that also impact economically and socially.

Lessons Learnt


National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Image credits: Andrew Lee

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place



Procurement practice that delivers design quality and supports talent, innovation and risk.

Gareth Hoskins Director, Gareth Hoskins Architects

“The first and most fundamental priority in achieving a well-designed built environment is to create a culture and public procurement system that understands and allows good design to happen.”

Procurement Supporting Opportunity Case Study

“Encouragement and fostering of young practices and in particular faith that a Scottish practice can deliver, are hugely important for developing home grown talent and to cultivate a culture that values design quality within Scotland.”

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Gareth Hoskins Architects Procured through a competition, this is the most comprehensive redevelopment of the Museum’s buildings and displays since its opening in 1866. The museum has returned to its Victorian splendour and now exhibits more objects from the national collection than ever before. The new entrance hall provides access to all the additional public spaces and facilities expected of a 21st-century museum without compromising the galleries above. The procurement method with its emphasis on design quality and approach over fee gave a then young practice the opportunity to compete for this major public project.

Nominated by Gareth Hoskins Director, Gareth Hoskins Architects Client: National Museums Scotland Budget: £47,400,000

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Redevelopment of Scottish National Museums complex needed

£47.4m Budget



8 year process of design, renovation and build

Visitor use patterns and consultations with staff


Design competition and competitive interview to select designer



A wide range of specialised professionals involved

More than 1 million visitors in first 4 months of opening

Museum revived as a world class national asset

Encouraging message to young architectural practices in Scotland Recognition that Scotland is a country with highly competent and skilled built environment professionals


Procurement Supporting Opportunity Other Examples

Pier Arts Centre Stromness, Orkney

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee

Reiach and Hall Architects

Richard Murphy Architects

The Pier Arts Centre is a shining example of the benefits of competitions, good clientship and relationship building, recognised through numerous national and international awards. It also impacts upon issues of identity, the attractiveness of place, culture and the creative rural economy.

Thanks to a well-run competition, combining the need for galleries, cinema, research centre, print studio, and bar/restaurant, Dundee has an outstanding arts centre. Starting with a redundant, near-derelict garage, Richard Murphy Architects merged the local vernacular with influences from Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa to create a sense of place and an inspired centre.

“Commissioning and delivering a building can rarely be a risk free venture. In the struggle to eradicate risk from the building process we are in danger of eradicating architecture at the same time.”

“Architecture was the one art form that Scotland made her own. There is very little evidence of this today. PFI schemes, design build and the commissioning of architecture by builders, have reduced innovation and created bland buildings with little architectural distinction.”

Nominated by Penny Lewis, Lecturer, Robert Gordon University

Nominated by Murray Grigor, Architecture Film-maker and Writer

Image credits: Reiach and Hall Architects

Image credits: Keith Hunter

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

The Hen House Fiscavaig, Isle of Skye Rural Design

Procurement and Opportunity These projects show how design quality, delivery of best value and public sector procurement need not be mutually exclusive. Importantly, they demonstrate how procurement can open up opportunities for younger architects.

Creating fertile ground for quality architecture, as in the case of the Hen House, means recognising the need for different procurement processes. Informed local dialogue and decision-making, rather than the rigid application of outdated policy guidance has resulted in a sustainable and innovative approach to architecture that enhances the rural landscape.

“There are plenty of good architects, policy should ensure that their work is encouraged, and not prevented by planning and procurement policies.�

Nominated by Alan Dickson, Director, Rural Design Image credits: Andrew Lee

Procurement and Cultural Value Creativity, design, innovation and heritage coalesce in these projects and so help promote our cultural identity at an international level. They have also opened new opportunities for the creative and cultural industries, and new ways of engaging with arts and cultural heritage.

Procurement and Recognition Celebrating achievement is crucial in promoting good design and creating further opportunities. The National Museum of Scotland and the Pier Arts Centre both won the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award. The success of these projects highlights the factors at work in attaining a high quality built environment.

Lessons Learnt


Consultation and Feedback

Within the exhibition five postcards were used to gather visitors views and feedback on issues pertinent to the architecture and placemaking policy. These were a mixture of tick box optional answers and open questions. One postcard was aimed at a younger audience. The following summarises the feedback and comments received. 10,917 people visited the exhibition over three months. In total there were 408 completed postcards. The issues of importance in relation to the development of local areas were green spaces, public spaces for people to meet and transport links. The least important aspect for the development of local areas was car parking provision Respondents rated well designed as most important to them in relation to the quality and commissioning of public buildings.

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Public buildings should also be energy efficient, re-use existing buildings and enhance the surrounding area in the priorities of respondents. The best method selected to involve people in the development of buildings and places is events and exhibitions along with online activities and workshops. Membership groups or committees was the least popular way to involve people in architecture and places. Well designed housing and neighbourhoods featured in the building nominations alongside modern re-use of existing buildings and landscape/ public spaces. Accessibility to buildings, architecture with a Scottish identity that fits its surroundings, sensitive re-use of existing buildings and user involvement were all mentioned repeatedly in thoughts about buildings and places.


Consultation and Feedback Postcard Responses


Postcard 1 What is important to you about the development of your local area?


Postcard 2 What is important to you about the commissioning and quality of public buildings?


Postcard 3 What methods could be used to involve you in the development of buildings and places?


Postcard 4 Nominate a building or place that highlights an issue important to you and explain why.

Postcard 5 Children’s Postcard - What do you think about buildings and places?

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


What is important to you about the development of your local area?

Respondents were asked to select the three most important. Number of responses:119






Development should encourage community, collaboration and sense of place.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12



Green Spaces Public Spaces / places to meet Transport links Walkable Neighbourhoods Care of Local Heritage Safety Local Shops and Services Cyclepaths and Routes Quality of New Buildings Community Facilities Places to Play Car Parking Provision

More rubbish bins, free fun places for children to socialise, invest in community facilities for young and old. Recognising the need for the new, sustainable, energy efficient, infrastructure, while cherishing old heritage buildings.

2 5

Selection of comments:

18% 15% 12% 11% 9% 7% 7% 6% 6% 6% 2% 1%

“Recognising the existing strengths of a place and enhancing these rather than simply adding something new or a new feature.”

An important and often overlooked aspect of local planning and building is its soundscape. The aural quality of and area is very important. Reduce the domination of the motor car. Delivery of green spaces and walkable neighbourhoods should help deliver other aspects such as public spaces and safety. We need to think of these areas as multifunctional, particularly if we are going to convince developers to invest. Plenty of outdoor usable spaces - to sit, play, eat and enjoy trees, WATER, and plants in.

Consultation and Feedback Postcard Responses

What is important to you about the commissioning and quality of public buildings? Respondents were asked to select the three most important. Number of responses: 109



9 10

Selection of comments: Public buildings should be a role model and use sustainable materials and green energy. Landscaping is very important. As a visitor from Australia, your architecture is fabulous but often the landscaping and integration into the surrounding area lets it down.




If we are to achieve our aim to become a greener Scotland this must extend to building methods and materials. Far easier to build in than retrofit. This should become an integral part of Scottish design and character.

5 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Well Designed Energy Efficient Re-use Existing Buildings Enhances the Surrounding Area Accessible Building and Location Uses Sustainable Materials Uses Local Materials Local Consultation Supports Scottish Companies Cost Effective

19% 16% 13% 13% 10% 10% 6% 4% 4% 4%

“Having community forums that the public can go to and see the different designs is very important.�

Costs should include Public Art. Architecture should promote artistic freedom rather than constraint, which is so often the case these days.

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


What methods could be used to involve you in the development of buildings and places? Respondents were asked to select the three best methods. Number of responses: 82





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Providing opportunities outside long dull council meetings is key. Local exhibitions would use local spaces and be more interactive. Committees = very bad idea, limits involvement.

6 5

Selection of Comments:

2 3

Events and Exhibitions 26% Online Information and Activities 15% Workshops 15% Local Meetings 10% Volunteering 9% Social Media groups 9% Questionnaire 8% Membership Groups or Committees 7%

“Explain to people why they should care about their urban environment. Explain how the design process and end result can be shaped by their actions..”

Social/online media reaches such a large percentage of the population, it allows people to really connect with ideas. Questionnaires allow limited expression, long process. Meetings are better in order to express opinions + involve the community - so long as they are well advertised + accessible to all. Needs to be balance between new and old ways of engaging. One obstacle is always getting beyond the interested few. That’s why I think committees should be avoided in favour of open meeting and social media. People need to be aware that they have the option to input, often this is poorly advertised.

Consultation and Feedback Postcard Responses

Nominate a building or place that highlights an issue important to you and explain why. Number of responses: 48 Selection of nominations: Home We have just moved into a flat opposite the North Kelvin Meadow, its beautiful to have the green trees and space in the city. Pier Arts Centre, Stromness The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney is a beautifully simple building, designed with great care, full of surprising views, brilliant surfaces/ textures & space to breathe. I loved it. Housing Expo, Inverness Sustainable Neighbourhoods are so important in promoting safe, attractive neighbourhoods, place with a sense of community to improve the health and well-being of residents. Bilston Glen, Midlothian People are reusing things thrown out to construct, shelters and housing in the woods. I’m not suggesting that all buildings be constructed like these, but we should be using materials that would otherwise go to the dumps/landfill. Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Bloated idea in the wrong place - would look great in Barcelona. Buildings need to ‘fit’ eg the Burrell - Brilliant.

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

Clyde Clipper A trip on the Clyde Clipper shows money needs spending on clean up with rotting quaysides, desolate areas, rubbish floating everywhere very despairing, but other places looking good! Crown Street, Glasgow The Crown Street Project in the Gorbals of Glasgow has shown that we can do it! We just have to do it again and again. Princes Square, Glasgow Good use of existing space, integration into surrounding architecture, good public art features. Armadale, West Lothian I have passed this new development here on the train several times recently. Each time I see it develop a little further into an ‘anyplace’ that is delivered to a major house builders agenda. There’s no character here, nothing to distinguish it from any other site this developer has. Worryingly, it also looks like business as usual for delivery of streetscape - The car is still king..... yet another wasted opportunity. Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen A beautiful Victorian park in the heart of the city centre which is now facing demolition thanks to the oil greedy big shots. Not to mention the council and their undemocratic manner.


Red Road, Glasgow Don’t put people in buildings where nobody actually wants to live. The Scottish Landscape The Scottish landscape + how buildings fit. Buildings cannot be built without thought for where they are. Springhill Cohousing, Stroud It offers hope for housing tenure and home ownership.

Consultation and Feedback Postcard Responses

gs I th in k bu ildin r th e fo sh ou ld be go od t en en vi ro nm

I lik e bu ildings ks th at h ave n oo to s ie n an cr an d ex pl ore. ...

I lik e bu ildings w it h old an d new bi ts ...

I lik e ildings bu d ol te re st ing in h it w hi st or ie s. .

“I think buildings should be built for the people who use them and that they should respond to their needs first and foremost.�

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place


Children’s Postcard What do you think about buildings and places?

Number of responses: 50 Many of the responses to this postcard were drawings, below is a selection of the written comments. I think buildings should take the environment into account but also be accessible and enjoyable for the users. I like Buildings that make the most of natural light and spaces to bring the outside in. I like Buildings that provoke thought… that make younger generations want to design and innovate. I like Buildings that fit with their surroundings but create enough interest through their form and relationship to their surroundings to surprise and interest me. Having a Scottish Identity without being too tied to the past is also important. I don’t want to feel as if I could be anywhere in the UK. I think buildings should be built to last longer. And so they can be used for lots of things. I love old buildings… There is a feeling of history woven into the fabric of the building. New materials in old buildings = Perfect compromise. The space between the buildings is the most important thing.

Buildings have a massive impact on how we feel about our towns and if they inspire they ensure everyone respects their towns. Great spaces have a much bigger impact that we are aware of. I don’t think much about them at all. I tend to think more about work and food like mashed potato and sausages and tinned tomatoes and when I can next have some. I think there should be recycling of old and listed buildings so you get new facilities but keep a sense of history. There is a need to make buildings and places more accessible. I would like to see planners + architects have a bigger awareness of inclusive/ universal design rather than simply meeting minimum legislative standards.

Education Workshops

In May 2012 Architecture and Design Scotland worked with young people examining some of the selected buildings in this exhibition. We asked them for their opinions, what did they like, love, hate, what would they have designed, why did they think it was designed in that way. Were the buildings Eco, modern, changed for the better, loved by their community.

Input + Ideas Rethinking Scotland’s Policy on Architecture and Place

In Rothesay we worked with the young people to examine the Old Courthouse building that has been developed into flats. In Innerleithen, we worked with primary children evaluating the landscape and how it is mirrored by the Glentress visitor centre and surrounding buildings. In Glasgow we worked with the pupils of Hillhead Primary School to audit their new school and how they use it. In Edinburgh we worked with James Gillespie High School, visiting the National Museum of Scotland and examining what is important in a cultural building and how much it has changed since the redevelopment. In all these workshops the children learnt about the architecture of the spaces they were visiting, how to annotate their thoughts visually and creatively and how to record and evaluate a space on a site visit. As content for the exhibition a film was created. The film is a short dissemination of the educational process, the final edits of the young peoples’ film work and thoughts on the architecture they interacted with.



Curated by: Architecture and Design Scotland and Prof Stuart McDonald OBE Education Workshops: Architecture and Design Scotland Design and Graphics: Collective Architecture Film making: Sasquatch Productions Exhibition Images: Alan Dimmick With thanks to: All film interview participants All survey respondants All workshop participants – Hillhead Primary School, James Gillespie’s High School, Rothesay Primary School and St Ronan’s Primary School. All workshop locations - Glentress Peel, Hillhead Primary School, National Museum of Scotland and The Old Courthouse, Fyne Homes. All of the organisations who supplied images and information for the exhibition. All photographers for use of images. We have made every effort to receive permissions to use all images. We wish to thank in advance anyone we have inadvertently omitted.

The Scottish Government is the principal sponsor of Architecture and Design Scotland’s programme of architecture and outreach activities based at The Lighthouse

Input + Ideas Exhibition Resource Pack  

Rethinking Scotland's Policy on Architecture and Place

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