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Scotland + Venice


PAST + FUTURE - AN INTRODUCTION is credited to the following contributors and guests:

Neil Gillespie OBE RSA (Elect) FRIAS RIBA Design Director, Reiach and Hall Architects, Visiting Professor of Architecture, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Robert Gordon Univeristy Miles Glendinning Professor of Architectural Conservation, The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Margaret Richards FRIAS Chris Rankin Partner, rankinfraser landscapearchitecture, Part Time Lecturer at The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Angus Farquhar Creative Director, NVA Dr Jonathan Charley Director of Cultural Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde Ellis Woodman Critic at large, Architects Journal Laura Kinnaird Associate, Reiach and Hall Architects Lewis Thomson Assistant, Reiach and Hall Architects Catriona Scott Proofreader, Reiach and Hall Architects In addition we would like to thank the Scotland + Venice Partner Team (The Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and The British Council), Architecture & Design Scotland and the Saltire Society. We also thank Reiach and Hall Architects.



Scotland + Venice TEXT BY IAN GILZEAN

Scottish architecture was first presented at the Venice Biennale on Architecture in 2004. In that year, The Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for architecture and design, was invited to show NORD’s Landforms exhibition, which presented developments in Scottish architecture since the establishment of Scotland’s devolved government in 1999. In 2008, The Lighthouse ran an architectural competition, following which it invited Gareth Hoskins Architects to present Gathering Place in Venice, a large scale timber staircase which provided a temporary public forum for debate and discussion on architecture as well as a place to meet friends and enjoy the view over the Grand Canal. Since 2010, Scotland + Venice, which is a partnership between Creative Scotland, the British Council (Scotland) and the Scottish Government has overseen the curation of Scottish projects connected to the Venice Biennale. This partnership first came together in 2010 to enable a group of academics, artists, writers, architects and landscape architects, under the direction of the Scottish arts organisation NVA, to gather in Venice during the Biennale to discuss the future of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. The event-based approach of To Have and to Hold enabled the attraction of a high level of international engagement in an issue that was both a matter of national importance and international interest. The outcome of that event influenced the decision-making process regarding the future of the Seminary and helped to garner support for the work that is presently being carried out by NVA to secure a creative future use for the building. This very positive outcome also shaped thinking on the many potential benefits of an engagement-based approach rather than the presentation of pre-prepared exhibitions, and the 2010 event marked a step change in developing a strong and distinctive Scottish presence. Following the success of To Have and to Hold, the Scotland + Venice partnership oversaw Critical Dialogues in 2012. For Critical Dialogues, the opportunity was taken to enable a team of young Glasgow-based practices to take their work to Venice and create a Scottish ‘studio’ in Venice. This was very

much also in line with the aims of Scotland’s national policy on architecture to help young practices gain experience and raise their profile. Dr Jonathan Charley from the University of Strathclyde acted as Project Director. The four practices selected for the project comprised:- DO Architecture; GRAS; Pidgin Perfect; and Stone Opera. The project explored the social role of the architect and the creative boundaries of architecture. The project again took an event-based, discursive approach which this time engaged with the city and the local neighbourhoods of Cannaregio and Castello. Critical Dialogues was the winner of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) medal for architecture. The medal is awarded specifically to “outstanding work to encourage younger architects”. It was also seen as important that there should be a legacy of the project within Scotland and so, as well as showing at the RSA gallery, there were a series of related events including an installation at The Lighthouse in Glasgow presenting the project. This year, for Past + Future, Reiach and Hall will continue the research and event-based approach which also connects to the British Pavilion’s exploration of the international influence of Modernism within the UK. As with the 2010 and 2012 Scottish projects, it is the intention to contribute to a wider international debate in Venice as well as creating a legacy of ideas and outputs which will form part of a series of events in Scotland during 2015.




Venice reclines like some aged dowager, her fading beauty and increasingly delicate marble features still captivate us. In her younger days she spurned the advances of modernity. The great architectural princes of the modern era Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier all came to court her, all were turned away. It seems ironic therefore that this Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, should turn its gaze on Modernity and its Past Histories, here of all places. In Venice the harsh tongue of the modernist has seldom been heard and when it has, it has been honed and refined by the impeccable manners and skills of a Scarpa or a Fehn to a whisper, barely audible to the delicate Venetian ear. It could be said that here in Venice and at the Biennale particularly there is little evidence of the “absorption of modernism’’ or a bruising ‘’encounter’’ between the local and the modern. Biennale curator Rem Koolhaas states: “Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects. After several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories – on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years. In three complementary manifestations… this retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture’s fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today.’’ Koolhaas goes on: ‘’In 1914, it made sense to talk about a “Chinese” architecture, a “Swiss” architecture, an “Indian” architecture. One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity.’’ Rem Koolhaas is a man at the centre, his vision is focused. He hails from the Low Countries, a geography that knows the risks of doing nothing, of letting the dyke fall into disrepair. He talks of Modernism as an architectural language that has been universally absorbed ‘’eroding the national characteristics in favour of an almost universal adoption of a single language.’’ Modernism to him is second nature. Removed from the centre our contemporary gaze is peripheral. Modernism in architecture in Scotland has always seemed fragile, support liable to dry up at any moment. This is not to say modern buildings haven’t been built here. We are equally prone to characterless and banal modern building that masquerades as modern architecture. All too rarely however have we experienced the potential of modern architecture. Scots have traditionally left Scotland to seek the modern, to seek the new. There was a moment however when Scotland lead the world, when Scotland was a destination, a full culture. The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th century Scotland which was characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific

accomplishments. The Scottish Enlightenment held to a belief in the ability of humanity guided by reason to effect changes for the better in society and nature. This gave the Scottish Enlightenment its special flavour, distinguishing it from its continental European counterpart. An idea of betterment through reason, modernism should sit easily in this context. Scotland + Venice 2014 takes the opportunity, afforded by Absorbing Modernity 19142014, to open up a debate within Scotland about our contemporary situation by looking back to a recent past history. The period selected is 1950 – 1970, the immediate post war period was one of great optimism when a light of modernity shone with some clarity, some sense of direction and some sense of identity. When there seemed to be a collective desire to improve the built environment for the average citizen through design. There also seemed to be a paradoxical link between the desire for total renewal and a deep attachment to the past. Through a series of reflections on this recent past history could there be rekindling of a desire to create a new architectural culture that is based on betterment, socially and culturally? The architects of this period, 1950 – 1970, are disappearing. That we should be looking at this period is particularly poignant for in the past few months we have lost the most celebrated and influential, Andy McMillan and Isi Metzstein of Gillespie Kidd and Coia. The catalyst for our approach to Scotland + Venice 2014 is a small book, a forgotten book perhaps but a critically important book. Alan Reiach and Robert Hurd wrote, Building Scotland, Past and Future, A Cautionary Guide, published by the Saltire Society in 1944. It was a call to arms. Building Scotland was an early Scottish Architectural Policy. It was a manifesto for a better place. In it they summoned architects to look to the brighter, fresher modern architecture that was being constructed throughout mainland Europe and beyond. However they cautioned their readers, on being mindful of their Scottish past, a past based on simplicity, appropriateness, common sense and a sense of community. The attitude and sentiments had a direct line back to the Scottish Enlightenment. What is astonishing is the pairing of Reiach and Hurd, we now think of them as Reiach the modernist and Hurd the conservationist. Yet at the time of the books writing there was no real distinction, practitioners seemed to have a strong spirit of collectivism. They presented a shared attitude that seems remarkable in today’s culture of specialism and division. It was generalist thinking that was the basis of a Scottish education. During the period from the mid 1950’s to the 1970’s architects designed and built in a confident and contemporary language that somehow felt appropriate to Scotland: Peter Womersley in his Bernat Klein Studio and Gala Fairydean Stadium created structures of rare crystalline bravura that any of the acclaimed South American masters would be proud of. Many others including Morris and Steadman, Avisfield House; Michael Shewan’s Grays School of Art; Richard McCarron’s Our Lady of Sorrows on South Uist, John L Paterson at


Carrbridge Visitor Centre; Alan Reiach’s Kildrum Church; Maurice Hickey at Dam Stadium, Ayr; Stuart Renton’s Houses at Nether Liberton and Loch Rannoch; Gillespie Kidd and Coia at St Peters Cardross and St Brides Church;. Alison and Hutchison social housing in Leith; Robert Matthew’s tower for Dundee University; the list goes on. Their work was as interesting as any, their language as sophisticated. While unashamedly contemporary their work seemed to have a resonance with a particular landscape and cultural sensibility. Theirs was an architecture where the ego of the aesthete was tempered by the needs of the occupant and the theoretical was made real through the ordinary act of making. All too often today we see the facility of the draftsman reign uncritically. Much of this work now lies in ruins, neglected, the scene of social despair rather than the utopias that the architects of the day imagined. Is this ruin a response to a failed architectural language or is it a failure of council policy and maintenance?

Scotland : The introductory paper contains a collection of essays and provocations that explore or open up the debate they are suggestive of other topics that might be explored. Social housing - Miles Glendinning cases a stir. Stephen Games speaking of, Architectures Evil Empire? The Triumph and Tragedy of Global Modernism says ‘’Glendinning’s view is that a culture of communalism that gave architecture a valuable coherence even in its most despised periods - Victoriana and 20th-century Modern - has finally broken down, leaving the landscape wrecked by vulgar, unnecessarily expensive, attentionseeking would-be icons.’’ Landscape - Chris Rankin through a photographic essay considers the landscape of modernist icons. An Interview with Margaret Richards - reflects on the early part of the period and the important figures of that time Modernizing traditionalists - Neil Gillespie in praise of the in between. Community based activism - Jonathan Charley presents the case for a socially minded architecture. Cumbernauld - Lewis Thomson explores the myth making mega structure of Cumbernauld. Reuse of modernist icon - Angus Farquar of NVA poses the case for re-use of modernist ruins. Ruinenlust – Neil Gillespie muses on the sentimental attraction to the failed Scotland + Venice 2014 has selected four groups of architects, academics and students to each re-search an area and/or an aspect within Scottish architecture broadly contained within the period i.e. 1950 to 1970. Their research is personal, it is not exhaustive, it attempts to evoke and illustrate the nature of the fundamentals, Koolhaas refers to. The research probes architectural foundations, it attempts to unearth memories and critical lost figures. The outcome of their research will be a number of leads and revelations that will stimulate more focused, future research and gain more importantly a realisation that Scotland had a firm and relevant modernist foundation. Research into past architectures and architectural figures serves to give a context to current thinking and to embed the researchers own thinking and work into an architectural continuum. The selection of the architects, building or buildings is be at the discretion of the individual groups however the selection will collectively embody issues of people, public, the North, material, atmosphere and making. The very brief period of study each group has had will be presented in a series of newspapers. Each newspaper will contain as well as illustrations and photographs, essays and texts from people who have a connection to the buildings selected or more general commentaries on modern architecture in Scotland. They include contributions from artists and authors, practitioners and academics. They include interviews with architects from the period. The newspapers will be lively, visually exciting and offer threads of comment and insight that might generate research in the future.


Venice: Following the initial research and exploration in Scotland the groups will participate in the Biennale itself. They will take their discoveries and narratives in the form of the printed publications to Venice. The groups will have a base within the British Pavilion from which they will conduct the second part of the Scotland+ Venice proposals. Each group will be in Venice for a week. While in Venice and continuing on the theme of re-discovery, the groups will interrogate the Biennale, Absorbing Modernity 1914 – 2014. They will seek out architects and academics from other countries and pavilions in order to unearth their past histories. Each group will record these stories and images and create a web of past histories that in turn can be brought back to Scotland. The real outcome however of all these conversations and explorations is about making connections, about forging new ties to architects and architectures in order to understand the particular traits of our own heritage and culture. Each week a group will hosts an informal presentation/discussion on a Friday evening in the Ludoteca with invited guests. Scotland + Venice : On return to Scotland the research unearthed in Scotland plus the experience of being in Venice and the interrogation of the Biennale will be brought together in a series of events to be organized by Architecture and Design Scotland. It is hoped that the research into a particular period of Scottish Architecture will seed future research that could be continued within the schools of architecture, to record and explore the forgotten legacy and potency of the Scottish modernists. It is hoped that there will be a reissue and re-evalution of Building Scotland, Past and Future, revised and updated by the Saltire Society. The re-issue could respond to Reiach and Hurd’s call and question whether the spirit of their concerns has been answered or indeed does it continue to be relevant in an increasingly acquisitive society? Scotland + Venice 2014 set four hares running, we could have identified 10 groups, 100 groups, 1000 groups, each would have brought their insight, their creativity, their preconceptions and dogmas to bear as each of the four selected have done. The critical outcome of the Past and Future Scotland + Venice, 2014, is that it assists architects regain their place at the centre of issues that affect the built environment and people’s lives.




“ Fifty years ago we replaced traditional beauty with dullness . . .



. . . and we are still doing the so to-day




BEING THERE, THE FIERCE AND BEAUTIFUL WORLD Venice Residency: 26th September - 4th October

This publication covers Edinburgh and the Southeast of Scotland. Due to the large number of potentially relevant buildings, we have narrowed the width of our gaze to look simply at works built during the 1960’s by three extinct architectural practices; Peter Womersley, Rowand Anderson Kininmonth and Paul, and Alison and Hutchison. Only a handful of modernist buildings in Scotland are known outside Scotland – some of the projects featured here are barely known outwith their local communities. Like virtually all modernist buildings of the era, the intentions of the architects and the reaction by the public were often completely misaligned. Through exposure, engagement and use, the projects now stimulate topophilic, as well as topophobic responses – familiarity breeds affection as well as contempt. We comment on the current dissonance in Scottish Architecture and ask if the needs of our collective memory are effecting a timely re-evaluation and re-presentation of our recent architectural past. Many believe that the buildings of the 1960’s have failed - but as roger Connah said: ‘failure isn’t always quite what we expect it to be.’

‘Being There’ was prepared by the following group: James Grimley Director, Reiach and Hall Architects, Part-time Studio Tutor at The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Chris Lowry Lecturer in Architecture, The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Fergus David The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Sophie Crocker The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA)

A timeline could illustrate connections to the Scotland + Venice teams. The Dictionary of Scottish Architects (DSA) alone has over 15,000 entries for architects known to have worked in Scotland during 1840-1980. We acknowledge there are likely ommisions to this diagram.

Alexander Thomson

Patrick Geddes R. R. Anderson

J. A. Campbell J. J. Burnet

C. R. MackIntosh

Robert Lorimer

Patrick Abercrombie

Edwin A. F. B. Lutyens Paul

Frank Mears

Walter Alison T. S. Tait

Robert Bruce

George Shanks

Fred Wylie William Kininmonth

Robert Hurd Jack Coia

Robert Matthew

Walter Underwood

R. F. D. G. Alan Hutchison Bannerman Reiach

Betty Moira

John Buchanan Glover Campbell

Basil Margaret Sam W. N. W. Richard Warnett Stirrat Hugh Spence Broadie Bunton Ramsay Moira Kennedy Andrew Wilson William JohnsonMarshall

Ralph Peter Erskine Ferguson

EMBEDDED MODERNISM Venice Residency: 3rd October - 11th October

Glasgow is like Venice, but where you have water we have a gird of streets, on what is built some of the finest 19th century architecture in the world. When Glasgow met the 20th century it threatened to be overwhelmed by the new ideas of planning and building. You kept it out - Glasgow embraced it but deep in the city a very particular architecture emerged that both bedded itself into the city but at the same time allowed a skyline to grow out of it that was new and different. The theme of the Venice Biennale has allowed us to look at the story of this distinctive approach.

‘Embedded Modernism’ was prepared by the following group: Alan Hooper Architect, Programme Leader, Department of Architecture, The Glasgow School of Art David Page Architect at Page/Park Architects, Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde Andrew Frame University of Strathclyde Christopher Dove The Glasgow School of Art Fraser Maitland University of Strathclyde Jamie Whelan The Glasgow School of Art

Ralph An Cowan W

Jack Holme

LAND WORKS Venice Residency: 10th October - 18th October

A series of reconnaissance exercises undertaken to observe three site specific concrete structures of the Scottish landscape within a triptych framework of ‘above’, ‘on’ and ‘below’ - Water Tower at Nybster - Loch Glascarnoch Dam Ceannacroc (underground) Hydro Station. The fieldwork studies are mapping works in progress; on-going development along various lines of enquiry into the adapted modernism of infrastructure and architecture as a visual language used in the Scottish Highlands during the 1950s. The projects selected provide comparative case studies in the use of form, scale, materials, space and time. In parallel with our fieldwork studies the ideas and influences of the progressive Scottish generalist tradition, advocated by Patrick Geddes (1854 1932), is acknowledged as a preamble to the evolving modernism of the 1950s.

‘Land Works’ was prepared by the following group: Fergus Purdie RSA (Elect), Architect at Fergus Purdie Architects, Part-time Studio Tutor School of the Environment, University of Dundee Rowan Mackinnon-Pryde Architect at Reiach and Hall Architects, Associate AE Foundation Associate, Editor of Matzine Ashley Tosh Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University William Purdie University of Strathclyde

nthony Frank Peter Peter Michael Jack Alison Geoffrey Wheeler Sproson Williams Smithson Shewan Oberlander Smithson Copcutt

k es



Eric Hall

Andrew Peter James Jackson Womersley Gowan

James Stirling

Charles Andrew Isi Robertson MacMillan Metzstein

James Renton Robert Steedman

James Margaret Morris Richards

Frank Mark Malcolm Alan Charlie Miles Walker Baines BainesGlendinning Glendinning Fraser Hooper Hussey

Penny Lewis

Chris Samuel Rankin Penn

John Andrew Iain Neil David Richard Fergus Charlie James Andrea Richards Merrylees MacLaren Gillespie Page Murphy Purdie Sutherland Grimley Faed

Rowan Mackinnon- Lewis Thomson Pride Laura Kinnaird

Cameron McEwan

OUTSIDERS Venice Residency: 17th October - 25th October

Outsiders looks at three works: the competition entry for Kirkcaldy Crematorium by Alison and Peter Smithson (1954); Grays School of Art, Aberdeen by Michael Shewan (1966); and Andrew Melville Hall, St Andrews by James Stirling (1967). These works mark the beginning and the end of a productive and creative period of architectural output in Scotland. However, they all sit outside the dominant framework of Scottish Modernism - which was strongly influenced by Scandinavian planning and architecture and England’s polite ‘new empiricism’. In different ways they were all striving to evoke some kind of generalised and international architectural language to suit contemporary culture and needs.

‘Outsiders’ was prepared by the following group: Samuel Penn Lecturer in Architecture, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, AE Foundation Co-founder and Director Dr. Cameron McEwan Lecturer in History and Theory of the City, Architectural Design Tutor, AE Foundation Associate Penny Lewis Lecturer in Architectural History, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, AE Foundation Co-founder and Director Hugh Lawson Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University Volha Druhakova Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University




Nowadays, the history of mid-20th century modern architecture, at an international level, is often interpreted retrospectively through the lens of the ‘contemporary iconic modernism’ that has reigned since the rejection of Postmodernism in the ’90s. This ‘new Modernism’ is an architecture which uses superficially similar ‘styles’ and ‘motifs’ to its mid-century predecessor, but at a deeper level it is actually shaped by values of capitalist individualism and image-led branding that are drastically different from the ‘social’ or welfare-state ethos that was prominent in the postwar decades of the ‘trente glorieuses’. As a result, the mid-century architectures and architects that are most highly valued in retrospect today tend to fall into two broad categories, both conditioned by contemporary architectural values. On the one hand, there are the visually flamboyant or ‘poetic’ private-practice designers such as Eero Saarinen or Ernö Goldfinger: in effect, rather low-key forerunners of today’s ‘starchitects’. On the other hand, there are the individualistic, intellectually-eclectic prophetfigures or utopian speculators like the members of Team 10, Archigram or the Metabolists, who can provide plausible precedents for the Koolhaas-style pundits of today. Most revered of all, of course, are figures who were able to combine both tendencies, such as Corbusier or Aalto. These rather narrow definitions, both emphasising individual selfprojection rather than collective values, significantly misrepresent the mainstream of postwar Modernism even at a global level. But their relationship to postwar Scottish modern architecture is even more potentially distorting and negative, as the latter featured neither ‘poet-designers’ nor ‘prophet-thinkers’ of especial significance. The real centre of gravity of postwar Scottish architecture, its chief source of ‘authenticity’ and ‘identity’, arguably lay elsewhere, in areas of activity whose greatest importance was organisational rather than stylistic - especially in the unparalleled strength of (mainly) socialist-controlled municipal authorities in infrastructural and social reconstruction, but also in a range of other statesponsored building programmes. Architects contributed to these programmes either from within public-sector organisations or from within socially-orientated private practices with a strong pragmatic emphasis on multi-disciplinary competence and ‘social planning’; indeed, the largest and most successful of these hybrid firms was founded in 1953-6 by Robert Matthew, Scotland’s most important postwar modernist architect. One would not guess this state of affairs from the fevered efforts by some writers and commentators to construct a historiography of ‘heroic Modernist design’ in Scotland. Here, the two decades from the early 1990s saw an enthusiastic and at times absurd campaign to lionise the work of Gillespie Kidd & Coia, specialists in Roman Catholic church and seminary design (and thus distinctly marginal within the world of post-1945 Modernist architecture),

as ‘heroic architect-poets’ in the tradition of the reverent cult of C R Mackintosh. Several other small-scale, stylish private-practitioners of the ’60s such as Peter Womersley also saw much attention and praise. With rather greater justification, other architectural analyses have focused on the 1940s-1950s efforts to create a ‘vernacular Scottish identity’ in architecture - a movement typical of the mainstream of the ‘empiricist’ trends in early postwar European architecture - but which became closely involved in social building programmes in the work of the architects of Cumbernauld New Town Development Corporation or the small-burgh regeneration projects of private-practice architects such as Wheeler & Sproson. However, any history-writing such as this, focusing chiefly on architectural ‘style’ (or ‘form’), falls potentially under the heading of international global discourses of architectural debate. It was arguably only at the level of broader patterns of building, and especially those shaped by the forceful interventions of the mid-20th century state, that the true ‘authenticity’ and uniqueness of the modern architecture of Scotland really emerged - for example, in that central area of state concern, the building of ‘homes for the people’ sponsored by the government. No other Western European country, the rest of the UK included, saw anything quite like postwar Scottish ‘council housing’ - and even the public housing of the Soviet socialist countries was often smaller in scale, proportionately speaking, and later in date. This unique recipe, with its intimate link between local politics and Modernist mass building, culminated quantitatively in the vast output of multi-storey towers under the early ’60s regime of Glasgow Corporation’s Housing Convener, David Gibson, and qualitatively in the lovingly finished and maintained public housing stock of the city of Aberdeen, which survives intact even today as a kind of city-scale ‘Skansen’ of council housing. Often, the architectural outcomes of social programmes such as these were drastic simplifications of the original ‘heroic’ patterns of international Modernism, but the results were arguably more directly expressive of Scottish ‘identity’ in the built environment than any of Scotland’s relatively faltering 20th century attempts at architectural ‘high style’. And this identity inexorably grew rather than reduced during the early and mid 20th century, quite contrary to Rem Koolhaas’ premise (in the framing of this exhibition) of ever-diminishing national distinctiveness in architecture since 1914!


“ No other Western European country, the rest of the UK included, saw anything quite like postwar Scottish ‘council housing’ ”





“The architect was central to the making of these works - their form, their materials, their place making, the architect was a generalist. Since then this central role of the architect has been diluted and marginalised by the creation of the specialist... What role is left for the architect, the imagineer.”

Returning from the destruction of a war, that had reduced countries across Europe practically to rubble, architects were in no doubt that architecture had an important place in the regeneration of their new world. Their tone was optimistic, their direction social and practical. There was an opportunity to rebuild anew, to improve the lives of citizens through modern design and architects would be there in a leading role. The 1950s and early 1960s was a period in Scotland that saw a modernism based on social and contextual considerations that still retained echoes of a northern sensibility. This combination of old and new, of memory and speculation, was to have perhaps a short lived foothold in the culturally thin soil of Scotland. Its architecture and architects have somehow now drifted out of consciousness and relevance as we desperately cast about for new icons and iconoclasts to worship. This architecture was not the pure white abstracted international style of the period between the wars or the image grabbing excess of today, but a Scandinavian influenced modernism that placed a premium on people, materials and textures. Reiach and Hurd’s, Building Scotland, clearly called for an architecture that sought out the best in contemporary practice while rooting itself in traditions that stem from local culture and practice. This message was not only advocated in Scotland but across the world, architects were saying similar things about the modern and the traditional. The contemporary architectural scene today is littered with publications and lavish monographs, most are self-published, the so called vanity press. Careers are celebrated before they begin, every project of the chosen few are eagerly awaited and published as soon as they are finished. Online

publications and websites are insatiable, they fire a constant virtual stream of images and minimal texts across the planet. Buildings are appraised and discarded at the touch of a screen. In the late 1940s and early 1950s the architectural publishing world was tiny, post war resources were scarce, only the cloth covered oeuvre of the master or books on building type were available. There was however an immensely influential series of books by the American architectural writer and photographer, G. E. Kidder Smith, beginning with Brazil Builds in 1943 followed by Switzerland Builds, Sweden Builds and Italy Builds. The Kidder Smith books set the new architecture he photographed so beautifully in a general context: social, physical, topographic, political and economic. He sought to understand how the forms and ideas came out of particular sets of circumstances. The architecture in all cases is contemporary yet at the same time is undoubtedly a product of its people and culture, the Swedish work is recognisably Swedish. A telling passage from Sweden Builds, 1949, states: ‘’The Swedish architect’s concern with social conditions as a generator of architecture and planning is an extremely important facet of their design approach. Actually it is difficult to imagine their architecture in a non-socialist country. As a product of their own well-being and civilization which minimises extremes [and excitement] than is found in less stabilized countries.’’ This period had yet to succumb to the ubiquitous modernism and ‘’flattening of cultural memory’’ sweeping the globe that Koolhaas now laments. Across the world architects, who were later to become extremely significant voices, shared a common interest in merging the traditional and the modern. In Brazil, Lina Bo Bardi, architect of the remarkable Casa de Vidro of 1951, states, ‘’It is necessary to consider the past as a historical present, still alive,” and to “forge another ‘true’ present” that could not be found in books. She offered this advice to young architects: “When we design, even as a student, it is important that a building serves a purpose and that it has the connotation of use. It is necessary that the work does not fall from the sky over its inhabitants, but rather expresses a need.” In conclusion, she said, “You should always look for the ideal, decent object, which could also be defined by the old term ‘beauty.’ (from a lecture at the Architecture and Urbanism College, part of the University of São Paulo, FAUUSP, April 14, 1989) In Portugal Fernando Távora speaking of his own work, the modest Tennis pavilion of 1958 said, ‘’the work of a young architect is torn between reality and dreams, the local the international, the model and history.’’ The genius of Álvaro Siza Viera was also emerging in Portugal at this time in the Boa Nova Tea House, Leça de Palmeira of 1958, whose forms are superficially familiar yet they are unfamiliar, the materials traditional, the plan new, unseen. In Spain, José Antonio Coderch, architect of


the transcendent Ugalde House, Caldes d’Estrac of 1951 states in his essay, It is not geniuses we need now, published in Domus November 1960, “No, I don’t think that it’s geniuses we need now. I think geniuses are events, not goals or ends. Neither do I believe we need pontification about architecture, or grand doctrine, or prophecy, always a dubious affair. We still have something with a living tradition within our reach, as well as plenty of moral tenets concerning ourselves and our craft or profession as architects (and I use these terms in their best traditional sense). It is necessary for us to make good use of the little that still remains of tradition of construction and, above all, morality in an age in which the most beautiful words have lost virtually all their real, true, significance.’’ In India, Antonin Raymond had already completed the Golconde Dormitory in Pondicherry, 1945, a brilliant modern building that heralded a low energy, naturally cooled approach to design yet the shadowed galleries speak eloquently of the Indian sub-continent. In Japan, Kazuo Shinohara was engaged in his first phase of houses that explored the limits of space in the traditional Japanese house like the North House in Hanayama of 1964. In Switzerland, Rudolf Olgiati, father of the much feted Valerio Olgiati, was one of the first architects in the mid-1950s to see historical design principles as a basis for a modern architecture. Olgiati’s use of forms merged the Grison’s local architectural tradition and a modernism derived from Le Corbusier. Olgiati was searching for a timeless modern architecture that was as international as it was Swiss. The architect was central to the making of these works - their form, their materials, their place making, the architect was a generalist. Since then this central role of the architect has been diluted and marginalised by the creation of the specialist: the project manager, the conservationist, the sustainability consultant, the health and safety consultant, the interior designer, the colour consultant, the graphics consultant, the spaceplanner, the façade engineer. What role is left for the architect, the imagineer. Contemporary culture is besotted with the specialist as opposed to the generalist. High on the list of the credentials of the architectural specialist is the Imagemaker. An architecture that was once based on an understanding of a culture, a geography and a social ambition has been reduced year on year to merely image making. Scotland once adhered to a generalist form of education which according to George Elder Davie is not only a philosophical idea but also one that favours the scientific, humanistic and democratic. Architecture is also concerned with the philosophical, the scientific, the humanistic and the democratic. The architects of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s knew this and as generalists carried this broad based understanding to bear on their architecture. If contemporary society, in general, places more emphasis on the individual over the collective does there remain any foundation to the claim

that Scotland as a society has a more socially based agenda? Does Scotland still believe that a responsibility to an idea of the civic, the collective, is more important than the pursuit of individual gain. Can architecture once more command a central position? Elsewhere architects are struggling to regain their position at the centre of the debate. In his introduction to the publication, Porto Poetic, Triennale di Milano Museum 2013, Jose Fernando Conclaves writes, ‘’The Council of Architects - Northern Chapter (OASRN) defined as a priority of action for the three year mandate 2011/2013, to ensure that the architects’ presence in the design of the territory, of the city and on buildings is socially recognised as work of public interest. In order to do so, it is essential that the civic and professional participation of architects is objectively and programmatically focused on themes that run through contemporary society, expanding their action to new audiences and thus contributing to build new and more demanding sensitivity to architectural and urban spaces by citizens.” In order to regain this position architects may once more have to take heed of a voice from a period when architects were central and recognized as contributing to ‘’work of public interest.’’ José Antonio Coderch, again in It is not geniuses we need now, states: ‘’It is necessary that the thousands upon thousands of architects around the world think less about Architecture with a capital A, or money, or the cities of the year 2000, and more about the job of being an architect. Let them work with a rope tied to one leg, to stop them from straying too far from the earth in which they have their roots, and the people they know best, and let them stand on a solid base of dedication, goodwill and integrity (honour).’’





Where were you trained and who were the significant architectural figures at that time? I trained at Kingston in a sort of vintage period because all our teachers were stars really. Do you recall who were they? Oh, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. Chamberlin was a fellow student away ahead of me. It was a funny time because I was in the first year when people were coming out of the forces and so there were men in flying jackets, grown up, and I was sixteen or seventeen, and had never seen any buildings. I was brought up in the Highlands. I saw a lot of power stations because my father was a hydro engineer, but I knew nothing whatsoever. Why I ever thought I would be an architect I can’t imagine. Why Kingston? I went to Kingston because my father went to work in the London office so the family was living in Surrey, Richmond Bridge. Kingston was the nearest art school that did architecture. What was the mood with all these chaps coming back from the war? I think everybody was very socially minded, wanting to make the world a much better place. Highly motivated. Excited by things. Who were people speaking about? Who were the influences outside the school? The figures people were rallying around? I think that at that time I was very focussed on the school, but people would come in from outside, Ponti, to do a crit for somebody. My last two years at Kingston I was tutored by Christoph Bon of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, and Philip Powell. I went to work for him. I had a crisis like everybody does as a student and I was far too young, really. I was told ‘you’re just wasting time, just decide to leave,’ that’s what the Head of School said, and I humped my back at that because I’m very stubborn, and so I went to work for Philip for a year and then came back after intermediates and he was a fifth year tutor. At that time of course they were just doing Churchill Gardens, Pimlico. They had just won this big Westminster competition. They were straight from college. He was at the AA. The projects you would do at college, were they socially-minded projects? Housing? Yes, we did housing schemes. I think, however, I was more like a sponge taking in everything rather than giving out. You were so young compared to everyone else, you would sense that... 17 was the age you left school in Scotland at that time. You’d taken your Highers and finished. There was an architectural environment of socially-oriented projects, and you came straight out of college and straight into working on social housing? The things we saw in London were, of course, like Roehampton which made a huge impact. A great friend of mine, Margaret McDairmid, or Margaret Little as she was then, had been in the same class at school as my brother in Dumfries and she went to work for Robert [Matthews] the moment he opened his office in Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, and it was she who said ‘Why don’t you come up here?’


So you came to Edinburgh. So that was to work for Robert Matthews. When would that be? October ’54. And of course I knew five people in the office – there was James Dunbar Naismith, and Thomas Bevan was the sort of gauleiter - he had worked with Alan Reiach. And he was the sort of funnel that everyone went through. And Margaret’s sister, Zina, was our secretary/typist. It was very primitive. We had boards on bricks and some rather grotty t-squares but there was a lot of activity going on, and of course we all watched Robert ‘doing his act’ - that’s not really fair, but he was always right at the forefront of what was going on in Scotland at that time. My interview with him to get that job (he was up at Craigievar staying with Lord Semple at that time before it became a National Trust property), I rang him from London and said, could I have a job, and he said, come and see me at Halfords office in London next week, and that was it. How many women architects were there? Were you a rare figure? Oh, no, because of the war, because there weren’t men around, and at the time I applied it was about 50:50. But there was a huge number of dropouts because that was the way it was then. I would have dropped out had I not married a very supportive architect who said, of course you can have children, of course you can do your own thing. So John was really the person who kept me going. In ’54, this is the period that I’m really interested in because there seems to be within Matthews’ work and within your work this – it’s almost like a between stage... It was a funny time. The first job the whole office was working on was Turnhouse Airport, a wooden building, and I remember when John joined the office he was rather scathing about this - Scandinavian - ‘That’s not really a modern building’. And I fought my corner on that one, and I also fought my corner on Crombie Hall because that, in a way, was quite traditional. It is, but it has another aspect of the very contemporary. Let’s be absolutely clear, the design of Crombie Hall, the layout, was already presented to me when I got there but I was put in charge. It was a tremendous responsibility. Robert handed jobs to people who had no experience at all. I remember when Stirrat Johson-Marshall became a partner and it became Robert Matthews JohnsonMarshall, he spoke to me in London and said, what experience have you got, how are you going to run this job. I said, well, just wait and see. Presumably the contractual climate was more, well, gentler... There was no litigation. You were a professional and you either knew what you were doing or you didn’t know what you were doing. The best way was never to flannel. You couldn’t fool Robert. He would say, why have you made that window set back, and you’d say, well that’s the traditional... why do you say that? And it was always questioning your motives behind things. And that was great. A lot of the detail of Crombie Hall is mine. The layout of the bedrooms and the bathrooms in between. It was quite a revolution to put male and female students in one building, and it had to be quite clear that, you know, boys went up one stair and girls went up the other. You say that Turnhouse wasn’t a modern

building. Was that hankering for a white architecture? I think he was looking for less handmade at that time. At that time he wanted builders to be in clean overalls. We talked architecture all the time but I think he was wrong actually in that assessment, because Turnhouse was a clean job, a lot of joiner work. It was far too small, you know, the brief was far too timid for a Scottish capital airport. It didn’t last very long. And also they had to allow concessions and awful ugly advertising and rubbish turned up in the building, but the EAA used it for a party! The images are evocative. You still have an idea that flying might be fun, whereas now... Robert also loved what he called slaistered stonework. The idea of building the Dundee tower block in rubble was crazy. Were you involved in that building? No, Frank White was one of the original architects on that. Looking at that building, it’s actually a quite dramatic thing to do. I think Robert had the big ideas, and then threw them at people and said, make that work. It’s one of the buildings I am interested in because it’s such a striking notion for a tower house. It is literally a tower house. It’s a sort of Ian Begg building. Ian Begg and Robert Hurd were very traditional. That’s one of the things I was interested in, and Miles Glendinning in his book on conservation talks about how conservation became a movement, became separate almost from what people would consider as modern architecture. I was wondering at that period in the ’50s if anybody had that concept, because it strikes me as interesting that it’s Alan Reiach and Robert Hurd writing this little book [Building Scotland] which is basically saying we should look at contemporary work but we should be mindful of where we come from and work together. Some of the schemes that feature in that book were lovely - Gifford Housing which you know, you looked at the book and rushed out to see it. And the church on the front at Caithness. I was trying to work out, well not work out because these things are never clean cut, things merge, but was there a sense in the early ’50s people were much more together as an architectural community? In the sense that you could have a conversation about modernity and tradition? It was just architecture, it was just building. It wasn’t categorised. That’s really what I was trying to get at. As you move through the ’60s and ’70s you get this sense that people have made a decision, now I’ve got a badge – I’m a conservationist, or I’m a modernist, but you can be both, can’t you? I got into conservation because I wanted to do the course and I became redundant from various jobs, and my own office, well you can’t regulate a one-man practice workload. And I thought I’d do the conservation course at Edinburgh College, sort of gearing myself up, and I got a call from the College




saying, would I like to help with the administration of this course, it would have to be part-time. That was fine for me. For eleven years I did that course and I was the most average student of the whole lot. You met highly intelligent international postgraduates, mostly Greeks. The Greeks were very influential for me, because they argued, they would fight. Passion. It was the best thing I ever did. So I’m not really a conservation architect but I understand what is going on and I can see the point of it. I am a conservationist. I suppose the frustration today is that the world likes to categorize. You have interior designers now, you have landscape architects, you have somebody who can do fitments, etc. I used to have arguments about this sort of thing with Colin McWilliam. I said, you’re a stamp collector, you have to put everything on the right page, and it isn’t like that. I don’t think it should be. It’s much more about problem solving than necessarily about appearance or tradition. It seems to me that the work of that earlier period we’re talking about – the ’50s coming into the ’60s – architects seemed to move easily between conserving a wall, making a garden, making a contemporary piece, making a piece of furniture, or a light fitting. There was no ‘I need to go to a specialist to do that’... There was a very interesting talk given by John [Richards] and Andy MacMillan in the late 1970s about their attitude. John was a through and through man who saw it as a problem, he put all the elements out and said, how are you solving this problem? You didn’t know what the building would look like until it was finished. That’s unlike Robert. Robert had a concept of the building before he’d even started planning it. He knew what it looked like. Andy and Isi also went for image making in a way, and yet it was totally understandable. If you listen to them talking on that tape they made, it’s an inspiring time, but they were quite, quite different. They were approaching a problem from different aspects.

community, do you think? Well, the Danes have got the same sense of humour that the Scots have. We got on tremendously well, and later of course John was working with Steensen Varming. He was a very charming host. That architecture wasn’t materially predicated on machine-made work. It was very much about timber and texture. And the Kingo housing by Jørn Utzon was an absolute revelation, and lovely, and you came back thinking, why on earth don’t we do things like that? My own feeling is that nothing’s moved. You know, in many ways we could still look at that architecture and say, we virtually haven’t moved on. There’s quite a resurgence of talent and understanding, and trying hard. We went through an awful period a little while ago where everything was ugly. Why should that be? What was it about your generation that had this connection that we seem to have lost? Was it the amount of work that people were doing? Are we doing too much work? I think we were brought up in a very austere period with not enough food, the grim business of war. Quite a lot of people I knew were killed in the war, people that I cycled to school with joined the RAF and got shot down straight away, you were very conscious that none of that should happen again and that things could get better, and jolly well ought to.

My experience of the College of Art when I studied there was that the tutors like Andrew Jackson… it wasn’t Aalto because Aalto was too gestural maybe, it was very straightforward, Jacobson or Asplund... And young folk like Kjærlholm. Poul became a great friend. Bob Steedman was on that trip and he became very friendly with various people, and the Danes came to Edinburgh and stayed with us with their children.

Without getting too political, Scotland has an architectural policy which is basically to aim for better buildings and places but it doesn’t connect to the way that we procure buildings. As you move through from the late ’60s to the ’70s and ’80s, whether it was just the scale of the development or that people had begun to forget why they were interested in making better places… Has business just got too big? I think also, laterally, architects lost their professional status, they became tradesmen who put the frilly bits on banal designs. And people like John Prescott saying, ‘What about the wow factor?’ - it’s not real, it’s not answering somebody’s needs. You might get a wow factor if you were lucky. But... I think good buildings are as exciting as a very good meal. You come away thinking, that is really satisfying. Also, at one stage the architect was the project manager, directing everything, and I think the education we received - 7 years - was all geared at organising yourself if you were lucky in your teachers. I was. And that has all got eroded by project managers coming in and architects just doing the design to a certain time scale, and, you know, you don’t produce designs that way. You spent as much time outside the office as inside, you lived with the thing for days and days. Peter Smithson used to say, you get an idea and you keep kicking it until it stops moving. I think that’s a wonderful way, that you’re never satisfied until it gets submitted.

I recall there were a lot of Danish cafes in Edinburgh and architects like Stuart Renton were very influenced by their design culture and Danish food. There was a kind of lifestyle. Architects wanted to dress like the Danes. But was that throughout the whole architectural

One of the outcomes of the last recession was that suddenly architects started talking to each other again because we were all in the same boat again, and I was just thinking of the austerity thing you were talking about, and would it be true to say that as an

In John’s case, was that part of his character? Oh, yes, he knew straight away what to do. Was there some Scandinavian influence? There was a lot of Scandinavian influence. We went to Denmark in the early ’60s in a plane, all of the EAA. John and I rented the plane and we went to Copenhagen for the weekend, and just lapped up everything. There seemed to me to be a sort of humane modernism.

architectural community you talked to each other? When I first came to Edinburgh there was no bitching about other architects’ work or people feeling envious of somebody doing something else. You were just interested to see what they were doing, like, ‘Stuart Renton, how could he detail that so well, damn him!’ God was in the details for Stuart. So there wasn’t that jealousy that someone was getting more work than you? Perhaps we were in an office that was getting a lot of work, but there was no backbiting at that time. What was the discussion about? Was it theoretical, or was it about making and doing? I think we just talked about everything and anything. There wasn’t anything particularly Utopian about it. Our conversation nowadays goes to two poles, it’s either immensely academic or it’s all about fees and survival, whereas the real story for me sits somewhere in the middle. I’ve been the luckiest person because I was a kept woman, I didn’t have to make things pay! People said, what have you designed this week, and I’d say, well, it’s all been eaten I’m afraid! A particularly nice steak pie! But John must have been bringing what was happening home. But then, of course, John more or less gave up practice after being President of the RIAS. Just before that Robert had died, in 1975, and Robert’s more or less last words were, ‘You’ll never solve Glasgow’s housing problem’ and that was the bit of grit that got into John. He then became Chairman of the Housing Corporation in Scotland and put his organisational skills into, ‘what can we do about it?’ The housing association movement really took off. He felt he could be more influential away from the drawing board? I don’t think the work he was doing or what he’d just finished were - well - disasters like the opera house which never happened and which a lot of heart and soul went into. He needed a challenge and that was good. When did he retire from practice? In the ’90s, and set up John Richards and Associates which was just him, and me opening the mail. We did a lot of consultancy work together which was great. What areas were you working in? Masterplanning? Planning new accommodation for Napier University to get them out of Sighthill and onto the Craighouse site. That was a lovely job and I was involved on the conservation of the buildings, and it so happened that RMJM were the architects. That was a nice period. The University of the Highlands and Islands asked John to advise on the design of the buildings. That was a difficult thing because you can’t go around criticising other architects’ designs, but a lot of them needed help. It’s ethically not right that you should criticise but you have to put things straight sometimes. My recollection of RMJM was all from John and from Mick Duncan – his drawings would appear in the RSA. Mick Duncan is the least feted architect in Scotland. He is utterly brilliant.


I remember his drawings of Distillers. His drawings of everything. But there was a kind of character that came through a practice, through individuals. Well, it was all a series of teams. John worked with Mick for years. He was the chap who made the geometry right. In talking to you I begin to get a sense of who people were talking about, who was exciting the young architects. In the early time it was definitely people like Asplund. The Mortonhall Crematorium came straight from that. Spence, now there’s a character we haven’t spoken about. How did he sit within this Edinburgh scene? Hardie Glover was quite a hero in Edinburgh at that time. And then Spence of course. Spence and Robert Matthew were in the same year at college I think. There was a great dinner for the two of them in Edinburgh which John and I went to. A nice invitation. Two knights charging towards each other…! Spence’s career – again Miles Glendinning has written extensively on him, and he seems more the great artist while Matthews seems to lean more towards the social... Matthews had a concept of what the outcome should be. His drawings are interesting. I’ve got a drawing next door of Matthews’ idea of New Zealand House, and in bulk it is New Zealand House but in detail it bears no resemblance whatsoever to what actually happened which was


all Morris Lee, the London partner. He [Matthews] was very much the instigator allowing others to develop the idea. In a funny way it wasn’t that he wasn’t interested, he hadn’t time. He was doing so much that he would ask you if you knew what you were about, and if you said ‘yes’, he was happy. And if you got into trouble, well, I remember one time when there was a problem, something mundane like digging a bit of sewer at Crombie Hall, Robert came and sat on the drawing board... He backed you up always but he left you alone to get on with it. His background, his education, was through Lorimer? Yes. There’s a nice pub in Edinburgh called the Wheatsheaf – do you know it? If you go in there it is completely Robert Matthew. All the details. Just like I can recognise my daughter’s graphics, I can recognise his details. I will need to get Miles’s book on Robert Matthews. I think that big book of Miles’ is a masterpiece of reconstruction of the time. He’s much younger, he wasn’t there, he wasn’t in Edinburgh, yet he has managed to recreate that spirit. I think it’s very, very good. And his other books, too. Thank you

Margaret Richards FRIAS was born in Kingussie and attended Kingston School of Architecture from the age of 16. She joined RMJM in October 1954 and her career involved some of the most iconic buildings of the mid-20thC, including Turnhouse Airport (1954-56) and the design of Crombie Hall for the University of Aberdeen (1955-60). She was awarded the RIAS’s Lifetime Achievement Award in June, 2014.




Landscape has a particularly curious relationship to the architecture of the modern era in Scotland. It would appear that our modern buildings and landscapes are always out of step with one another. Modernism, particularly the strand influenced by Le Corbusier, had a naive indeed romantic attitude to landscape. This is evident in the representation of buildings of this period. Rather than reshaping the land, they appear not to touch it. Sitting as components in picturesque compositions similar in many ways to a painting by Claude Lorraine. But just as the artist idealised the landscape of the Roman Campagna, recomposing its elements into idealised versions of themselves, the modern architecture of Scotland often ‘borrowed’ the existing landscape using it as a scene rather than considering it an equal and worthy design opportunity. These picturesque compositions only lasted for a fleeting perfect moment however. Changes of use, lack of maintenance and a lack of appreciation of the relationship of building and landscape meant that, unlike a painting, these compositions did not last. In a perverse twist the continual, unmanaged growth of the landscape mirrors a corresponding deterioration of the architecture. It is ironic that as one of the great landscape projects undertaken during the modernist period in Scotland, the newly created landscapes of the New Towns reach maturity; the towns they were created to compliment and give identity to are being dismantled, ‘thinned out’ and replaced with something altogether less heroic.


“ These picturesque compositions only lasted for a fleeting perfect moment...”






THE LEAP INT Blue is a central to the context of Scotland+Venice 2014. There is the obvious connection to the blue of the Scottish Saltire. And then there is the blue of Italy and the azure shirts of the Gli Azzurri (azzurro, in Italian stems from the Azzurro Savoia, Savoy Blue). Azure blue is traditionally linked to the royal dynasty which unified Italy in 1861, and is maintained in the official standard of the Italian President. Ultramarine, ultramarinus, beyond the sea, stems from Italian traders in the 14th and 15th century who brought back the fabled, Lapis Lasuli, from mines located deep within Afghanistan. Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive pigment an artist could use. Venice, Serenissima, lies between East and West, indeed Ruskin called the Doge’s Palace the ‘’central building of the world.’’ The art of Italy and the art of Byzantium were famed for the use of blue, the blue of Giotto. Blue was the colour of power and prestige.

More recently in art there is the blue of Yves Klein, International Klein Blue, IKB. A hue developed by Yves Klein and heavily related to Ultramarine. Klein’s art became the blue IKB. His attraction to blue was evident from the start of his career. Azure is a blue that is often described as the color of the sky on a clear summer’s day. Yves Klein at the age of twenty claimed to have signed the sky as his own work of art. There is the blue of distance, the distance from Scotland to Venice, north to south, the distance of memory, we are looking back to the mid Twentieth Century. The simplifying and softening effect of time on memories and passions is like the atmospheric perspective that turns a distant landscape blue. Blue has a sense of the vague, the ambivalent. Venice literally lies between the land and sea, each is provisional, the shifting sand and mud banks and the brackish lagoon. Returning to Klein, Rebecca Solnit, in her book A Field Guide to Getting Lost, talks of the critical turning point in art of Yves Klein with his The Leap into the Void of 1960: ‘’A photograph is evidence, but this photograph of Klein’s leap is evidence of something more complicated than a man beginning to fly, and the accounts vary wildly. The photograph is the only trace or souvenir of the work of art, which is the leap itself. Taken on October 19, 1960, it is one of the first of a new kind of photograph to become important in that decade, the photograph as document of an artwork that was too remote, too ephemeral, too personal to be seen otherwise, an artwork that could not be exhibited and would otherwise be lost, so the photograph stands in for it. Artists showed documentation of bodily acts, ephemeral gestures, manipulations of remote landscapes, so that the photograph wasn’t there primarily as a work of art or aesthetic experience but a souvenir of the unseen, the past, the elsewhere, a tool for the imagination.’’

TO THE VOID 1960 is the mid-point in our reflection on modern architecture in Scotland from 1950 - 1970. If 1960 represented a moment in art when ‘’a photograph stands in for it’’ when the artwork is no longer necessarily real or physically in front of the viewer, it can exist as an idea, then in architecture there also seemed to be a shift away from the pragmatism and poetry of the early Scottish modernists to something more abstract, more diagrammatic. Architecture which was about people, a site, a construction and materials became more image based and autonomous or diagrammatic. Construction itself detached itself from the hand made into systems and materials that were concerned with industrial processes. Architecture began to lose its audience and direct connection to people, paradoxically at a time when much of the work of the late ’60s and ’70s was socially charged i.e. mass housing, schools and hospitals. Gradually the modernising traditionalists of the early 1950s separated into broadly two camps, the modernist intent on creating new worlds with their increasingly visually and physically brutalist work and the conservationists who resisting increasingly abstract modernity withdrew into a holding pattern, defending all that was old and craft based. The shared optimism and drive that was so evident in the words and images of Building Scotland i.e. to improve lives and the environment through architecture. A desire which was heightened by the memory of world war was converted into competing dogmas that effectively caused architecture and architects to lose their critical position as key players in the making of new Scottish places. Housing was lost to the private sector and peripheral banalities while the institutions look for wow factor and image.




The steaming courthouse was packed to the rafters. For over a week the prosecution counsel had attacked the legacy of modern architecture with unrelenting venom. Today was his finale. Clearly well rehearsed, he bombarded the hundred strong public jury with highly charged descriptions and images of “insane and inhumane” concrete towers, “sterile and totalitarian” satellite estates, “bleak and brutal” plazas, “monstrous” road schemes, and battle-scarred urban landscapes. Theatrical tears rolled down his face as he concluded his picture show with a rose tinted panorama of an architectural idyll bulldozed by zealots in the name of progress. He knew how to play to popular prejudice, and proclaimed with head fully bowed that modernists were born of the devil and “had desecrated the memory of their ancestors.” Part of the jury moaned in despair and joined in the lachrymose wake, whilst the remainder spat fury and demanded all manner of medieval punishments. If excommunication and the death penalty were too extreme, then at the very least modern architects deserved to be imprisoned in tombs of their own making. The defence counsel took to the stand for the last time. Struggling to be heard he argued that urban policy had been corrupted by the avaricious vanity of civic leaders and that much of what the prosecution labeled modern architecture was no more than the detritus of a building industry dominated by the insatiable hunger of construction firms and land developers for increased profits. Determined to get his point across he flashed through photographs of what he contended were sublime modern buildings - bold experimental housing schemes, futuristic workers’ clubs, avant-garde health centres, elegant schools and concert halls. The jury remained unmoved and disinterested. Sharing bottles of strong spirits and fatty snacks, they had come for a lynching and were determined to get one.

Undeterred by the latent hostility, the defence counsel graciously acknowledged that modern architecture and urban planning had suffered from an arrogant culture of top down decision-making and had become too bureaucratic, unwieldy and insensitive to local and regional issues. Furthermore he added it was indeed the case that some architects had succumbed to a delusional belief in their ability to solve society’s problems. But if all of this was true, he argued, it did not necessarily follow that the modern idea of social, economic and urban planning by democratically elected and accountable bodies was wrong. It was just, that like any new idea, it was subject to error and in need of refinement. His confidence somewhat restored, he went on the attack. He insisted that whatever the flaws of the modernist project, they paled into insignificance when compared to the deleterious social, environmental and aesthetic consequences of post modernism and neo-liberal ideology. He spoke eloquently and passionately about the architecture of historical fakery, low cost throwaway buildings, increased levels of inequality and the destruction of eco-systems. He even warned the court about the creeping dawn of a police state. But it was all to no avail. He might as well have been taking to himself. The prosecution scented blood as did the mob. Seemingly horrified by the idea of a democratic city, and by now in a frenzy, it bayed for retribution and labeled him variously as a Stasi agent, a mechanistic automaton, and a conveyor belt dictator. Ignoring the invective from the balcony and the smirking prosecution who were secure in the knowledge that they had won the day, he rounded off his speech with a rallying call for the reclamation of abandoned social ideals. “Is it so absurd,” he asked, “to imagine an architecture ‘rooted in a love of democracy and the free mixing

of people of different classes’, an architecture that is ‘by the people, for the people?’ Is it, as the prosecution implied, hopelessly utopian to dream of an architecture that is born out of the ‘objective interpretation of social and technological progress,’ and which combines ‘social idealism, scientific planning, and the fullest use of available building techniques?’ As an honest public servant should I be so hounded and vilified for simply advocating an architecture that ‘is continuously in change, that is inconceivably complex, exquisitely infinite’ and which is tied to the ‘goals of a progressive social revolution?’ For these were the objectives of modern architecture, ideals that I believe with all my heart, to be still worth fighting for.” Chair legs, polystyrene food wrappers and coins rained down on the counsel’s head. At which point the security guards who feared for his safety ushered him towards the exit.







Hunkered down upon the southern slope of the hogback Cumbernauld Hill sprawls a concrete embodiment of the ideas of Scottish Late Modernism. Internationally renowned, the monumental Cumbernauld town centre, initially referred to as its Central Area, represents the mature vision of the “megastructure” - a bold attempt to reshape the concept of the urban centre. Although it is possible to trace a series of precursors; from the inhabited bridges of medieval European cities, to the imaginings of Sant’Elia, Archigram and the Japanese Metabolist movement, Cumbernauld Central Area has no true precedent and is one of the rare, built examples of a mega-form. The choice of a proto-megastructure was seen as an answer to a series of issues facing architectural modernism and urban planning. The segregation of pedestrians and vehicles had led to dispersed, low density towns and cities. Added to this, the freedom allowed by personal transportation was further increasing suburban decentralisation. The megastructure’s vertical layering of functions allowed for a concentrated, traffic-free urban core above, with adequate parking and transportation connections below. Not only would this reduce the amount of land absorbed by the development, it would also create a centrepiece for the New Town of Cumbernauld that would define it as a single entity instead of an agglomeration of individual neighbourhoods. Now somewhat lost under layers of redevelopment, Geoffrey Copcutt’s original vision was based on the idea of an “open-citadel” - a linear, multi-functional structure that would exist as a series of planes that terrace down Cumbernauld Hill, taking full advantage of the hilltop location. An intricate hierarchy of functions based on the social ideals of modernism governed the organisation of these layers, with commercial floors situated on the lower levels, transitioning to more civic uses as the centre stepped up the hill to the north. Offices were to be located on the edges of the megastructure and schools, auditoria, hotels, restaurants, cafes and gardens would be dispersed throughout, breaking up the rigid segregation of functions. Parking and services would sit underneath the entire structure, with the final statement of the roof made by two long terraces of penthouses. In order to match the planned expansion of the New Town’s population, the Central Area was to be built in five phases. Any development constructed in this method faces problems of continuity. Copcutt and his design team decided it was vital to encapsulate the overarching concept of the design in Phase 1, opting to build a slice of the whole, layered centre instead of one complete horizontal deck. This lead to abrupt ends at either side of the development - yet at the time these were almost celebrated as they illustrated the megastructure’s characteristics of extensibility. The choice of a permanent, concrete structure with demountable enclosures was also seen as a more engaging and resilient design - an act of defiance against the normal cycle of growth and decay. It was envisioned that Cumbernauld would remain in a state of constant evolution, fuelled by financial, technological, planning and environmental research, in order to avoid the social and economic disruptions suffered by other Scottish towns. 400ft at each end of the megastructure was outlined for this growth, arranged within a structural grid bestriding the Central Area’s transportation spine running east to west.

Phase 1 was hailed as a triumph by the architectural press of the time and the Institute of American Architects voted it the best new town in the world, stating that the Central Area was a “town centre designed for the millennium”. Unfortunately, due to Copcutt being promoted and moving on in 1963, only the first two phases of the Centre were built largely to the original design. Without his vision and drive, the design faltered, with even Phase 2 becoming highly simplified and uninspiring. Phase 3, the construction of a 9750 sq. ft. Woolco Store, had almost no physical or design connection with Phase 1, effectively destroying the original concept. Today the Centre and its surrounding area is in a sorry state. Poor quality design, construction and finish has led to large portions of the design having to be demolished due to flaws in the structure and layout. The untreated, New Brutalist aesthetic of the centre - that was supposed to represent its uncompromising, pioneering spirit - now looks drab and dated, unable to cope with water percolation. The bloated, characterless Antonine Shopping Centre has absorbed a large portion of the Phase 1 design, and the surrounding area is choked by a haphazard scattering of boorish industrial and commercial sheds. It is sadly ironic that despite architecture’s recent endeavours to create more ‘local’ architecture, the contemporary elements of the Centre are even more ‘placeless’ than the Modernist interventions which were created in the genuine pursuit of ‘universality’. Although Cumbernauld’s Central Area may be considered a ‘failure’, the surrounding social housing - from an outsider’s perspective at least - appears to have matured well. Low-rise, high density housing was another key component of Scottish Late Modernism, pioneered by Spence and Wheeler, and Cumbernauld contains some of the most coherent realisations of this urban layout form. The Seafar and Ravenswood areas, being some of the first to be built, have developed a strong character thanks in no small part to the residents’ gardens and council landscaping. These varied pockets of green intensify the denselypacked, warren-like, urban fabric which is given relief through the more open areas surrounding the point blocks. Stitched into this dense fabric are new contemporary apartment blocks and two-storey houses, creating a varied urban environment that is beginning to obtain its own sense of place. It is here that the true character of this New Town begins to shine through. It is the combination, not of ‘old’ and ‘new’, but of ‘new’ and ‘slightly less new’, that creates a balance, a continuity, that appears to be missing elsewhere. In many respects Cumbernauld deserves the bad press it has received over recent years. The town centre is incredibly frustrating to navigate and it is widely regarded as one of the ugliest and least-loved examples of post-war design in Scotland. However, it is a testament to the spirit of the social architecture of the time - there is an honesty and integrity to be found in it. Despite its faults, there is a lot more substance in Modernist Cumbernauld - a lot more to be explored and learned from - than in the timid, empty and apologetic architecture that now masks it.




ST PETER’S SEMINARY TEXT BY ANGUS FARQUHAR, NVA The donation of the infamous St Peter’s seminary complex and the grounds of Kilmahew estate by the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Glasgow to public arts organisation NVA, concludes 25 years of speculation around the future of what many hold to be Scotland’s most important post-war building. Its founding stone was consecrated in 1966 and represented the pinnacle of radical architectural commissions by the church. Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan’s design is bold and transgressive. There was no apology for its imposition into the bucolic setting of a former private Victorian estate, incorporating a grand baronial house, twin gorges, swan pond and mediaeval castle folly. The seminary complex slammed into the 19th century head on, wrapping itself mercilessly round the manorial home and cantilevering with proud defiance over the steep sides of the surrounding woodland. The relentless battering of wind driven rain against bespoke flashings and asymmetrical jointing, meant that unintended collisions manifest between a radically experimental form and usability, through the vagaries and extremes of such external conditions. (When Le Corbusier designed La Tourette, he did so in the full knowledge that it would only face 30cms of rain a year). It quickly became apparent that St Peter’s could not fully function in such conditions, problems with a complicated heating system and endless leaks led to a gradual abandonment throughout the ’70s.

Built to accommodate 107 seminarians, after 13 years, only 27 remained and most activities took place in the old baronial house whose thick walls offered the requisite protection and comfort. The diocese had vastly overestimated the number of young men wanting to enter the priesthood, indicating the gradual decline of organised traditional religion in Britain. Social anecdotes from former residents indicate that the main refectory doubled up as a 5-a-side football pitch. But even those who hated the buildings, still remember transformative moments when sunlight entering the chapel during mass. Light filtered down through a framed ‘ziggurat’ rooflight over the main altar, then was further refracted through floating glulam beams, buttressing a vast curvilinear back wall. Sharp geometric shadows gradually moved over the clean white surfaces and stone floor bringing the space to life with a simple, stripped-down grandeur. So what now for a building which has spent twice as long now as a ruin than as a functioning teaching institution? NVA’s radical plans for a public art landscape and field station incorporate a profound reading of the site heritage and its modification over the centuries. Foremost is the acceptance that the building has value in its current condition. Just as the building has decayed slowly over the last three decades, so will its resuscitation be incremental. There is a clear aesthetic and practical decision not to impose a complete solution (total restoration or conservation). This allows the layering of remnants with some areas held or consolidated,

while key areas such as the chapel are fully transformed into flexible performance and exhibition spaces. The image of a beating heart contained within a skeletal form. Accepting a level of entropy as desirable rather than an indication of failure, seeds the reading of a conflicted landscape that will be the inspiration for future creative interventions. NVA’s 25 year practice is deeply rooted in the idea of public art that responds over long periods to a chosen site and the people who live or lived there. We find the means to collectively delve into the grounds’ and the buildings’ past and disinter things that are relevant to their current evolution. The landscape offers the source material and the physical context to generate creative intervention, which in turn acts as the focus and stimulus for further actions and dialogue. In this scenario, the building and wider landscape become a source of inspiration in themselves. As a home to the Invisible College it will host an experiential learning network with university and wider partnerships, leaving the dull walls of the seminar room and lecture hall to draw imaginative responses directly from the surroundings. The recycling of a great 20th century building and the re-investment of value into that which has been denigrated for so long offers hope out of humble beginnings. Capitalism still raises its monstrous architectural structures paying homage to power and financial domination in brutally competitive markets; Kilmahew/St Peter’s stands as a tiny but relevant antidote and indicates the need for other ways of living and being in the world.



RUINENLUST TEXT BY NEIL GILLESPIE ‘’The malady from which all humans suffer is history. “Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by; they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today,” wrote Nietzsche. “[They are] fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored.” The cow is content to be a cow, “for it is contained in the present, like a number without any awkward fraction left out.” The prejudice of being human is the requirement to reflect. We cannot chew the cud without an awareness of having done this before, or that we will do it again in the future. Worse, we know that the future itself will at some point become the past. And should we, in an instant of bovine tranquillity, manage to forget this, our bloated historical consciousness will prod us back into the dispiriting realisation that everything passes. Ruinenlust – describes the curious psychopathology of being drawn to that which we most fear. We do not simply stumble across ruins, we search them out in order to linger amid their tottering, mouldering forms – the great broken rhythm of collapsing vaults, truncated columns, crumbling plinths – and savour the frisson of decline and fall, of wholeness destabilised.’’ This, perhaps fatal attraction, to past histories and the melancholic seems to lurk in the shadows of Absorbing Modernity 1914 – 2014. Is it that Koolhaas is sated by new frontiers, tired of being the official iconoclast, is exhausted at being the Vorlaufer who has set the course for a generation? Like that other Dutchman, actor

Rutger Hauer, in his infamous soliloquy from the Tears in the Rain scene in Ridley Scott’s film, Bladerunner, ‘’I’ve... seen things you people wouldn’t believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears... in... rain. Time to die...’’ Koolhaas reveals a sentimental almost wistful streak, ’’ In 1914, it made sense to talk about a “Chinese” architecture, a “Swiss” architecture, an “Indian” architecture. One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity.’’ Two icons of 1950-1970’s architecture in Scotland, St Peters Seminary, Cardross by Gillespie Kidd and Coia and the Bernat Klein Studio, Galashiels by Peter Womersley, now lie in ruin, their authors dead. A generation is passing. Isi Metzstein, Andy McMillan who many would claim were the pre-eminent architects of their generation have both died recently. However there seems to be a reassessment and a glimmering of fondness across the globe for the once publicly reviled, stained and

moss covered ruins of Brutalism. A fascination with ruins and decay of our fore fathers can however degenerate into the picturesque, the nostalgic. Frances Stonor poses the question ‘’How [can] we turn this melancholic experience of loss into a form of satisfaction?’’ The question posed by Absorbing Modernity 2014, is can this research into Past Histories inform and re-energise an ailing modern architecture into one that addresses contemporary concerns and issues with the same sense of purpose and energy that the previous generation did or will we simply place roses on their ruins? How can this feeling of loss for a modernism that was based on social improvement be acted on in a currently re-politicised Scotland?



List of Illustrations p. 2 Building Scotland - Past + Future Alan Reiach and Robert Hurd 1941 Front Cover Courtesy of The Saltire Society p. 3 Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Venice Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects pp. 4 – 5 Building Scotland - Past + Future Alan Reiach and Robert Hurd 1941 Courtesy of The Saltire Society p. 8 - 9 Red Road Flats, Glasgow Sam Bunton 1969 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p.10 Fairydean Stadium, Galashiels Peter Womersely 1963 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 10 The Church of St. Brides, East Kilbride Gillespie, Kidd and Coia 1963 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p.11 Whitemoss Housing, East Kilbride Alan Reiach 1949 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p.11 Chessels Court, Edinburgh Robert Hurd 1663 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p.11 Canongate Housing, Edinburgh Sir Basil Spence 1961 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p.11 Stilitto House, Edinburgh Morris and Steedman 1959 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 12 Margaret Richards 2013 Photograph Courtesy of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (Photographer: Nick McGowan-Lowe) p. 13 Tower Building and War Memorial, Dundee University, Dundee RMJM 1958 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 13 Crombie Halls, Aberdeen RMJM 1957 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 15 Crombie Halls, Aberdeen RMJM

1957 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects

Photograph © James Grimley

p. 16 Landscape with Nymph and Satyr Dancing Claude Lorrain 1641 Oil on canvas Licenced by The Toledo Museum of Art

p. 24 Cumbernauld Central Area, Cumbernauld Geoffrey Copcutt 1959 Photograph © The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensed by

p. 16 University of Stirling RMJM / Morris & Steedman 1967 Photograph

p. 25 Cumbernauld Central Area, Cumbernauld 2014 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects

p. 16 University of Stirling RMJM / Morris & Steedman 2011 Photograph © Amy Hickman, 2011

p. 25 Cumbernauld Central Area, Cumbernauld 2014 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects

p. 17 The Father of Psyche Sacrificing at the Temple of Apollo Claude Lorrain 1662 Oil on canvas Licenced by The National Trust p. 17 St Peter’s Seminary Gillespie Kidd and Coia 1966 Photograph Courtesy of GSA and the GKC Archive. p. 17 St Peter’s Seminary Gillespie Kidd and Coia 2011 Photograph © Amy Hickman, 2011 p. 18 Coast View of Delos with Aeneas Claude Lorrain 1672 Oil on canvas Licenced by The National Gallery p. 18 St Bride’s Seminary Gillespie Kidd and Coia 1963 Photograph Courtesy of GSA and the GKC Archive. p. 18 St Bride’s Seminary Gillespie Kidd and Coia 2011 Photograph © Amy Hickman, 2011 p. 19 Apollo Guarding the Herds of Admetus Claude Lorrain 1654 Oil on canvas Private Collection p. 19 St Paul’s Church Gillespie Kidd and Coia 1957 Photograph Courtesy of GSA and the GKC Archive. p. 19 St Paul’s Church Gillespie Kidd and Coia 2011 Photograph © Amy Hickman, 2011 p. 23 Cables Wynd House, Leith Alison and Hutchison 1963

p. 25 Seafar Area Point Blocks, Cumbernauld 2014 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 25 Seafar Area, Cumbernauld 2014 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects p. 26 St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross Gillespie, Kidd and Coia 1966 Photograph © James Johnson, March 2008 p.27 Bernat Klein Studios, High Sutherland Peter Womersely 1969 Photograph © Reiach and Hall Architects



Credits Partners Ian Gilzean Sandy Robinson

Amanda Catto Juliet Dean

Chief Architect, Planning & Architecture Division Scottish Government Principal Architect, Planning & Architecture Division Scottish Government Portfolio Manager - Visual Arts Creative Scotland Visual Arts Advisor British Council Scotland

The Research Groups

Past + Future

Past + Future - An Introduction

First published in 2014 for

Neil Gillespie OBE

Laura Kinnaird Lewis Thomson

RSA (Elect) FRIAS RIBA, Design Director, Reiach and Hall Architects, Visiting Professor, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University Associate, Reiach and Hall Architects Assistant, Reiach and Hall Architects

Advisory Panel

Group 01: ‘Being There, The Fierce and Beautiful World’

Anderson Bell Christie Architects and Architecture + Design Scotland City Design Adviser, Glasgow City Gerry Grams Council Lecturer in Architectural History, Scott Penny Lewis Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, AE Foundation Co-founder and Director Professor Christopher Platt Head of the Mackintosh School of Art Ranald MacInnes Historic Scotland Adrian Stewart Do Architecture

James Grimley

Scotland + Venice was curated by:

Group 02: ‘Embedded Modernism’

Reiach and Hall Architects

Alan Hooper

Neil Gillespie OBE Laura Kinnaird Lewis Thomson

David Page

Scotland + Venice is a partnership between:

Andrew Frame Christopher Dove Fraser Maitland Jamie Whelan

Karen Anderson (Chair)

Chris Lowry

Fergus David Sophie Crocker

Director, Reiach and Hall Architects, Part-time Studio Tutor at The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Lecturer in Architecture, The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA)

Architect, Programme Leader, Department of Architecture, The Glasgow School of Art Architect at Page/Park Architects, Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde University of Strathclyde The Glasgow School of Art University of Strathclyde The Glasgow School of Art

Scotland + Venice ‘A residency at The British Pavilion as part of The 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia’ 26th September - 24th October 2014

© Scotland + Venice 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission by Reiach and Hall Architects. Reiach and Hall Architects 6 Darnaway Street Edinburgh EH3 6BG Printed by Sharman & Company Ltd. Note: Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. The publishers apologise for any omissions that may have inadvertently been made.

Group 03: ‘Land Works’ Fergus Purdie

RSA (Elect), Architect at Fergus Purdie Architects, Part-time Studio Tutor School of the Environment, University of Dundee Rowan Mackinnon-Pryde Architect at Reiach and Hall Architects, Associate AE Foundation Associate, Editor of Matzine Ashley Tosh Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University William Purdie University of Strathclyde

Group 04: ‘Outsiders’ Samuel Penn

Cameron McEwan

Penny Lewis

with additional support from:

Hugh Lawson

Volha Druhakova

Lecturer in Architecture, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, AE Foundation Co-founder and Director Lecturer in History and Theory of the City, Architectural Design Tutor, AE Foundation Associate Lecturer in Architectural History, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, AE Foundation Co-founder and Director Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, Robert Gordon University

Further to those listed Scotland + Venice 2014 would also like to thank additional members of the partner organisations Les Scott_ The Scottish Government, Esther Hutcheson_The Scottish Government, Alistair Donald_British Council, Gwendoline Webber_ British Council, Camile Mateos_British Council. For their assistance in communications and when we return from Venice: Morag Bain_Architecture + Design Scotland, Anja Ekelof_ Architecture + Design Scotland For reference and use of Building Scotland, Past + Future, A Cautionary Guide by Alan Reiach and Robert Hurd in 1944, we thank Jim Tough and The Saltire Society, Edinburgh We also thank our partners in Venice: M+B Studio SRL, Endar, Francesco Raccanelli_The British Pavilion Finally we thank all those who have either contributed or assisted in the publications and events: Reiach and Hall Architects, Miles Glendinning_ESALA, Margaret Richards, Chris Rankin_rankinfraser landscape architects, Angus Farquhar_NVA, Dr Jonathan Charley_ University of Strathclyde, Ellis Woodman_ Architects Journal, Murray Grigor, Toby Paterson, Irvine Welsh, Rebecca Wober_Studio DuB, Katherine Ross_Timeline Films, John Barr, Mark Baines, Professor Andy MacMillan OBE, Frank Walker, Seán McAlister_Matzine, Stephen Mackie_Matzine, Jamie Bell_Jamie Bell Design, Rory Cavanagh, Emanuel Petit, Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Dirk van den Heuvel, Fergus Denoon, Michael Wolchover_A Slight Shift, Norma Shewan, Derry Menzies Robertson and John Barber.

Can an architectural policy that purports to value excellence and quality ever be reconciled with a procurement policy that pursues economy and speed? Can the architect ever regain a central position in the debate on the quality of our built environment? Can Scottish architecture ever rise to the ambitions of an architecture policy? Can the personal ambition of the architect ever be resolved with a more general societal aspiration? Can the schools of architecture ever be the centre of the debate on our built environment? Can conservation and modernity ever be reconciled? What is the value of a balcony?

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