RICHARD MURPHY'S HOUSE AT HART STREET EDINBURGH WINS RIBA / GRAND DESIGNS UK HOUSE OF THE YEAR 2016!
Last night on Channel 4 Kevin McCloud announced, to an estimated TV audience in the millions, that Richard Murphy Architects had scooped the top prize. The programme was the culmination of a four week series examining twenty houses and shortlisting seven. The house has already won an RIBA National Award, the Saltire Society “Best New House in Scotland” Award, a Civic Trust National Award, the Edinburgh Architectural Association “Building of the Year” and the Architects' Journal UK “House of the Year.”
The RIBA judging panel said ”Richard Murphy's own house in Edinburgh is a delightful essay in architecture. It speaks to its context with direct references to the Georgian terraces, and with a clever change of scale that is at once deferential and powerfully striking in the street. It makes great use of a small site, creating a delightful private outdoor space on the first floor, with light brought in through the roof, and a seemingly endless number of surprising spaces. It is a house that responds to the Scottish climate, opening up to the summer sun and then shutting itself down to create a snug refuge in the depth of winter. Sliding doors pull out of walls and roof shutters drop into place transforming the house from a light-filled space open to the exterior terrace, to an enclosed room, where candlelight wouldn't seem out of place. It does all this with wit and style, in an architecture that Murphy has honed over the years to make distinct and personal. It feels an intense and personal space, playful and inventive, each corner revealing something new. Full of references to his architectural heroes the building could be read as homage to architectural history. Murphy has described the house as 'a quarter Soane, a quarter Scarpa, a quarter eco-house and a quarter Wallace and Gromit, the latter referring to the various ingenious devices in the house. In fact the house is beautifully composed and uniquely his own.”
Richard Murphy said, ”We celebrated our 25th birthday last month and to receive this award is a wonderful present and with such astonishing level of public interest. It’s actually our 21st RIBA award, a record unequalled in Scotland, and it takes its place in a long line of awards for buildings small and large and for a whole variety of types including domestic, educational, health, arts and a new British Embassy. It emphasizes yet again that the practice demonstrates both great versatility and consistently high quality in all its work current and past”
You can download here a short essay “The Road to Hart Street” written by Richard Murphy for the exhibition “Home” staged at the Royal Scottish Academy earlier this year.
The lower photo at Hart Street shows Gareth Jones of Richard Murphy Architects, Kevin McCloud, Hiccup the dog and Richard Murphy.
DUNFERMLINE CARNEGIE LIBRARY AND GALLERIES
We are very excited that this project, won in architectural competition in 2007, has been handed over to Fife Council. The museum galleries are now being fitted out and museum objects, books and furniture will move in January followed by staff with a building opening to the public in May. In the heart of the town's historic core the project forms a new elevation to the Dunfermline Abbey churchyard and lies alongside the world’s first Carnegie Library built in 1881. Internally it consists of a museum of 19th and 20th century Dunfermline, three art galleries, a town archive /reading room, children’s library, café, shop and meeting rooms. A dramatic top lit internal street orientates the visitor with a rising promenade route visiting all facilities and criss-crossing the street with a dramatic sequence of bridges.
THE O’DONOGHUE CENTRE FOR DRAMA,THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY
Our joint project with Taylor Architects of Co. Mayo for a new performing arts centre inside historic warehouses in the centre of the University campus has been handed over to the client. An official opening is expected in March 2017.
NEWS OF BUILDINGS ON SITE
At our Perth Theatre project the concrete frame is almost complete and the steel frame to the new studio theatre is in place; we can now for the first time have a sense of the new performance space within. Inside the remaining existing building the alterations and refurbishment works are progressing rapidly.
HOUSE IN DALKEY, IRELAND
Our house at Dalkey, Co Dublin has now been on site for seven months and M&P Construction has completed the concrete foundation work and the majority of the main steel frame and roof deck have now been erected. Granite rock excavated as boulders from the site is being broken into smaller sizes and used to construct the house walls and retaining walls in the garden. The dramatic north-south rooflight along the whole circulation spine of the building can be seen in this photograph.
SCIENCE FACULTY FOR ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE
The Science Centre project recently saw the completion of the main concrete frame with the steel roof elements due to be installed before the end of December. Overall completion is still on track for August 2017.
DONALDSON'S FORMER DEAF SCHOOL, EDINBURGH
Our project for City & Country at Donaldson’s Deaf School, Edinburgh is progressing well. Works to form the first phase of the 110 apartments that occupy the main building are well underway with mezzanine floors and internal dividing walls being installed. The voids that will eventually accept the new/modern communal stairs that rise through the building on three of the four corners are also being formed.
The concrete phase of the works to form the two 94 space subterranean car parks that sit under the morning and afternoon gardens to the east and west sides of the Playfair building is almost complete with the links to the existing building being the last sections to be formed.
ACUTE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY, CITY HOSPITAL, BELFAST
An official “sod cutting” ceremony was held to start the construction of our new 80 bed Acute Mental Health hospital in Belfast. Designed in conjunction with RPP Architects and Devereux Architects the building is being built by BAM Construction and is expected to be complete in Summer 2019.The Northern Ireland Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neil (in the centre of the picture) performed the ceremony.
THREE BUILDINGS ABOUT TO GO ON SITE
NEW HOUSING AT DONALDSON’S FORMER DEAF SCHOOL, EDINBURGH
Bam Construction have also been appointed as Main Contractor for the Shell and Core Contact of our new build development for Cala Homes within the grounds of Donaldson’s College. Construction work is now planned to start in January 2017.
NEW HOUSE AT TIPPERLINN ROAD, EDINBURGH
Work starts on a “secret house” in a garden off Tipperlinn Road. The house forms three sides of a courtyard garden and is invisible from the surrounding streets sitting low behind a historic stone garden wall. The site preparation work has begun already and the client is expected to celebrate Christmas 2017 in their new house.
EXTENSION TO GALERI CREATIVE ENTERPRISE CENTRE, CAERNARFON, NORTH WALES
TWO NEW HOUSE COMMISSIONS
A house near Woodbridge in Suffolk and a holiday house in Elie, Fife are two new house commissions. Images should be published in the next newsletter when both are expected to have been submitted for planning permission.
MAGGIES CELEBRATES ITS 20TH BIRTHDAY AND PLANNING PERMISSION RECEIVED FOR OUR EXTENSION
The very first Maggie’s Centre celebrated its twentieth birthday with an enormous turn out of well-wishers. The original building, a former stables at the Western General hospital was converted and opened in 1996 and five years later doubled in size. A further extension now has planning permission and is expected to start on site in April 2017. There are now almost twenty Maggies Centres in the world with four more new centres at varying stages of planning .The picture shows Lothians MSP Miles Briggs, the centre’s director Andrew Anderson and Richard cutting the birthday cake
The RIBA House of the Year Channel 4 programmes have received enormous press coverage, meriting features from the Architects’ Journal, Homes & Property, the Mirror, the Sun and the Daily Mail. The second programme, featuring Richard’s House at Hart Street being shortlisted for the Award, included Homes & Property magazine which described the house as a “palace of gadgets in Edinburgh”. The Architects' Journal featured the programme in an article called “Architects’ own homes added to the RIBA House of the Year shortlist".Scottish Construction Now confirmed that the RIBA Judges had described the house as “....a rare example of construction of a contemporary house within the World Heritage Site of the New Town of Edinburgh” and is “..... an architectural and environmental experiment”
Richard has also been interviewed for a number of broadsheet newspapers all of which are expected to publish today or tomorrow and he will be on BBC Radio 4 "Front Row" at 7:15pm tonight.
Our newly built Museum and Gallery at Dunfermline has been previewed ahead of its Spring opening by Urban Realm on 9 December - the building, which is currently being fitted out. Fife Cultural Trust said “The new building will serve as a gateway to the town’s illustrious past, opening up a new public space between the historic buildings of the Heritage Quarter”.
AND FINALLY WE WISH ALL OUR FRIENDS THE VERY BEST FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
We stopped sending out Christmas cards some years ago and instead send the money saved to the Maggies Centre. If you would like to contribute to them as well please follow this link https://www.justgiving.com/4w350m3/donation/direct/charity/11237#MessageAndAmount