We are delighted to have been selected for the competition for the new Edinburgh Concert Hall to be located at the rear of the Royal Bank Headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. The only Scottish practice on the shortlist, we are rubbing shoulders with major London offices and Canadian and Swiss practices on a shortlist of six. Our ideas have now been submitted and a result is expected in late April. Richard Murphy said:
”This project would be a dream come true for us. Not only is it a public building right in the centre of our own city, it also plays to our strengths of how to combine new with old as well as my personal experiences of 30 years of singing in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus.”
We are very honoured to have been included in a list of ten invited architects to compete for this fascinating project. The competition gets started in May with a result expected in the Autumn. More details later in the year.
Thursday 18th May is the day the Council will be opening the doors to the public. An “official” opening is expected later, likely to be in August. Currently the museum installers are putting the finishing touches to the display and books have now been moved back into the main library as well as our own specialist archive reading room. The building has already been shortlisted for an Edinburgh Architectural Award and an RIBA / RIAS Award. We are hoping to organise a “private view” for architects and friends in early May. If that is of interest, please email Kathy and she will put your name on the list: KJ@richardmurphyarchitects.com. Fife Council's own timelapse film of the build can be seen here
President Michael O’Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland will be performing the ceremonial duties on Monday 10th April and officially opening our theatre in University College Galway. Richard Murphy will be in attendance. Built in collaboration with Taylor Architects from Co Mayo, the building is in fact already functioning and we understand well received by students, staff and public. We are hoping to arrange professional photography shortly.
After a complicated progression through the planning due to flood issues on the site, momentum is picking up on the Maggie’s Centre once more. Planning and Warrant have both been granted, with the design team now working towards a tender package, it is hoped to start on site in the summer months.
A pre-site meeting was held on 21st March and construction is to commence on Monday 10th April and the contractor for the project is RLD Construction (R L Davies & Son Ltd) of Colwyn Bay. The project is scheduled to be finished in Spring 2018.
Professor Ian Martin, the Vice Chancellor of the University, performed the ceremony. James Mason attended and the £20m building, now wind and watertight, was much admired. The contractor, Morgan Sindall, are due to complete in late Autumn 2017 with teaching commencing in January 2018.
Perth Theatre has been on site for eleven months and is almost wind and water tight. Roofing is largely complete, including the installation of the large new rooflight which will wash the foyer space with natural light. The large foyer glazing and the dramatic new glazed stair projecting into the Vennel have also been installed. Many of the connections between new and old buildings have now been created, opening up the circulation around the building. Specialist plaster repair and re-gilding of the historic auditorium gives a taste of what’s to come. The project remains on track for completion in Autumn 2017.
Construction of the new build housing to the north of this significant site begins in earnest at the start of April 2017 with the breaking of ground and the excavation works for the crescent car park. We are looking forward to working with our client CALA Homes and the successful contractor BAM Construction on this exciting new development.
All three ground works are now complete and the steel frame has begun to be erected. The contractor's aerial photograph is taken from the south east corner of the site. The entrance will be to the right of the preserved chimney and the garden area at the heart of one of the wards can be seen to the left. The contractor is Graham/BAM Healthcare Partnership and the completion date is expected to be Autumn 2018. The project is a collaboration between ourselves, RPP Architects of Belfast and Devereux Architects of London.
The foundation and boundary walls are starting to take shape at our 'Secret House' project off Tipperlinn Road. The house forms three sides of a courtyard garden. The contractor, Inscape Joinery, have made significant progress with the construction, with the boundary retaining walls set to be constructed this month. The client is expecting to celebrate Christmas 2017 in the completed house. Newly qualified project architect, Daryl Robbins, is leading the build.
The press coverage for the “RIBA House of the Year” has been extraordinary.
In this country articles have appeared in the Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Scotland on Sunday, Herald Scotland, The Times and even The Sun! It featured on BBC Scotland News and major articles have appeared in Blueprint, Dezeen and the Architects’ Journal, including our own movie, re-cut with various sound tracks added.
Abroad the story was covered by, amongst others, the Hungarian METSZET magazine; Australian news website, Nine.com.au; American architecture publications - DWELL, New York Magazine and Business Insider; the French magazine IDEAT; Malaysian luxury lifestyle magazine, The Peak Malaysia; and the German Spiegel Online publication, as well as the Channel 4 broadcast (watched by 1.6 m people), a news piece was also broadcast by BBC Scotland. Our own video, originally made for the Royal Scottish Academy show last April was re-used and re-edited extensively around the world.
The practice has three projects in the Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition (1st April until 7th May). We are showing “Two Competitions for Religious Buildings in the North: a Mosque in Iceland and a Church in the Faroes” and photographs of the completed Dunfermline Carnegie Galleries and Museum.
Richard spoke to the Humberside Institute of Architects in Hull as part of their celebrations as “UK City of Culture” on 23rd March and on 24th March he spoke to Edinburgh University students about his house at Hart Street and also showed them around the house. Later in April (28th) Richard is giving a lecture about Scarpa to students at the Glasgow School of Art. In May Richard has been asked to give a lecture about the practice's work at the Arnolfini Architecture Centre in Bristol on the 10th May, and to the Verona Institute of Architects on 13th May as part of the Mantovarchitettura Architecture festival based in nearby Mantua. He is also speaking in November to the National University of Galway at their “Open House” series, as well as flying to Malaysia to address the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) at their Design Lecture Series, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur on 15th November.
Robert Gordon University Second Year architecture students came to the office on a visit on 8th March hosted by Richard who outlined how a project proceeds in practice from various stages from appointment to site and also the qualities and skills valued in an architect/team member and the variety and specialism of work that our office undertakes. In April we are expecting students from Lund University in Sweden for an introduction to our work and also a tour of our local work.
Students from Robert Gordon University Aberdeen and from Lund University Sweden have visited the office as well as toured our work locally.
Richard Murphy’s long awaited book “Carlo Scarpa and Castelvecchio Revisited” is now complete and has gone to the printers. It should be available to purchase from all specialist architecture bookshops and via a specially created website from the end of May.
The first review has been received. Robert McCarter, Professor of Architecture at the Washington University, St. Louis, USA writes:
“Regarding Richard Murphy’s first, 1990 edition of his book on Scarpa’s Castelvecchio, I wrote in 2013: ‘This exemplary study, including the measured drawings, remains one of the best books on Scarpa,’ a statement that also implied my belief that the book would never be surpassed. Murphy has proved me wrong on this last count by publishing the new enlarged, expanded and exhaustively illustrated edition of what was already considered a canonical study of Carlo Scarpa and his greatest work, the Castelvecchio. I have long considered the single-building monograph to be the most compelling and effective way to present the qualities and character of the building, as well as the design process and ordering principles of its architect. Murphy has now given us—yet again—not only the canonical study of the Castelvecchio and its architect, but what will undoubtedly be recognized as one of the most comprehensive and insightful single-building monographs ever published. I am confident in saying this second edition will never be surpassed, for there is nothing left unsaid or unexplored regarding the building or its architect. This book is a true masterpiece, as befits the Castelvecchio, Scarpa's architectural masterpiece that the book so perceptively and propitiously brings into presence for us, the readers."
Kenneth Frampton the Ware Professor at Columbia University School of Architecture New York has written the foreword and visited Hart Street on a recent trip to Scotland.