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News 2021

Dunard Centre Receives Planning Approval

Dunard Centre Receives Planning Approval

The City of Edinburgh Council has granted planning permission for a new 1000-seat performance venue within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Edinburgh’s New Town. The Dunard Centre will be the city’s first purpose-built music and performance venue in over 100 years. Embedded in the dense area of Registry Lanes and also on the grand civic axis with Dundas House, the building creates a series of rich, continuous, high-quality and accessible public spaces that better connect the previously fractured surroundings. The project is a respectful new addition to its historic context that will revive the complex site and provide a new cultural destination of both local and international significance.

Reiach and Hall Architects are working in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects to deliver the Dunard Centre, which will start on site in 2022.

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Planning for Fife

Planning for Fife

Our Fife College project has been granted full planning permission - just weeks after additional funding was given to allow it to be the First Net-Zero Tertiary Education Building in Scotland.

The new state-of-the-art Dunfermline Learning Campus has been designed with learners in mind. Every aspect of the new campus has been and is being carefully created to give learners the best learning experience and facilities for their course.

Inside the new campus you can expect industry-standard workshops for engineering and construction, a university hub so learners can study to degree level with a range of university partners on campus, a purpose-built learning café, sports hall, and an innovation and events hub to cater for different College and community events.

In addition to the indoor facilities, the campus will be fully equipped with brand new outdoor facilities, including a multi-use outdoor sports area, an external terrace, outdoor spaces for childcare courses, external dining areas for hospitality students, covered outdoor workshop areas for built environment courses and a range of outdoor teaching and gathering areas.

Falkirk Campus Wins AJ Award

Falkirk Campus wins AJ Award

Forth Valley College’s £78 million Falkirk Campus has won the Higher Education category in Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards 2021.

Designed by Reiach and Hall Architects with Keppie Design, this is the third campus Reiach and Hall have designed for the same client. The Falkirk campus is Forth Valley College’s headquarters facility. Including their Centre of Excellence for Sport, the 21,000sqm campus is designed to provide innovative learning spaces throughout and will incorporate the latest teaching technology.

AJ Architecture Awards judges visited the Falkirk Campus in the summer when it was serving as a Covid vaccination centre, and it was this alternative use, as well as the building itself which impressed them.

One judge said:

“It’s just so adaptable – you can easily transform the building into something else. The users are so proud and the people running it feel it has met all their standards. The designers have also thought hard about the surroundings and being part of this ‘green corridor’. It isn’t something that just landed on this site.”

The judges as a whole felt a remarkable level of quality had been achieved on the tight budget.

Another judge said:

“The thing I really loved was the west elevation – simple, Danish-style, stripped-down architecture, a long, glazed elevation and trees acting as a sunshade. It’s really good value for money and really well done.”

Ken Thomson OBE, Principal of Forth Valley College, said:

“We are delighted that our new Falkirk Campus has won yet another prestigious award - the AJ Architecture Awards Higher Education prize. I remember meeting the group of judges when they visited in the summer and I could tell they were very impressed with the building and its adaptability. Winning awards like this justifies all the hard work and planning that has gone in to making our new HQ a reality – it truly is a fabulous community asset.

“The new Falkirk Campus focuses heavily on training facilities designed for science/technology/engineering/sport and healthcare. It will enhance further education for the people of Falkirk and beyond, for years to come.

"Our vision for Forth Valley College involved many staff, students and our stakeholders and we must thank architects Reiach and Hall and Balfour Beatty for designing and constructing our new building and helping us to realise that vision. I personally would like to thank everyone who has worked on the project for guiding it to completion.”

Team Credits:

Reiach and Hall Architects, Keppie Design, Balfour Beatty plc, KJ Tait Engineers, AECOM, horner + maclennan landscape architecture

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Fife College to be the first net-zero tertiary education building in Scotland

Fife College to be the First Net-Zero Tertiary Education Building in Scotland

We are delighted that our work for Fife College has received approval from the Scottish Government to go ahead with the next phase of a project to provide a net-zero college building.

This building is said to be the first net-zero tertiary education building in Scotland.

Planned to be opened by the third quarter of 2024, the new net-zero campus will be built on a 58 acre site in the eastern expansion area of Dunfermline.

Fife College principal Dr Hugh Hall said:

“Not only do we want it to provide world-class facilities for our students, but we want the building itself to reflect the latest developments in low carbon construction.

That’s why we’ve worked with the Scottish Government to go beyond net zero and ensure that our new campus has a long-term positive effect on emissions. The extra funding we’ve received will enable us to achieve our environmental ambitions, and to deliver the first tertiary education building in the UK that meets these standards.”

Scottish Design Awards

Scottish Design Awards

Reiach and Hall Architects are delighted to have two great buildings recognised in the 2021 Scottish Design Awards.

Our Inverness Justice Centre for Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has won Public Building of the Year and our Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley College has won Education Building of the Year.

Both projects are serious, complex, sophisticated buildings and we are delighted that they have been recognised by our peers as winners.

We would like to thank both clients for their ambition and commitment.

Well done to everyone involved.


Inverness Justice Centre - Robertson Group, Arup, @horner +maclennan, Currie & Brown; Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Forth Valley College -  Reiach and Hall Architects, Keppie Design, Balfour Beatty plc, KJ Tait Engineers, AECOM, Balfour Beatty plc, horner+maclennan

Inverness Justice Centre project page

Forth Valley College project page

Fruitmarket Gallery Re-opens

Fruitmarket Gallery Re-opens

The Fruitmarket, Edinburgh, has official re-opened its doors for the first time since summer 2019, with its existing galleries refreshed and expanded into a large adjacent warehouse.

This £4.3m capital development, is the first project and renovation of its kind to open in the UK since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

Designed to prioritise re-use and sustainability - the resulting transformation doubles the footprint of the gallery and brings the next door building into active cultural use as an expansive, inspirational space.

In the original building, the essential rhythms of the rooms and the natural light that floods the upper floor have been preserved. The spaces of the Exhibition Galleries have been simplified and their material finishes and facilities upgraded. There’s a brand new Learning Studio, an enlarged Information Room, Café and Bookshop and a simple but commanding new main staircase.

In addition, there is an expansion into a second historic warehouse, most recently the Electric Circus nightclub. This steel-framed, brick-lined building has been kept as raw as possible. It has been opened out by removing the upper floor and re-using the joists and floorboards rather than bringing in new materials. The resulting space lends itself to theatre and music, spoken word and dance as much as it does to the presentation of visual art. With this redevelopment ensuring that the Fruitmarket can continue to operate at the forefront of contemporary culture for decades to come.

Neil Gillespie, Director, Reiach & Hall Architects, commented:

“The original galleries are seen as a series of white spaces, abstract and precise. Surfaces are smooth and continuous while detail and material expression are suppressed. The palette in the warehouse, by contrast, is dark and sensual. It is a space which relishes the directness and crudeness of the existing steel frame, the strength and texture of the brick walls and the industrial timber floor. The mood is intense, almost visceral. As an ensemble they offer the artist, curator and their audience remarkable contrasting and complementary spaces for art and performance.”

Image Courtesy Fruitmarket [© Ruth Clark]

Plans to Revitalise Historic Centre of University of Aberdeen Approved

Plans to Revitalise Historic Centre of University of Aberdeen Approved

Reiach and Hall Architects have been working on plans to revitalise the historic core of the University of Aberdeen's King's College campus and are delighted to have been given the go-ahead by Aberdeen City Council.

The proposals enhance facilities in King’s Quarter – in the immediate vicinity of King’s College – include the creation of a new flagship atrium, creating a central forum space with connections to surrounding buildings.  There will also be improvements to the interiors of several areas, including the Old Senate Wing, Book Stack and Cromwell Tower.

The available space in King’s Quarter is currently underused, and the development will revive redundant buildings in the heart of the campus, safeguarding their future use with quality new teaching and learning space.  

As well as helping the University modernise its teaching spaces to accommodate new learning styles, it will also maintain the magnificent facades of these historic buildings and avoid the requirement for newbuild, thereby providing new teaching capacity in an environmentally sustainable way.

Professor Alan Speight, Vice Principal (Global Student Recruitment), who leads on the King’s Quarter redevelopment plans, commented:  

“The decision by the planning committee marks a milestone in our transformational plans to create a vibrant learning environment at the historic heart of the campus, and will provide a focal point for engagement with the local community.  

“These new spaces will provide a modern, adaptable, high quality teaching environment for undergraduate and postgraduate students that will be ideally suited to working across academic disciplines.

“I am pleased that, in their recommendation to the planning committee, the planning officers noted our careful consideration of the historic environment to enable underused listed buildings to be brought back into productive use, which reflects the detailed work we have undertaken on the proposals over the past two years.”

Site Start at Kilmartin Museum

Site Start at Kilmartin Museum

Work has started on the redevelopment of Kilmartin Museum with Argyll construction firm TSL.

This 1,245m² project will link up the two existing 18th-century buildings on the site and transform the museum into a ‘landmark venue that interprets and celebrates the global significance of Kilmartin Glen’ – one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Britain.

We imagine the new museum as a vessel - a building that sensitively mediates between objects, people and the broader landscape. The building fulfils two basic needs. One is to simply support people, while the other is to contain and display precious and fragile artefacts, safely, securely and beautifully.

The new Kilmartin Museum is expected to open in spring 2023.

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Scottish Design Award Finalist – Inverness Justice Centre

Scottish Design Award Finalist – Inverness Justice Centre

We are delighted that our Inverness Justice Centre for the Scottish Courts has been selected as a Finalist in the 2021 Scottish Design Awards – Public Building Category.

This is a new building for Scottish Courts and Tribunals comprising six courts with ancillary accommodation. Scottish Courts will be the major user with a number of justice partners also accessing the facility. These include Citizens Advice Scotland, Women’s Aid, the Criminal Justice Team, Victim Support and the local authority social services teams.

The scheme communicates an appropriate level of gravitas, and reflects the spirit of openness and transparency required by the various user agencies.

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Scottish Design Award Finalist – Falkirk Campus

Scottish Design Award Finalist – Falkirk Campus

We are delighted that our Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley College has been selected as a Finalist in the 2021 Scottish Design Awards – Education Building Category.

Designed by Reiach and Hall with Keppie design, this is the third campus Reiach and Hall have designed for the same client. The Falkirk campus is Forth Valley College’s headquarters facility. Including their Centre of Excellence for Sport, the 21,000sqm campus is designed to provide innovative learning spaces throughout and will incorporate the latest teaching technology.

The plan is simple and places the refectory at the heart, as a gathering place suitable for informal academic conversation as well as social interaction. Other flexible space is designed into the plan throughout the building, enabling a wide variety of learning activities.

Finished in a beautiful handmade brick, the simple facades develop ideas contained in the campuses at Alloa and Stirling, completing the family of buildings for Scotland’s first regional college.

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Alistair Miller [1931-2021]

Alistair Miller (1931-2021)

Alistair Miller studied at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with a diploma in 1954. On graduation he worked for three years until 1957 in the school building development team of the Scottish Education Department, which brought him into contact with Eric Hall. Eric Hall established himself in private practice in 1956 and was joined by Alistair a year later as an assistant. Alistair was promoted to principal in 1959, and was assumed into the partnership of Eric Hall & Partners in 1963 when Alistair was 32.

Much of Alistair’s project work at this time related to educational buildings. This partly arose from raising the school leaving age to 16 which required several new school buildings all over the country, preparation for which started in 1964. The ‘Intergrid’ system-built approach for schools, using precast pre-stressed concrete beams and slabs, was used for many of these school in association with contractor Gilbert-Ash Ltd, and Alistair was instrumental in several major projects in the north of Scotland and Northern Ireland with this consortium during the 1960s, such as at Golspie, Dornoch, Limavady and Coleraine.

In parallel Alistair gave his attention to practice management. Soon after setting up his practice in 1956, and prior to initiation of the RIBA Plan of Work in 1963, Eric Hall engaged a management consultant to review standard architectural activities with a view towards improving productivity and profitability in his practice, as well as design quality and control. The result was an approach which went from the general to the specific within a structured framework that enabled improved monitoring and control. In a pre-computer age, Alistair codified these recommendations into a series of pro-formas and procedures that gave a practical approach to architectural job management, including a time sheet system to provide the necessary business feedback information. The RIBA Plan of Work, when it came, was intended to provide a framework for architects to use on projects with their clients, bringing greater clarity to the different stages of a project, and was easily integrated into the approach that Alistair had already developed.

With this developed management structure, Eric Hall and Alistair Miller together came up with an idea to provide ‘central services’ for architectural practices in which they would provide fee, programming, management accounting, project management and printing services, thus leaving the architects themselves free to concentrate on their architecture. Approaches were made to various established Scottish architects, which resulted in the merger with Alan Reiach & Partners in 1965 to form Alan Reiach Eric Hall & Partners: a management structure was set up allowing the partners of the combined firm a degree of autonomy beneath Eric Hall’s umbrella supported by Alistair’s ‘central services’. The combined practice was immediately successful and soon built up to fifty staff concentrating mainly on public sector and educational buildings, with Alistair now established as the administrative partner of the combined group who ensured the smooth running of the practice, while Eric Hall as senior partner determined overall policy. Alan Reiach retired in 1975.

An important decision made by Eric Hall and Alistair Miller in 1978 was to obtain a RUCAPS graphics computer, the third in the UK, Reiach and Hall being the first architect in Scotland with a CAD system. This extremely expensive purchase was in response to the prospect of abolition of the minimum mandatory fee scale which actually happened in 1982, with a view towards improving the practice’s efficiency to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment. This system was used for the Borders General Hospital, completed on site in 1987 and probably the first project in the UK to be constructed from an integrated set of general arrangement drawings and room data sheets derived from a single computer model, which improved construction efficiency significantly: the project was finished six months ahead of schedule with no claims.

Reiach and Hall underwent various evolutionary changes in the early 1980s. Eric Hall retired in 1983, and a new two-headed model emerged with Stuart Renton leading design in a more integrated studio environment, while Alistair Miller ran the office in financial and organizational terms. This period saw the practice move into a more commercial field, particularly with the St Enoch Centre, Glasgow, with GMW Partnership, an association which originally came about because of Reiach and Hall’s purchase of GMW Computers’ RUCAPS graphics computer system. Alistair was instrumental in setting up the partnership which enabled the two practices to work together.

Alistair Miller retired from Reiach and Hall in 1991. Succession had been carefully planned with the two-headed model continuing, Neil Gillespie leading design while Tom Bostock took over management of Alistair’s ‘central services’.

Promotions and New Appointments at Reiach and Hall

Promotions and New Appointments at Reiach and Hall

It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to announce hugely deserved promotions and new appointments in the practice.

Andrew Stupart is being appointed as a director of the business.

Andrew has been a key player in many of our significant projects, including twice being nominated for the RIBA Stirling prize for his work on the City of Glasgow College Campuses, as well as being a winner of the British Construction Award for Building of the Year for Dundee House.

Kate Richardson, Laura Kinnaird, David Dalgleish, Eck Johnston and Lee Steedman are being promoted to Senior Associate.

Together and separately the group bring enthusiasm, expertise and diligence to everything they do for our practice. It is exciting to see their careers flourish with the future of the practice in safe hands.

Alongside these promotions, we have also recently been joined by Keri Monaghan, Sophie Perrott, Claire Milnes, Euan Hardie and Reinis Celmins, who have expanded our capabilities across a number of sectors.

With exciting new commissions for Fife College, Glasgow Life, Hub West, West College Scotland, New Gorbals Housing Association, Urban Union and The Link Group, these appointments allow us to maintain our focus on delivering an excellent service with positive results for our clients.

Lyle Chrystie
Managing Director

Architectural Excellence at Inverness

Architectural Excellence at Inverness

Reiach and Hall Architects are absolutely delighted that the Inverness Justice Centre has been recognised in the Scottish Property Awards 2021.

Receiving the award for Public Building in the Architectural Excellence category is both very satisfying and apposite. Inverness Justice Centre is the first purpose-designed Justice Centre in Scotland – a building which brings together all agencies concerned whilst delivering a contemporary justice service. This unique brief presented great challenges for all concerned, from user clients to Design Team and contractor. This award, judged by a cross-section of the property industry, is fitting recognition of the breadth of issues the design had to accommodate.

Judges said:

"Inverness Justice Centre 'showed excellent execution of producing a building which is sympathetic to the ethos and seriousness of the nature of the brief.'"

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Certified Passive House Designer

Certified Passive House Designer

We are delighted to announce that Mark Dawson and Nick Richardson have both achieved Certified Passive House Designer status, reinforcing our longstanding commitment to sustainability.

Our congratulations go to both of them, and we look forward to seeing these skills put to use in our forthcoming projects.

New Gorbals Housing Association’s Framework

New Gorbals Housing Association’s Framework

We are pleased to have been appointed to New Gorbals Housing Association’s Framework to provide architectural consultancy services for the design and construction of new-build housing in the Gorbals, Hutchesontown, Laurieston and Oatlands neighbourhoods of Glasgow.

New Gorbals Housing Association is a community-controlled housing association, established in 1989, to develop high quality, affordable new-build housing on vacant land resulting from demolition of earlier unsuccessful municipal housing.

This appointment builds on previous and current housing experience, with designs that cover a wide range of typologies including social housing, student housing, mixed-use projects and one-off houses in both rural and urban contexts.

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