Scottish Architects Offices, Building Designers Studios, Architecture Practice Scotland

Scottish Architects : Architecture Studios

Key Architectural Offices in Scotland, UK – Design Practices

post updated 11 February 2024

Scottish Architects Offices

Scottish Architect – Architect Listings

This page contains a selection of major Scottish architects, with links to individual practice pages. We’ve selected what we feel are the key Scottish Architects, but additions are always welcome. The focus is on contemporary architects in Scotland but information on traditional architecture studios is also welcome.

The most celebrated architects from the past are Robert Adam, Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Thomson, though many others such as Playfair and Bryce should be noted.

Currently the most notable contemporary Scottish architecture practices include (in alphabetical order) Dick Cannon, Alan Dunlop, Malcolm Fraser, Richard Murphy, Allan Murray, Gordon Murray, David Page and Paul Stallan. Of course this list will change over time as new Scottish design studios gather strength.

Scottish Architect Studios : contemporary Scottish architecture offices
Dundee Building design by Scottish Architects
image © Dave Morris

Key Contemporary Scottish Architects

Links to Scottish Architect Practices, alphabetical by surname:

Elder & Cannon

Gareth Hoskins Architects – Scottish architect office with design studios also based elsewhere (Berlin)

gm+ad architects – Scottish architect practice now closed

Graeme Massie

jm architects

Malcolm Fraser Architects

Nicoll Russell Studio

NORD – Scottish architect practice now closed

Page Park

Reiach and Hall

Richard Murphy Architects

RMJM Architects – Scottish architect office with design studios also based elsewhere (numerous offices)

StudioKAP Architects

Sutherland Hussey Architects

Ushida Findlay – Scottish architect practice closed then reactivated

British Architect Practices with Scots as directors

Bennetts Associates, London

Benson + Forsyth

Famous 20th Century Scottish Architect

Andrew Doolan – Glasgow born, Edinburgh architect office
Andrew Doolan, grew up in Kirkintilloch; after a spell in the fire service he became an apprentice architect. Andrew Doolan (popularily known simply as Andy) died in 2004. Andrew was a famous Scottish architect, property developer and hotelier, a self-made millionaire. Doolan not only designed and ran his own hotels, but also sponsored the UK’s largest architecture prize, since renamed Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture.

Historic Scottish Architects

Major architects include Robert Adam, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Robert Matthew, William Playfair, David Bryce, Basil Spence, Alexander Thomson, William Burn, JJ Burnet, Thomas Hamilton, William Kininmonth and Gillespie Kidd & Coia architects.

Scottish Architects Practices from the past
Mellerstain House
photo © Adrian Welch

Key Historic Scottish Architects Offices – Further Information

Architects in Scotland, alphabetical by surname:

Robert Adam
Robert was born in 1728 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and is buried in Westminster Abbey, England. Robert Adam was not only the leading Scottish architect of the 18th century – and exponent of the Classical Georgian style – but remains Scotland’s most famous architect. He became architect to George III. Major buildings include the Culzean Castle, Hopetoun House, Register House in Edinburgh, Charlotte Square, Old College, Mellerstain, Dalquharran Castle and Mavisbank. In 1761 Robert was appointed ‘Architect of the King’s Works’, jointly with William Chambers.

William Chambers (Scottish architect, born in Sweden)
William Chambers was born in Sweden of British parentage but practised as an architect in England and Scotland. He was the architecture tutor to King George III and in 1761 was appointed with Robert Adam as George’s Royal Architect of Works. Key buildings include the Royal Academy of Arts and Somerset House, both in London.

Gillespie Kidd & Coia
Glaswegian architecture practice. Their major building was St Peter’s College, Cardross, Helensburgh, Scotland. Jack Coia – Winner of RIBA Gold Medal 1969. In Scotland Gillespie Kidd & Coia are principally known for their Glasgow Churches and tend to be viewed through Isi Metzstein & Andy MacMillan.

Rennie Mackintosh
World famous architect, born in 1868 in Glasgow, designer of Glasgow Herald, Glasgow School of Art, Hill House, House for an Art Lover and the Willow Tea Rooms. Glasgow School of Art is probably the most well known Charles Rennie Mackintosh building and certainly his most well respected. Powerful sandstone block with dark, woody interior – save the bright hen run high up on the south facade – perched on a steep incline. This is architecture of global importance, recorded in most Histories of 20th Century Architecture. Powerful influence for Art Nouveau and later for Modernism.

Robert Matthew
Robert Matthew, born in 1906, became London County Council Chief Architect. Working for the LCC made his name and he was instrumental in creating one of the UK’s key 20th century buildings, New Zealand House off Pall Mall, London. Robert Matthew had graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and he returned to Scotland in 1953. Other key buildings were the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh and David Hume Tower, He was the RM in the later global practice of RMJM, originally titled Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners. He also was Edinburgh University Professor of Architecture later in his career.

Basil Spence
(born in Bombay, India ; died, England)
Basil Spence was born in Bombay but was sent back to Scotland to study. He attended George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, then the architecture school at Heriot-Watt University, before completing his architectural studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.
He started his career as an architecture assistant in the London office of Sir Edwin Lutyens. Major Buildings include Coventry Cathedral, England ; Beehive, Wellington, New Zealand ; University of Sussex, Student Accommodation, Brighton, England ; Queen Elizabeth Square Housing, Glasgow, Scotland ; British Embassy, Rome, Italy and the Ministry of Justice, Kuwait City.

James Stirling
Architects office based in London. Key buildings include the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, Clore Gallery at the Tate Gallery in London, Lowry Centre in Salford andNumber 1 Poultry in the City of London.

Alexander Thomson
Alexander Thomson is one of the best architects of the nineteenth-century architecture and is frequently seen in opposition to fellow Glasgow architect Mackintosh due to the latter’s greater fame in the last few decades. Thomson was a prolific architect and created designs for a wide range of buildings including churches, houses, bazaars, tenements and warehouses. Greek Thomson’s designs are unusual and eclectic, decorative but powerful. His buildings are rooted in the Greek Revival, but he looked for inspiration in architectural styles far beyond Europe. His key buildings are the St Vincent St Church and the Caledonia Road Church.

Location: Scotland

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Smailholm Tower Scotland by Scottish Architects
photograph © AJW

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