The Recap: a weekly update from Architecture and Design Scotland

People pointing at a physical version of the Place Standard tool during a workshop in Benarty.
Published: 26/04/2024

(26 April) Welcome to the Recap - a weekly update blog from Architecture and Design Scotland. This is based on our internal blog that is shared with staff and board members on Fridays. 

This week the Recap is bringing you news of the first in-person meeting of the Town Centre Action Plan Forum, a new bridge on the Clyde, Creative Places for a New Economy, a Learning for Sustainability workshop, not one, but two, visits to Benarty and our impending move to the Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Bridging communities 

Thursday saw the arrival of the first part of the new double-leaf swing road bridge between Renfrew and Yoker, one of the longest of its type in the world. Designed by Kettle Collective, the project is part of the Glasgow Region City Deal and was improved in collaborative workshops as part of our design advice pre-Covid led by Steve Malone and Danny McKendry and supported by members of our design panel.

As well as linking two well-established communities on either side of the River Clyde, the link enables residential and leisure opportunities on the formally industrial riversides by providing a new landmark and moving spectacle. Importantly, it provides dedicated cycle and pedestrian access as well as vehicular.

Creative Places for a New Economy

On Wednesday, our Principal Landscape Architect Danny McKendry was a panellist at the Creative Places for a New Economy event organised by the Scottish Property Federation and held at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

It was a very busy, and indeed buzzy, in-person event where the public and private sectors had the opportunity to share their aspirations and some frustrations. Retrofit and new build were discussed as well as the importance of creating sustainable mixed-use and mixed-tenure places. The Scottish Property Federation represents the interests of all those involved in real estate ownership and investment in Scotland.


On Monday night Alex Laurenson attended Benarty – one of the places involved in our Climate Action Towns Project - for a Place Standard workshop as part of their Local Place Plan. Coalfields Regeneration Trust is assisting the community with the design of the combined Local Place Plan and Community Action Plan which incorporates the climate-focused work from Climate Action Towns. 

Benarty Round 2

Alex was back in Benarty on Thursday for the People in Place monthly workshops held by Fife Council. This group worked together to understand people’s needs.

It was refreshing hearing how the work of Climate Action Towns has brought together the groups who until the last few months, often worked completely independently of one another. Alex highlighted the work of Climate Action Towns and the benefits of working collaboratively to achieve the best outcomes. 

The attendees were impressed by the aspiration of the community council and a few people in the room started discussing funding opportunities.

Town Centre Action Plan Forum

Our Director of Design Heather Claridge and our Chief Executive Jim MacDonald joined colleagues from SFT, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the Scottish Government and many other organisations for the latest meeting of the Forum chaired by Mr Fitzpatrick, Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning.

Heather provided attendees with an overview of the themes emerging from the five town centre living roadshows that concluded recently. There followed a lively discussion which focused on the need for action and how to initiate this. It certainly seemed to be the case that everyone recognised the importance of putting communities at the heart of what happens to their places. 

A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2024

We are delighted to announce that the 2024 A&DS & RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture will be opening for submissions on 15 May at 12pm. The A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards provide a place to bring together the five schools of architecture in Scotland to celebrate the continuing high standards of Scottish architecture. It ensures that both construction professionals and the public can enjoy the creativity and vision of Scotland's future architects.

You can check out the winners of the A&DS/RIAS Student Awards for Architecture 2023 awards here. To hear past winners talk about their projects and what they are up to now, take a look back at the Past Winners Zoom recording here.

Edinburgh Futures Institute here we come

After what seems like an eternity, we will be moving into our new office next week and our Corporate Services Team colleagues can get their lives back!... Ahead of the move, our Leadership Team met with the team at EFI on Thursday to check on progress and run through a few ‘on-boarding’ questions before we arrive on 1 May. While there is some work still to be finished, the office and other informal spaces are all ready and looking pretty fantastic.