Lessons Learnt from Design Review Masterplans

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Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) launched ‘Design Review – Lessons Learnt – Masterplans at the Scottish Design Skills Symposium in Dundee in 2010.

Masterplans were chosen as the subject of the first Lessons Learnt from A&DS Design Review publication for a number of reasons. The Scottish Government has promoted the use of masterplans as part of its ‘urban design toolkit’ since launch of the policy statement Designing Places in 2001. Partly as a result, masterplanning is now widely encouraged as it allows consideration of the overall relationship between buildings and spaces, the three dimensional qualities of places that are to be created, and how proposals integrate with a wider context.

A&DS encourages the making of well-designed places that respect and contribute to their settings, promote a sense of well-being and make the best use of resources and opportunities. These qualities can be assessed effectively in the context of a masterplan; early Design Review is a practical way to engage with the design process at a formative stage to set the context for future development.

This booklet articulates the lessons A&DS believes can be learnt from masterplans that have been assessed through our Design Review process. The evidence base for these lessons are projects considered at our Reviews between September 2005 and December 2009.

There was considerable variety in the scope of masterplans reviewed, the disciplines leading the proposition, and the intentions that lay behind them. Nevertheless, our analysis of proposals identified common points which we believe constitute ‘lesson learnt’ and are of value in the development of future masterplan projects.

Masterplans PDF

Design Forum Report: Dallas Dhu

A&DS Design Forum Report on workshop relating to Housing Masterplan for Dallas Dhu, Forres - a development on the edge of Forres, Moray.

Design Advice workshop guidance

Our Design Advice workshop Guidance document and with contact details for those seeking to learn more about our programme of work.

Rowett North (AECC)

Draft Masterplan for the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Millerhill RERC

Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) at Millerhill, Midlothian


Masterplan of new build residential neighbourhood at Broomhills.

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