Scottish Architecture – What’s Happening?

Just like many other industries, architecture is a constantly changing factor that affects every building, interior, and landscape.
It is always interesting to see what is happening in the world of design and in official projects. Here are just a sample of Architect firms, and design practices that have caught our eye recently.


Brown + Brown Architects was set up by 2 young architects who have cut their teeth at bigger practises and took the initiative to set up their own practise  Aberdeen. They are now undertaking some fantastic projects.

New house at Vatlos by Brown + Brown Architects, Isle of Lewis. Internal view of living and kitchen spaces

One project in particular is this residential proposal which is due for completion this month. The site is on the West coast on the Isle of Lewis. One of the attractions to this area is the ‘out of this world’ views across the harbour and the sea. Therefore playing on that, Brown + Brown have ensured that they have utilised the view as best they can with the use of several large openings along the buildings façade. This also allows for a greater level of light to pass into the building giving a large spread of natural light which minimises the necessity to use artificial light through out the main body of the building and create a fantastic quality of light. It is a well known fact that the quality of light on the Scottish Islands is fantastic and for this reason has attracted artists and photographers.

The large vaulted living soace has extensive views across the harbour and is the main link between the lower rooms and the first floor bedrooms. A clever stairwell cuts up through the centre of the house adding drama to the space and clear, easy access. This rift in the body of the building seems to make perfect sense and sits comfortably with the clean lines and geometric forms of the property.


 To help soften the geometry of the space the buildings internal skin is covered in birch plywood. This cost effective material creates a great deal of warmth, leaving the textures and natural rhythm blending it with the serene location. Whereas we often disguise the structural materials of a building Brown + Brown have celebrated the construction and a tactile a robust environment. We’ve seen this technique used with concrete in the past, with shuttering and casting lines adding to the gravity of public spaces. It’s great to see someone achieve this with a more low impact structural material.

House at Valtos Under Construction, site image, Brown + Brown Architects

Moving to the other end of architectural scale. Another project that caught our eye is the exciting work of  JAMstudio. Based on a steading in the middle of rural Inverurie, near Aberdeen, they are a quirky and unique Design practice. A relatively small practise they are pulling in some big work and their portfolio is growing from strength to strength. They have built a reputation for creating interesting architecture and interior design for both large multinationals and domestic clients.

The project that caught our eye is the office space project for the oil and gas company, Dana Petroleum which is a global operator across with its headquarters in Aberdeen. This £5.5million project has really turned the ‘normal’ office space on its head but it works due to the contemporary layouts and the consistent use of white space. The use of bright colours helps to throw conventional office space out the window at the same time as keeping the normal functionality of a working environment. We love the splash of colour and question that anyone can come to work ‘under the weather’ and not be invigorated.

By contrasting classic design pieces with strong colours and crisp clean lines they have managed to create a work space that is fun, but still manages to mean business. We love the combination of wood veneers, Eames office chairs and punchy pink in this meeting room. 21st Century functionality meets mid century class and style.

One other interesting concept JAMstudio’s played with was the custom lighting that was created to symbolise the companies logo. This in itself gives the building a sense of ownership and re-branding the office place as more of a home for the firm rather than a commercial environment. It’s great details like this that makes this less of a project and more of a relationship.


I would definitely recommend you have a look through both companies project work to really see how architecture in Scotland is on the up and back to designing the buildings fit for modern man.

Click here to check out Brown + Brown Architects,

Click here to check out JAMstudio


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This entry was posted on February 26, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , .
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