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Department of Architecture


Richard Murphy OBE (Director Richard Murphy Architects)

Abstract: The title of this lecture is explained by Richard Murphy Architects' location between two different points pf view. There is little in our work that might be called avant-garde. The office does not subscribe to the high-octane world of the international 'starchitects' depositing iconic buildings in different cultures around the world, which whilst having some superficial photo-journalistic value, rarely repay close inspection. The other position is represented by the society in which we work, Edinburgh in particular, but also elsewhere in the UK. This is a city in which many citizens wish that the modern era had never occurred. Modern architecture, it seems to be universally agreed, has spoilt the view. However it is essential for the health of our culture that we make buildings that are recognisably of today so that in the future there will be some history of this era to preserve. Rooting recognisably new buildings into old places or particular landscapes; contributing towards rather than damaging, their location; continuing rather than fossilising, the history of a place: these are our objectives. We call it architecture of its time and place.

Biography: Richard Murphy was educated at Newcastle and Edinburgh Universities. Before founding Richard Murphy Architects he worked for MacCormac Jamieson and Pritchard Architects in London, and directed the edinburgh office of Alsop Lyall & Stormer Architects. He has taught at Edinburgh University, Robert Gordon University, Edinburgh College of Art, Strathclyde University, The Technical University of Braunschweig, the University of Virginia and Syracruse University, New York State. Richard's publications include Carlo Scarpa and the Castelvecchio (Butterworths Architecture, 1991), Querini Stampalia Foundation, Carlo Scarpa (Phaidon Press, 1983) and An Architects' Appreciation of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Bellew Publishing, 1990). He is an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Honorary Fellow of Napier University. His practice has won 21 RIBA and RIAI awards in as many years.

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012 - 13:15 to 14:15
Event location: 
Classroom, Department of Architecture