Richard Murphy Architects

Profile of Richard Murphy Architects, headquartered in United Kingdom. Three projects submitted by Richard Murphy Architects have been published on Architecture News Plus (ANP).

Richard Murphy Architects team (Richard Murphy Architects)
Richard Murphy Architects team – © Richard Murphy Architects


  • Richard Murphy

Brief description

Richard Murphy Architects is the leading Scottish architectural design practice. We have more awards than any other practice, including seventeen Royal Institute of British Architects Awards, and two from the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland. We began in 1991 and since then have become the best known and most innovative of practices in Scotland. Our work ranges through Education, Leisure, Housing, Health, Arts, Public and Community use and Masterplanning sectors. About 50% of our buildings are in Scotland the remainder are in London, Ireland, Wales, three European countries and Sri Lanka. In recognition of his contribution to architecture Richard Murphy was elected an Academician to the Royal Scottish Academy in 2004 and was awarded an OBE for Services to Architecture by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2007.

The Practice’s initial expertise came from working creatively with historic buildings, either conversions or extensions. Its founder, Richard Murphy, is an academic authority on the work of the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa the greatest exponent of this genre of work, writing two books on his work and presenting a Channel 4 documentary. Many of these building were built for the arts and we have now considerable expertise in theatre and gallery design. Housing, both public and private, has been a major field of activity and we have designed many award winning and innovative urban and suburban projects. Individual house design continues also to be a specialism and here we have developed ideas of the building skin responding differently to summertime and wintertime. Educational buildings feature prominently from nursery schools, a secondary school in Malta and many higher educational buildings including a whole campus in London. In the commercial world we have been responsible for a major master plan of hotels and offices in Edinburgh and a recently completed £44M office and hotel in Aberdeen. And finally, we have designed two British Embassies, a conversion of an existing building in Skopje Macedonia and a new British High Commission in Colombo Sri Lanka which was shortlisted for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize.

In summary, our interests and expertise are wide and varied. Our approach to architecture is summarised by the idea of creating architecture “of its own time and in its own place”, in other words our buildings believe in being the next stage of a long historical development and we consider that as much as possible they should be culturally “rooted” to the place in which they are built. We are also people-orientated architects, and we start every project with an analysis of the functions of the brief and the social potentials of the building. We also believe that energy efficiency can become an expressive part of the design and that constructional detail, well-expressed, gives a building cultural longevity.

Published projects

Edinburgh Academy Nursery by Richard Murphy Architects
Edinburgh Academy Nursery by Richard Murphy Architects Edinburgh Academy had commissioned the practice to design a new nursery and after school facility within the grounds of the existing Junior School. The design...
Moore Street Housing by Richard Murphy Architects
Moore Street Housing by Richard Murphy Architects Following on from the great success of the Graham Square development for Molendinar Park Housing Association, the association invited ourselves along with...
British High Commission by Richard Murphy Architects + Milroy Perera Associates
British High Commission by Richard Murphy Architects + Milroy Perera Associates In 2001 the practice won a limited competition for the design of a new British High Commission in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. The commission is an...

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