Architype’s Edinburgh studio opens its doors


On 3rd November we held a party to celebrate the opening or our new studio space in Edinburgh! 

Around 150 people, including staff, clients, consultants, collaborators and friends, enjoyed a convivial evening of conversation, folk music, artisan food and whisky cocktails.

The party marked a significant moment in the development of Architype, and especially of Architype in Scotland.

About six years ago I became aware of the opportunity created by Scottish Government’s ambitious climate policies, and I felt that Architype could offer some creative solutions…. I realised that to be taken seriously I needed to live in Edinburgh and moved here with my wife, Hilary. I started knocking on doors……the rest, as they say, is history:

  • In 2017 there was me and Hilary
  • At the start of 2019 Ann-Marie Fallon directly supported our Scottish venture
  • At the end of 2019 there were four of us and by spring 2020 when the Covid lockdown hit, there were seven
  • A global pandemic and 2.5 years later, Architype now numbers 32 architectural staff based in Scotland supported by further colleagues based in our Hereford and London studios, working on projects all over Scotland, with a total construction value approaching £300million and making a real difference to zero carbon goals in Scotland

These projects include:

  • Riverside Primary School – Scotland’s first Passivhaus school, for Perth and Kinross Council 
  • Currie Community High School – a Passivhaus secondary school starting on site for City of Edinburgh Council
  • High schools and housing schemes for Midlothian Council
  • Further primary schools for City of Edinburgh Council
  • An innovative energy research centre for East Ayrshire Council
  • And multiple EnerPHit studies for local authorities as tackling the huge retrofit challenge becomes ever more urgent
We enjoyed great music from Craig, Isla, Ally and Tiernan, part of folk group ‘Trip’

We’ve now grown into a large team of talented people, working hard to deliver the highest quality of architecture – all to Passivhaus standards – here in Scotland. Thank you to all of you!

We were lucky to find this building – The Old Assembly Hall – thanks to Beverley of CBRE, and even luckier to find that it was owned by the Uffizi Partnership led by Patrick Gammell, along with Sally and Rory. Patrick almost single handedly oversaw the entire retrofit and took on board our ideas for the specification.  The result of his dedication is evident in the quality of the building we now occupy – so a big thank you Patrick for rescuing this building 27 years ago, and for its latest reincarnation as our new studio.

After 2.5 years of growing the team entirely remotely we decided the moment had come to find a studio space where the team could finally work together for the first time, though we are continuing to offer full hybrid working arrangements for all our co-owners.

The Old Assembly Hall in Leith was built in 1788 to provide a meeting-place for merchants, it included a reading-room, an assembly-room, a coffee-room and a tavern, as well as business offices, so feels like a really appropriate building in which to realise our new vision of a creative space in which we can meet, work, and host events and exhibitions to help organisations as committed to climate action as we are.

At the party I thanked the many people who’ve supported Architype’s journey in developing our Edinburgh team and studio, including:

  • All of our clients in Scotland for putting their trust in us, and for being such amazing clients to work with
  • Consultants and contractors that we’re collaborating with – we wouldn’t be achieving what we are without them
  • Ben and Mark – my fellow directors – and indeed the whole Architype management team for believing in, and supporting, our venture into Scotland from the beginning
  • Ann-Marie for seeing the potential and heeding the call at the very beginning to help get things off the ground here and for her immense and tenacious hard work ever since
  • Three people based in our Hereford studio Mark Lumley, Lee Fordham and especially Emily Partridge – whose dedication to getting our projects here in Scotland off the ground has been incredible
  • Krista, our communications specialist, for the organisation behind the party, along with the amazing Architype team who assisted 
  • Hilary my wife, who has supported and enabled Architype’s journey through thick and thin, from London to Hereford and now to Edinburgh! We really couldn’t have done any of this without you
Rory Gammell of Wee Smoky kept us topped up with his delicious whisky cocktails

We finished with a quadruple toast:

  • To ongoing collaboration between us all
  • To a sustainable future for architecture in Scotland
  • To new life for the Old Assembly Hall
  • To Architype

Many of our guests left the party with a freshly baked baguette!  It seems appropriate that the starter for Sam’s delicious bread has grown and helped us spread the word that our new studio is now firmly on the map and open as a new creative hub for climate action.

We were sad when ‘Sam the Bread’, our architect turned baker extraordinaire decided to leave us, but delighted to now have the double benefit of Sam working freelance for us as an architect AND keeping us supplied with such delicious bread, including the most amazing party buffet.