ONE OF Scotland’s leading architecture firms, Collective Architecture, has launched a new studio in Glasgow’s Bath Street, to coincide with its 25th anniversary.
The employee-owned business – the first of its kind in Scotland – has just moved into the new 6,738 sq. ft. / 625 sq. m. studio at Albert Chambers, with the studio having been designed by its own in-house team.
With 43 employees and a portfolio covering residential, community, cultural, strategic and specialist conservation projects, their projects range from intimate community buildings like the Larick Centre in Fife to strategic plans including Granton Waterfront in Edinburgh. Many of their projects have picked up both local and national awards. The new space, owned by Collective, represents an exciting opportunity for the team to grow, secure its future and expand its capabilities.
The studio features a bespoke model making and display area, exhibition space, and large open plan catering kitchen. It also showcases a mural by internationally renowned Glasgow-based artist Toby Paterson, who worked with the project team to develop a colour palette, which is applied throughout the space.
Scottish Enterprise provided Collective Architecture with early-stage support, through the ‘Workspace Innovation’ fund. This funding supported the appointment of Graven, an internationally award-winning design practice, to engage the full studio in discussions on its new workplace, with workshops focusing on key themes including efficiency, connectivity, confidentiality, wellbeing and expression. Output from these workshops informed the brief for the design of the studio
Launched in 1997 by Chris Stewart, the firm was known as Chris Stewart Architects until 2007 when it became Collective Architecture. Again in 2007, it made the transition to employee-ownership, meaning that each member of staff, regardless of their role, has an integral stake in the business and its success.
Ewan Imrie, Architect, who steered the project through to completion, said: “To have the opportunity to craft a new studio for the team you work with is both an exciting opportunity and great privilege.”
“The design team was highly aware that the space had to work on a functional level, but also had to be a true reflection of our business, our ethos and our collaborative working practice. Our process was to distil the true nature and character of Collective Architecture and present this in a calm and welcoming space where our clients and team feel comfortable, motivated, and inspired.”
Jude Barber, Director, said “Our move to a new studio in Glasgow City Centre is more than a physical change. Together, we’ve invested in our future, created space for growth and wider engagement between ourselves, clients and collaborators. Our business has its roots in Glasgow, has weathered many storms and continues to adapt and evolve. Our team has done a wonderful job in capturing our shared heritage, vision and personality. So, this is also a moment of celebration. The new studio marks 25 years of delivering fascinating buildings, projects and places together – and now provides us the space and fresh energy to create many more.”
Collective Architecture’s work to date includes the development of Calton Hill City Observatory in Edinburgh for Collective (which has won multiple high profile awards including an RIBA and RIAS), Glasgow Women’s Library in Glasgow (the only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history in the UK), Bell Street Stables Housing Development for Wheatley Group (Winner of a Saltire Housing Medal 2021), the Titan Crane in Clydebank (Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award) and The Larick Centre in Tayport (UK AJ Public Building of the Year 2021).
Collective Architecture’s new studio is at Albert Chambers, 13 Bath Street, Glasgow.