nicoll russell studios
architects + interior designers

RIAS Sustainability Accreditation


Senior Associate Gerry Farquharson has received the prestigious accolade of RIAS Sustainability Accreditation. He is now one of only 28 architects in Scotland who has achieved this accreditation.
Gerry’s Accreditation reflects his experience and knowledge gained in the practical implementation of a series of sustainable design projects, the most recent of which, Hillcrest Housing Association's new head quarters in Dundee, has received a coveted BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Since then Gerry has expanded upon these practical achievements by embarking in study towards a MSc in Advanced Sustainability of The Built Environment at The University of Dundee and attendance at a Certified European ‘Passivhaus’ Designer Course at The University of Strathclyde. The RIAS’s Accreditation in Sustainable Architecture puts him in the top one percent of the architectural profession with regards to Sustainability and complements the practice’s status as an Approved Certifier of Design (Energy) for domestic buildings and member of the Scottish Ecological Design Association.
Green issues are now a key component in every client's shopping list when considering a building development or refurbishment. Nicoll Russell Studios in-house green design manual has been created to reflect this, and we are delighted that we can offer our clients industry leading experience in the form of Gerry's input.


Hillcrest Housing Association Headquarters, Dundee - Now Complete


hillcrest 01 Hillcrest 02

An exemplar of low carbon design; The Hillcrest HQ is a practical, sustainable, value for money headquarters for the Hillcrest Housing Association. Designed in synergy, delivered in partnership and enjoyed in use, the building’s flexible layout and physical elegance ably satisfy the Client’s requirements and aspirations.


Major Briggait Success


Nicoll Russell Studios' Briggait project has won a range of awards, but its success at the National Civic Trust Awards was particularly pleasing for the practice. The Briggait won both a National Civic Trust Award and the Civic Trust's Special Award for Scotland. Ric Russell enthused "our project was up against very strong competition both here in Scotland and from throughout Britain. It was therefore very pleasing to pick up two of the Trust's major awards in the one evening. We hope that we can build on this success and believe that the creative vision we offered which has brought fresh life into this much loved complex of grade A listed buildings in central Glasgow can be applied to secure the future of many fine buildings throughout Scotland."
Those successes have been underlined by the Architects' Journal reviewing the project in detail and illustrating the project on its front cover. The Briggait is also illustrated in Glasgow City Council's new guide to its 50 top landmarks.

Click here for some images and information about the project

Nicoll Russell Studios Break Duck At Scottish Design Awards


Nicoll Russell's award winning Briggait project has broken a 15 year duck for the practice at the Scottish Design Awards. Whilst Nicoll Russell Studios have won a number of RIBA awards during this time they have never progressed beyond the initial short list in the Scottish Design Awards. The Briggait broke this duck by winning a commendation in the 2011 awards building on its success in the RICS awards and in its double success at the National Civic Trust Awards.



The Briggait Voted as one of Glasgow’s Top 50 Landmarks and Best Buildings


The exciting announcement by Glasgow’s Lord Provost places the Nicoll Russell Studios recently completed arts and regeneration project alongside buildings of world quality. The initiative is led by the Mackintosh Heritage Group, working in partnership with key heritage organisations and with funding from Scottish Enterprise. Public nominations were reviewed by a panel of experts and the Briggait was judged worthy to be included onto the final list of Glasgow’s ‘Top 50 Landmarks’. The group’s aim is to enable people to explore Glasgow’s unique buildings through a series of trails and plaques and encourage visitors to come to Glasgow.
Nicoll Russell Studios Partner Willie Watt noted that “We are delighted that the project has been so well received so soon after it’s completion and we hope it will catalyse the redevelopment of the surrounding area.”



Howden Park Centre wins Building of the Year Award


The Howden Park Centre in Livingston has been named Building of the Year by the Edinburgh Architectural Association. The prestigious award was announced at a ceremony in the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, on Thursday 1 April.
The Centre is West Lothian's major arts venue for professional and community groups as well as for functions, conferences and other events. It follows in the footsteps of a long line of award winning Arts buildings designed by the Studios, and includes a 300 seat Auditorium, Rehearsal, Dance, and Art studios, and the new home of Firefly Youth Theatre. It was funded by West Lothian Council and the Scottish Arts Council.
Scott Turpie, Partner at NRS, said "All at Nicoll Russell Studios are delighted that the efforts of the entire Project Team have been recognised in this way. Although we work throughout the UK and have completed many successful projects across the country, in our experience this client’s commitment to enhancing Community development through access to the Arts has been a unique and defining feature of the project. Feedback from the 50,000 visitors to the building in its first year has been tremendous and we wish all at Howden Park continued success for the years ahead".
Over 40 entries were submitted to the EAA awards this year and 12 short-listed projects across 3 categories were visited by the judging panel in February. The judging panel comprised Robert Black, President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association, Professor Andrew MacMillan OBE, leading landscape architect Eelco Hooftman and Ian Stewart, EAA Council Member. Robert Black said "It is gratifying and encouraging that the profession continues to achieve such a high standard of architecture across a wide variety of building types".

Click here for some images and information about the project

The Briggait Now Complete


briggait 1 briggait 2

The transformation of the city of Glasgow’s old fishmarket into a vibrant new home for up to 100 visual artists and cultural organisations is now complete. Professional photography of the completed building is now underway however in the mean time please have a look at our project page which contains some of our own photographs of the building nearing completion.

*update* Professional photography now complete

Howden Park Centre on Shortlist For Building of the Year


The Howden Park Centre is one of only four buildings shortlisted for the "Building of the Year" category in the 2010 EAA Awards.

Click here for some images and information about the project

New Nicoll Russell Studios Website!


Good bye old site .. Hello new! It had all been agreed the old website was past its sell by date and in much need of being revamped. Much to our delight Dave Tipping one of our designers in his own time presented us with a working prototype for a new site and set to work on creating the finished article. Lots of new projects have been added to the portfolio pages and these will be updated on a regular basis to show the broad range of exciting new projects the office is working on. We are currently developing the staff pages to include cvs but also to provide an insight into the personality and creativeness of each individual.


NRS @ Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2009



This year NRS have a large board at the RSA Annual exhibition displaying the recently complete Howden Park Arts Centre and also a video showing a fly through animation of the proposals for a new footbridge / interchange at Telford. The Exhibition runs from the 14 Nov - 20 Dec 2009 and is a highlight of the exhibiting year. It features selected submissions from leading and emerging artists from across Scotland, as well as a number of specially invited artists and architects


Willie Watt Appointed as new DIA President



Congratulations Willie!! The DIA or Dundee Institute of Architects is one of six Chapters of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. It was conceived by architects from Dundee in 1884, and has grown to represent an area stretching from Anstruther in the East to Loch Earn in the West, and Glenrothes in the South to Blair Atholl in the North. The DIA celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and we are very proud that NRS Partner Willie is the new President.


Fighting the Doom and Gloom


Award winning Broughty Ferry architectural practice Nicoll Russell Studios is starting 2009 with a string of successes.
Doug Binnie a partner in the practice and a former Chamber of Commerce President said “there is obviously a lot of doom and gloom at the moment about the economy and in particular about the construction industry. We sensed the onset of these dramatic changes some time ago and put in place measures to insulate our practice from them. Our practice therefore developed a diversified client base both geographically and in terms of the types or size of the projects we are involved in.
“We have also adopted a policy of ‘leaving no stone unturned’ and have looked at opportunities at face value, whether they are large or small. That attitude has given us a great deal of optimism because it has illustrated to us the demand for high quality design.”
“As a result of that success we have recently been appointed as Technical Advisors to the international project management consultancy Drivers Jonas on a new £38million court building. Over the past year alone we have been invited to participate in major projects in Birmingham, Liverpool, Sunderland, Wolverhampton, the City of London and West Bromwich.”
“Our workload is deliberately very diverse so we are currently involved in major retail, arts, leisure, engineering and education projects. We have recently opened new stores for Debenhams in Blackpool and Wrexham. Closer to home our Howden Park Arts Centre in Livingston is nearing completion and our redevelopment of the Briggait, an entire urban block of Grade A listed buildings in central Glasgow has recently started on site.”
“We have recently been informed that we are short listed for the £25million refurbishment of Aberdeen Art Gallery, and we have won a competition to design a similarly sized commercial development in the City of London. We have recently completed designs for a dramatic new bridge and station in Telford, are on the short list for Edinburgh City Council’s Architectural Framework and were short listed to design Sir Ian Wood’s vision for central Aberdeen.”
“We believe that quality design is going to be a particularly important commodity during the recession, because it allows a client to differentiate what they offer from their competitors. When you consider that from the perspective of the housing, hotel, retail, or restaurant industries you can imagine the pressure tired or unimaginative brands are going to face during the recession.”
“We are looking forward to the New Year. There are undoubtedly going to be challenges throughout the year ahead, but we feel that we are well placed to combat them.”


20+ years celebration



A Party was thrown in the office for George Masson, Andrew McDougall and Irene Carrie to celebrate their 20 years with NRS. Each was presented with a gift as an appreciation of their dedication to the practice. Here’s to the next 20 years!


Howden Park Centre Completed!


howden 2 howden 3

NRS has yet another Arts building to add to the ever expanding list of exciting projects. The positive feedback from the client and building users has been overwhelming and has made working on such a project extremely rewarding. Please click on the image above to view a slideshow of images and some information about the project.


Nicoll Russell Studios' Exhibition - "Still Grasping the Nettle"



An exhibition celebrating 25 years of our work will be held at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen from Tuesday 7th October 2008 until Friday 31st October 2008. The exhibition illustrates the breadth of our work which our practice has successfully produced and explores the themes and priorities which make such projects unique, and then looks into the future.


Dundee Doors Open Day


As part of the Dundee Doors Open Day, Nicoll Russell Studios will be open to the public on Saturday 20th September from 9:30am until 4.00pm. It's an opportunity to experience our working environment and will offer an interesting insight into the range of creative, challenging and inspirational projects being undertaken by the practice. Our exhibition "Still Grasping the Nettle" which celebrates 25 years of our work will also be on display.


Local Success In National Photographic Competition



Nicoll Russell Studios are celebrating the success of two of their employees in reaching the final of a national photographic competition organised by the international manufacturer Steelcase Office Furniture. Scott McIntyre and Agnes Hegedus, have both reached the final thirteen and have seen their work published in a commemorative book. They await the judges’ decision at a gala dinner and exhibition to be held in London’s Farringdon on Friday 5th September 2008. Scott is an interior designer who has worked for the practice for three years and was a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone, he has been involved in many of the practice’s restaurants including the recently opened “Playwright” in Dundee. Agnes is Hungarian and graduated from the Budapest Technical University in Architecture and Engineering and has worked on some of the practice’s key projects over recent years including the Calyx in Perth. Scott and Agnes are delighted that their work has been so well received, and were surprised that they were both in the final as they did not realise that the other had entered. The competition was organised by Steelcase and sponsored by On Office, to photograph their iconic Westside Chair. It was open to all design practices including architects, interior designers, product designers, and graphic designers in the UK, and received a colossal 600 entries from around the country. Scott enthused that “the competition has been so successful because every entrant received a chair which they then photographed, Steelcase gave us a very open brief, and I suppose we just tried to look at the challenge with a fresh eye. Agnes and I both chose to photograph the chair in a position which is clearly out of context with its clean modern appearance. That sense of humour seems to have paid off, and we have high hopes for the final.” The competition has been judged by the internationally renowned architectural photographer Tim Soar, whose work is regularly published around the world. Nicoll Russell Studios’ senior partner Ric Russell enthused “our practice has won many awards over the years, so we are particularly pleased that two of our younger members of staff are clearly maintaining that tradition. We are very proud of their achievements as the only successful entries from Scotland, and because we have two representatives in the final. Everyone in our office is keeping their fingers crossed that Agnes and Scott will both come to the top of the judges list”.


Nicoll Russell Studios' Exhibition - "Still Grasping the Nettle"


An exhibition celebrating 25 years of our work will be held at the Wellgate Library, Dundee from Tuesday 17th June until Friday 4th July, during the library's normal opening hours. The exhibition illustrates the breadth of our work which our practice has successfully produced and explores the themes and priorities which make such projects unique, and then looks into the future.


Degree Show Award


Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art’s annual degree show started on Friday 16th May and ran until the 24th May. Nicoll Russell Studios’ partner Ric Russell presented the practice’s annual award to the best second year student. Ric enthused “ we have sponsored this award for many years and we hope that involvement and our continuing input via teaching and work placements encourages the students and gives them an insight to the challenges of the real world. The College have trawled through the work of the second years and eventually decided that our award should go to Sam Wilson. Congratulations to him and the students of all years for what is a very interesting show.”


The Institute of Sport and Exercise



The NFRC recognised and rewarded Nicoll Russell Studios’ ISE at the University of Dundee as an outstanding example of modern cladding, used to great architectural affect. Nicoll Russell Studios’ partner Ron McHoul represented the practice at the Federation’s annual conference and awards ceremony, held in Cardiff. He noted that the judges considered that the bold candy stripped Institute reflected the “quality of workmanship, resolution of technical challenges, problem solving, environmental qualities and aesthetics, which the federation wishes to promote. Clearly we hope that this award for the ISE will be the first of many.”


Nicoll Russell Studios' Trip to Berlin


The Berlin tour was fantastic we saw some amazing buildings, took thousands of photographs and came home suitably refreshed - roll on the next NRS weekend away!


Nicoll Russell Studios' Exhibition - "Still Grasping the Nettle"


The exhibition in the RIAS is now over, it looked great. Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit, we appreciate your interest.