News

Here is a selection of news, views and things that stimulate our thinking.

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This week will see two of our directors at major conferences to showcase our work and make new connections. Ewan Anderson will be at @ukreiif in Leeds and Ben Watson will be at @bco_uk Birmingham. Both events are great opportunities to be part of conversations about how we shape our cities and workplaces in sustainable ways. We’re sure there will be lots of familiar faces in Leeds and Birmingham and so please get in touch if you’d like to catch-up while there!
University of Glasgow wins ‘Place in Progress’ award. We are delighted that the University of Glasgow’s Western Campus has been recognised as the best ‘Place in Progress’ in the 2024 Pineapple Awards. 7N Architects designed the masterplan, in collaboration with AECOM, and the public realm/infrastructure was delivered by Arup and LUC. Thanks go to the whole project team, and particularly to the client team at the University of Glasglow, for their vision and enthusiastic support to realising such a fantastic project. This award is special to us as each year The Pineapples celebrate the best instances of people experiencing architecture. Placemaking has always been a fundamental driver in our work and so we feel particular resonance with these awards. Client: @uofglasgow Development Partner: @multiplexconstruction_uk Masterplan Lead: @aecom / @7n.architects Infrastructure Lead: @arupgroup Public Realm / Landscape Designer: @lucinsider Planning Consultant: @rydennews Architects: @hoknetwork atkinsrealis @hassell_studio
A benchmark ESG development within Edinburgh’s emerging business district at Haymarket. Continuing our run of recent planning successes, we can share that our second workspace project at Haymarket Yards for Stamford Properties Ltd. has received approval from the @edinburgh_council. The east building delivers 6,285 sqm (GIA) of workspace at the key public transport hub of Haymarket. New active frontage will provide vibrancy and activity along one of the principal tram and cycle routes within the city. Designed as a new kind of workspace to help occupiers meet ESG policy requirements for sustainability, wellbeing, and connectivity to public transport, this building supersedes our prior approval for a hotel on the same site and will allow Haymarket Yards to emerge as a contemporary workplace campus. The BREEAM Outstanding building will complement the previously consented adjacent office building and together they will provide over 28,500 sqm (GIA) of premium workspace, meeting one of Edinburgh’s key demands for future growth. We now look forward to moving ahead to construction later this year. Visualisation by @daakostudio @cbre @savills @edmondshipwayllp @atelier_ten @optimisedenvironmentsltd Scott Hobbs Planning Woolgar Hunter
7N Architects are pleased to share that, as we mark our 15th successful year of practice, we have become an Employee Owned Business. After many years of steady growth and establishing ourselves as one of Scotland’s leading independent architectural practices, this transition will secure our long term future for the years ahead. Founding Director Ewan Anderson has transferred 100% of his ownership shareholding to an Employee Owned Trust (EOT) that will act on behalf of all of the studio’s 24 employees. Often referred to as the ‘John Lewis’ model, the EOT structure allows every member of our team to share in the future success of the practice. Our practice’s leadership team has been expanded with Ben Watson and Craig Tait joining Ewan Anderson on the Board as Directors. They will work in conjunction with a Board of Trustees that includes an independent Chair, John Hume, and 7N team members Laura Adamson and Lisa Blyth, both of whom were elected by their fellow employees. As one of the founder members of the practice, Lisa has seen the team grow from 7 to 24 people and described the recent process: “The whole employee ownership transition was a hugely insightful experience that showed how all of our employees could play a significant role in the future of the practice. All team members took part in a variety of workshops that ranged from, how to define our purpose statement, to exploring what kind of work will be the focus of the studio in the future. The flexible and democratic structure will ensure the collegiate and pro-active culture of the studio continues to flourish at 7N Architects.” We would like to take this opportunity to thank Carole Leslie of Ownership Associates UK for guiding us so well through the process, as well as TLT LLP for legal advice, and Alan Watt of Reference Point for financial advice. It is an exciting time for the practice. This announcement gives us an opportunity to look forward to a bright future, which has been created from everyone’s hard work and talents, and one where all employees will collectively benefit from the team’s continued success.
“When you can work anywhere, why work here?” This is a question that our team frequently consider with workspace projects. As 7N Director Ben Watson notes, “Now that most of us have the capability to work remotely, we can be more selective about the places we choose to work. For commercial landlords and occupiers, this means workplaces have to do more to persuade people to use them. Put simply, people prefer to work in pleasant, healthy, and inspiring spaces.” At Edinburgh Green, our proposals make the most of the city-edge location to create a generous new public park that replaces surface parking with richly landscaped green space, a cafe-event pavilion, sport facilities, and a mobility hub. Forming an integral part of Edinburgh Park’s transformation into a more diverse mixed use neighbourhood, the new park will be open to the public and be used outside office hours to bring a vitality and density of use that is mutually beneficial to both office users and the wider neighbourhood. Proposals include an array of six new office buildings that are designed to provide flexible and efficient workspace, exploiting the views across the new parkland and beyond. Priority will be given to both pedestrians and cyclists through a network of green routes that connect with Edinburgh’s active travel and public transport infrastructure. Niamh O’Reilly, Associate Director responsible for the project, observes that: “Successful workplaces are increasingly underpinned by the same placemaking principles that guide all of our work at 7N. As occupiers ‘right-size’ their portfolios, we are seeing an increase in demand for high quality ESG focussed workspace that realises a broad definition of commercial, environmental, and social value.” Edinburgh Green received planning approval in January 2024 and work on site is anticipated to start later this year. Visualisations by @daakostudio @shelborn_am @optimisedenvironmentsltd @rydennews @cbre_uk @atelier_ten @swecouk @edmondshipwayllp @cavendishconsulting Woolgar Hunter Montagu Evans
Completing a busy first quarter to 2024, we have recently delivered the second section of our @neweidyn development for @nativeland_ltd Perched atop of the @stjamesquarter, New Eidyn is an exceptional collection of 152 apartments within the centre of the capital. Associate Director, Chris Raeburn, describes the project: “New Eidyn is a development unlike anything else in Edinburgh, with an unparalleled city centre location. The experience of the residents is carefully planned around a series of thoughtful spaces, materials, and views, which continuously connects them with Edinburgh’s cityscape as they journey from street to penthouse.” For our team, it is exciting to reach this stage and to have now delivered two of three sections to our client, Native Land, acting on behalf of Nuveen Real Estate and their development partner Queensberry Properties. We have built a vast amount of housing for a broad range of clients across our 15-year history and we never tire of the rewarding feeling when people start to occupy their new homes. Photographs by @zac.and.zac @neweidyn @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @gt_llp @nuveeninv @beckinteriors @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle Thomas & Anderson David Stanley Associates
March 2024 was a rewarding month for us. Hot on the heels of our 525 Ferry Road planning success was the approval of another significant residential development, ‘The Foundry’ at Inverlair Avenue in Glasgow. This scheme, designed in close collaboration with @calahomes (Cala Homes West), will transform a redundant industrial site by creating a new landscape setting and delivering a vibrant sustainable place to live with 254 new homes. Designed to bridge the gap between the scale of the surrounding tenements and the neighbouring industrial development, a series of five high-density blocks are positioned to draw connections with the surrounding built-fabric, while creating a generous landscaped environment that will bring ecological benefits to the community and beyond. Craig Tait, Director at 7N, explains our project approach: “Beyond our urban response to the site, each of the buildings at Inverlair Avenue adopt a ‘fabric-first’ approach in their design by optimising orientation, envelope, and the microclimate of the landscaped spaces between. These strategies, combined with the creation of an on-site centralised ground-source heat network, will ensure that the project meet its net-zero emission targets, reflecting 7N’s commitment to the delivery of sustainable development that connect with, and enhance, local communities.” We are really pleased that this project was unanimously supported by @glasgowcc and we look forward to developing the next stages with our wonderful client, Cala Homes West, in the coming months. Visualisations by @daakostudio @iceniprojects @dougallbaillie @oobe_landscape @carbonfutures Hawthorne Boyle
Urban density and a high-level of landscape amenity - they are two-sides of the same coin. One of our biggest news stories regarding our projects in recent times was nothing to do with the design when the planning committee discussions around our 525 Ferry Road project for Artisan in early 2024 ended in the infamous coin toss decision that made national news. Now that the decision has sensibly been overturned and the press controversy has died down it feels like a good time to tell the story of the project behind the headlines. Located at a key junction within the city, 525 Ferry Road is strategically important staging-post between the City and the waterfront, catalysed by the planned expansion of Edinburgh’s tram network. Following the ‘Brownfield First Strategy’, the project replaces a vacant data-centre with a residential-led, mixed use development in order to achieve the sustainable objectives of City Plan 2030 and NPF4 to meet the city’s housing needs. 256 new homes will be created, 25% of which will be affordable. Redefining the site as place for people, the proposals also include workspace units and a new public realm to create a new active frontage to Ferry Road. “Our proposals for 525 Ferry Road create urban density, but not at the cost of a high level of amenity and landscape. Orientated around a central residents’ garden, the design delivers an on-site biodiversity net gain of over 200% and creates a new urban community with the benefits of living within a well-connected, vibrant, landscape-focused place.” Craig Tait, director at 7N Architects. 525 Ferry Road weaves together many of the key strategic ambitions of 7N Architects: unlocking the hidden potential of sites, creating something special, and delivering for our clients a unique and high value solution. The supply of much needed new homes in this area, and the wide-reaching biodiversity gains provided by this brownfield development, will ensure that this project is a transformative piece in the future growth of Edinburgh. Thank you to client @artisan_real_estate for their vision and to the design team for their contributions to this exciting project. Visualisation by @daakostudio
Happy 15th Birthday 7N Architects It’s a great opportunity to look back and celebrate the accomplishments of the team over these past 15 years and to look forward to the bright future, made possible from everyone’s hard work and talents. Day 1 at Palmerston Place in 2009 feels like a lifetime ago. The banks had crashed, there were only scraps of work around, and people whose advice I valued were telling me I was off my head and would lose my home. It wasn’t the best time to start an architecture practice, admittedly, but the “seven of us in the north” had a plan and belief. It was a rocky road at times but, thanks to the energy, ambition and determination of everyone who has played a part in our journey, we got there, and we’ve had great times along the way. Pausing for a moment to look back, it’s a good feeling to reflect on what the practice has achieved over these past 15 years. We’ve projects from London to Lerwick. We’ve created the City Centre Strategy for Glasgow, masterplans for University of Glasgow and Inverness Campus, a new station concept for Network Rail, a distillery (still maturing nicely), built hundreds of new homes both in some of the most deprived and affluent parts of Scotland, and have developed transformational proposals for new workspaces which put people’s wellbeing at the heart of the design. It’s an exciting time for the practice. Our Randolph Place studio in Edinburgh’s West End has never been busier. My 23 wonderfully talented colleagues and I are looking forward to a range of challenging and inspiring projects this year including new residential and mixed-use developments at Fountainbridge, Western Harbour and West Town, a new 20 Minute Neighbourhood of 7,000 homes, that reaffirm our passion for making places that make a difference. I’d like to give thanks to our many clients, collaborators, and past and present team members over the years, all of whom have made this possible and helped us in our endeavour to make better places. Above all, I’d like to thank those who believed in us and gave us a chance, particularly in the early days when there were safer choices to make. Thank you for placing your trust in us. Ewan Anderson
National recognition for 7N’s Rowanbank Gardens project. Our project with @artisan_real_estate has been shortlisted in the Residential Development of the Year (Scotland) at the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2024. This is enormously rewarding recognition of the design qualities of the 126 new family homes in the West of Edinburgh. With some purchasers starting to occupy the building, we are excited to see this project reach completion in the coming months and we will share more shortly. @rankinfraserlandscapearch @atelier_ten
Delighted to share that 7N Architect’s HubStation won the award for ‘Outstanding Project Under £20m’ at the Spotlight Rail Awards 2024 last night. Congratulations to all of the team! Our HUB Station designs for sustainable stations that connect communities can be used across the UK and are the result of 7N Architects ongoing collaboration with @networkrail, @arupgroup, @gt_llp and @lucinsider Visualisation by @pillarvisuals
7N are celebrating a double planning success with the granting of permission for ‘The Foundry’ at Inverlair Avenue in Glasgow and ‘525 Ferry Road’ in Edinburgh. These schemes will provide a combined 510 new homes on key brownfield sites in both cities. They are the result of extensive collaboration with our clients @calahomes Cala Homes (West) and @artisan_real_estate and we are excited to take them both forward. Visualisations by @daakostudio
Happy International Women’s Day! Today we are celebrating the remarkable women who contribute to our studio and the wider industry. As part of our Inspiring Leaders Series, we have been fortunate to have had talks from a range of inspiring and successful women, organised by our Women in Architecture Group, including Lisa Findlay, Anna Mansfield, @cllrhollybruce and Collette Anderson. A special thank you to all of those who have given their valuable time to talk to us, and we hope to continue to #inspireinclusion and be inspired by women throughout the rest of the series and beyond.
Our winter newsletter is out! Check out our latest update for a window into some of the exciting things that have been keeping us busy and inspired. This edition: major milestones for New Eidyn, Haymarket Yards, West Town, and Edinburgh Green, as well as an award for HubStation See the link in our profile.
7N secure planning for Edinburgh Green Campus. We are pleased to share that @edinburgh_council Councillors have approved our Edinburgh Green proposals for Shelborn, a net zero carbon (in operation) workplace campus to be built at Edinburgh Park that will be a major step towards helping the city meet its shortage of Grade-A ESG office space. This development will be built to BREEAM Excellent and WELL Gold standards and will deliver over 800,000 sq.ft. of high-quality office space, new cafe space, Scotland’s largest EV charging hub, sports facilities and almost eight acres of new publicly accessible parkland. Work on site is anticipated to start later in 2024. This has been a wonderful project to work on and this milestone could not have been achieved without the close collaboration of the fantastic client and project team: @shelborn_am @optimisedenvironmentsltd @rydennews @cbre_uk @atelier_ten @swecouk @edmondshipwayllp @cavendishconsulting Woolgar Hunter MontaguEvans Visualisation by @daakostudio
Goal Setting for the New Year! 7N Architects we were really happy to have hosted our first @womeninproperty event last week! Nicola Barclay led a discussion on ‘Goal Setting for the New Year’, with some helpful tips and tricks on how to set and achieve your goals in 2024 with a manageable and positive approach. It was a great conversation and a privilege to be able to host in our office. We look forward to putting on more events in the future. Thanks to @thecafemilk for the delicious food and our very own @tokinikent for bringing everyone together.
Haymarket Yards Urban Campus 7N are delighted to share that a planning application for a 67,000 sq.ft mixed-use office building has been submitted for the eastern plot of the Haymarket Yards development on behalf of our client, Elgin Haymarket Ltd. The BREEAM Outstanding building will complement the previously consented adjacent office building to form an urban workplace campus that is focused on the wellbeing of the occupants. @cbre_uk @savills @edmondshipwayllp @atelier_ten @optimisedenvironmentsltd Woolgar Hunter Scott Hobbs Planning Visualisation by @daakostudio
7N Architects’ masterplan for a 20 Minute Neighbourhood including 7,000 mixed tenure homes on the western edge of the City of Edinburgh has been submitted for Planning Permission in Principle on behalf of West Town Edinburgh Limited, a development consortium led by Drum Property Group. The masterplan for West Town embodies the principles of a 20 Minute Neighbourhood, providing a mix of uses within the neighbourhood including shops, workspace, schools, amenities, health services and community infrastructure to sustain most of the daily needs of the new community within a reasonable walking or cycling distance, with sustainable public transport links to the city and beyond. The design of the network of streets and spaces prioritises space for active travel and a strategic approach to centralised, shared vehicle parking in mobility hubs will support a range of sustainable transport options, including car clubs, cycle hire and centralised parcel delivery. The design of the high quality public realm, developed with @optimisedenvironmentsltd , is based on a people first approach to street design and an integrated approach to soft landscape which will create pleasant streets that facilitate walking and the spontaneous play and social interaction that comes with having a walkable neighbourhood. @wspuk @wallace.whittle @avison_young_uk
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