- TRIBUTES have been paid to the Scottish architect Gareth Hoskins, who died at the weekend aged 48.
- Scottish architecture is much the lesser with his parting.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “Gareth Hoskins was an outstanding architect.
- She tweeted: “Very sad to hear of the death of Gareth Hoskins, one of Scotland’s finest architects.
- Hoskins trained as an architect at the Glasgow School of Art and at Florence University.
- Hoskins Architects issued a statement confirming his death, adding: “It is with great sadness that we confirm that Gareth Hoskins OBE, the founder and Managing Director of Hoskins Architects, has died.
“Gareth, who was 48, took ill at an event in Edinburgh on Sunday 3rd January and, despite receiving the best care possible in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, he passed away on Saturday.
“Everyone at Hoskins Architects is deeply shocked and saddened by this untimely loss.
Graham Construction secures £6.3m contract on Higgs centre
- The Higgs Centre for Innovation will be built at the Royal Observatory in the city.
- HILLSBOROUGH based building firm Graham Construction has secured a £6.3 million to build a space centre in Edinburgh named after renowned particle scientist Peter Higgs.
- The space centre is just the latest in Scotland.
- The new Higgs centre in Edinburgh will focus on space and big data technologies and the whole scheme will cost £12m when fitting out is complete.
- Last month, Graham completed a £10m primary school in Fort William for the Highland Council.
Britain’s construction sector stages recovery
- A rise in house building activity and commercial work has helped drag Britain’s construction sector back from a seven-month low.
- However, the report cautioned that the overall rate of expansion remained slightly weaker than seen on average over this period.
- The survey noted that UK construction firms had ended 2015 with a “robust” level of overall business activity, adding that commercial building increased on the back of improving UK economic conditions, leading to new orders.
- Housing activity also showed strong growth, picking up from a 29-month low in November.
IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said it was a “reassuring survey”.
Pictures depict progress on the new Forth bridge (From Herald Scotland)
- Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown said: “It seems a long time since 2011 when construction work on the bridge began.
- “During 2015 the progress in building the new bridge has been much more noticeable to passers-by the higher above the water the bridge has grown.
- Now entering its final year of construction, Scotland’s latest engineering wonder has been taking shape over the Firth of Forth.
- The Frame the Bridge campaign also launched in 2015, with people being encouraged to send in pictures of themselves or family and friends with the bridge works in the background.
- “It’s very clear the progress that is being made as we look forward to 2016 and the final year of construction.”
2016: A year of grand designs
- The branding of 2016 as the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, follows this 2015’s Year of Food and Drink status, and 2014’s Year of Homecoming.
- VisitScotland’s involvement signals the belief that there’s a tourism buck to be made out of selling Scotland’s architecture – both historic and new – as an attraction.
- WHEN fire tore through Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building on 23 May, 2014, the shockwaves spread far beyond the confines of the creative community.
- Turning the festival – and the entire Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design – into a financial success is the responsibility, ultimately, of the quango.
- Contemporary structures add a new layer to our built environment, taking inspiration from and sometimes reacting against past achievements in design.
Start up numbers increase in Scotland (From Herald Scotland)
- The totals represent the number of new firms opening accounts with
Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, TSB Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
- The number of start ups fell by 5.3 per cent, 169, from 3,159 in the second quarter on this year.
- The rise in start ups compared with last year was driven by strong growth in the number of new construction firms, to 378 from 287.
- This suggests people are being encouraged to start firms by the strength of the recovery in the construction sector and the housing market from the downturn that followed the financial crisis of 2008.
- Sole trader start up numbers have increased during periods when people have found it harder to get jobs.
UK’s Top Art Award, the Turner Prize, Won by Architecture Project for Derelict Houses
- The UK’s Turner Prize for 2015 has been won by Assemble, a collective group of architects that has restored derelict houses.
- The Turner is the leading award in British contemporary art, and arguably Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art prize, and Assemble is its first winner from the architecture and design field.
- Alex Farquharson, director of Nottingham Contemporary, has been appointed the new director of Tate Britain.
- Assemble was nominated both for this “Granby Four Streets” project as well as others.
- The total prize pool for the Turner is £40,000 (about $60,300).
Builders remain confident despite drop in output
- Output from the UK construction sector fell unexpectedly for a third consecutive month in September, according to official figures released yesterday, though industry bosses remain upbeat.
- On an annual measure, output dropped 1.6 per cent in September, the biggest decline for more than two years.
- The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that construction output dipped 0.2 per cent in September, after a sharp 3.4 per cent decline in August and against expectations for a modest rise.
- For the third quarter as a whole, new housing construction slumped 4.3 per cent, its biggest decline in just over three years, reflecting a drop in housing starts in the previous quarter around the time of May’s national election.
- On Thursday, the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane described the UK’s housing market as “broken”, highlighting the long-term lack of construction of new homes particularly by local councils.
‘Amber warning light’ on economy (From Herald Scotland)
- SCOTTISH Chambers of Commerce has declared that its latest economic survey, which shows much weaker manufacturing growth and declining confidence among services firms, is an “amber warning light” for the UK and Scottish Governments.
- The survey shows the first fall in optimism in the Scottish financial and business services sector for a year.
- Scottish Chambers’ survey, conducted by Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute, flags a sharp slowdown in investment growth in the manufacturing sector north of the Border.
- The survey signals that year-on-year growth in sales revenue in the Scottish tourism sector accelerated between the second and third quarters.
- And it signals a fall in capital investment in the financial and business services sector.
Chinese cash could fund Scottish construction
- CHINESE investors could be attracted to plough hundreds of millions of pounds into key Scottish infrastructure projects – such as road upgrading and connecting offshore wind farms to the grid – on the back of moves to encourage foreign involvement in the HS2 high speed rail project.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Scotland is becoming a hotspot for Chinese property investors looking for an alternative to London with Edinburgh in particular attracting interest.
- Michael Watson, an infrastructure and projects lawyer at Pinsent Masons, said the visit could also have a knock-on impact north of the Border but only if Scotland is able to present an attractive investment proposition for the Chinese.
- Chancellor George Osborne this week travelled to China to try and attract investors there to bid for seven contracts worth £11.8 billion in total covering the first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham.
- The key is to have projects which are visible, well developed and ready to be invested in, because we are competing in an extremely competitive global market and the Chinese and other overseas investors have a wealth of options on where to put their money.”
Watson said projects of sufficient scale which could interest Chinese investors include the A9 Perth to Inverness dualling project and rail electrification programmes.