Launch of the Festival of Architecture 2016

Press release, Wednesday 2 December 2015: The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland launches a year-long festival celebrating the best of Scottish architecture.

Submitted by on 02-12-2015 13:04:15

The Festival of Architecture 2016

An image with the Festival of Architecture 2016 in text besides its logo

Scotland’s architecture will take centre stage during 2016, as Scots and visitors to Scotland join the most ambitious ever nationwide celebration of the built environment of a single country.

Curated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 will deliver a packed programme of events and activities, highlighting and celebrating Scotland’s world-class architecture.

As one of the cornerstones of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Festival of Architecture will showcase Scotland’s fantastic buildings, old and new, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland. With world renowned and celebrated architects such as Robert Adam and Charles Rennie Mackintosh hailing from Scotland and iconic buildings such as the National Gallery, Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Parliament, there is much to celebrate in this very special year.

Adrian Wiszniewski Hon FRIAS has redesigned a garden shed for the Ideal Hut Show, which was unveiled this morning at the programme launch. Adrian is one of the renowned ‘New Glasgow Boys’ and one of Scotland’s most internationally recognised contemporary artists.

The RIAS is working with over 90 partners and funders across the public and private sectors to deliver this ambitious project, including Historic Environment Scotland.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

The Festival of Architecture will be one of the main attractions in 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements from the creative industries and fashion to engineering and renewables. The programme that RIAS have curated looks set to offer a host of exciting opportunities for people in every corner of Scotland to access, enjoy and celebrate architecture encouraging us to think about the important role that our built environment plays in every aspect of our lives.

David Dunbar PPRIAS, chair of the Festival of Architecture, said:

This national celebration of great architecture will transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment. It will improve our appreciation and understanding. It will also be great fun.

RIAS said it is grateful to its many supporters and funders and particularly pleased to welcome ScotRail as the official transport partner.


Headline Events

Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June – 25 September
‘Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects’ will make connections between some of Scotland’s greatest ever architects and their buildings. Portraits, photographic portraits and portrait busts will be displayed alongside representations of the buildings they masterminded.  This prestigious exhibition will run in the Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of Scotland’s most popular and accessible venues. Hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition is generously supported by the Scottish Futures Trust.


Ideal Hut Show
Touring across Scotland, May to September
We’ll take 20 standard model garden sheds and have them transformed and customised by leading architects, artists, designers and celebrities from Scotland and abroad. The sheds will be on display in venues including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Glasgow Botanic Gardens.


Pop-up World Cities Expo
Mound Square, Edinburgh, 16 June – 16 July
An inspiring group of international cities, alongside a selection of Scotland’s cities have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square. The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.


Adventures in Space
The Lighthouse, Glasgow, July – September
Journey into the heart of spectacular science fiction cities created for films such as Flash GordonBlade Runner and The Matrix. This innovative exhibition, being held in The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will be curated by leading architect and educationalist, David Reat.


Across Scotland, throughout 2016
Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.


The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts, including:

BUILD IT – Adventures with LEGO® bricks
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; 29 January – 17 April 2016
A programme of activities to accompany a display of Lego® models in the Grand Gallery, including opportunities to design your own buildings and see the creation of a model of the National Museum.


Notes from Scotland
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, across Scotland; 1 December 2015 – 1 October 2016
Notes from Scotland is a national young composers competition from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who are inviting 12 – 18 year olds to submit a short piece of music inspired by an example of the country’s greatest contemporary architecture.


Grey Gardens
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; 27 February – 1 May 2016
An exhibition addressing art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature. Works by Scotland-based architects will be presented alongside artists including Guido Guidi, Martin Boyce and Neville Rae.


HOME: 190th RSA Annual Exhibition
The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, Edinburgh; 16 April – 25 May 2016
Twenty four interpretations of the notion of ‘HOME’ from distinguished Scottish and international architects. Includes innovative completed houses and working ideas for yet-to-be-realised projects.


Glasgow 1980 Re-Take
Glasgow Institute of Architects, Glasgow; 10 – 31 March 2016
A documentary that examines and responds to the claims and predictions made in the 1971 film ‘Glasgow 1980’ by Oscar Marzaroli.


From the Thistles to the Castle
Artlink Central + ice cream architecture, Stirling; 1 – 30 September 2016
Stirling Castle and the city centre shopping area will be the start and end of a trail of architectural activity that will occupy spaces along the route from the city centre to the Castle creating inventions and opportunities to participate.



For more information on the Festival of Architecture, go to



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