Richard Murphy (architect)

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For other people named Richard Murphy, see Richard Murphy (disambiguation).

Richard Murphy OBE is an architect based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and principal architect in Richard Murphy Architects.


Murphy was educated at Newcastle and Edinburgh Universities, and has taught at the latter. He formed his practice in 1991, which has since grown to over twenty architects, and is now housed on Old Fishmarket Close, in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The practice made its name designing small scale extensions to houses and mews conversions, and found great success with buildings for the arts, particularly lottery-funded projects. His work, in its desire to create contemporary architecture but with a sense of place and history, shows the influence of Carlo Scarpa, who he has done academic research into. In 1998 he presented a Channel 4 documentary on Scarpa, directed by Murray Grigor. In 2004 the practice exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

He was appointed an OBE in the New Year's Honours December 2006.


Murphy has sometimes attracted controversy. The conversion of John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar attracted angry letters from around the world, in the belief that he was destroying the house as it was when Muir was born. It was in fact simply replacing a new interior representing how the house 'may have been' at the time.

His Mews House on Circus Lane in the New Town of Edinburgh was dubbed the 'Japanese House' by the local press, and felt an inappropriate design for a World Heritage Site, though it subsequently won planning permission.

The proposed Sean Connery Filmhouse would be built over Festival Square in Edinburgh. The square, part of The Exchange Business district designed by Terry Farrell, is felt by many to be a failure. The square is often empty, and as Murphy pointed out, is, despite its name, one of the few places in the city without any presence of the Edinburgh festival in the summer. The MSP Brian Monteith even dubbed the square Ceauşescu piazza. Despite this, the Sheraton Hotels is deeply against the proposals, as the building would be right in front of the hotel, and block residents' views of Edinburgh Castle.

Proposed work[edit]

Notable completed work[edit]

Projects by year of design

Educational Links[edit]

Richard Murphy has lectured at the Student-led 5710 lecture society of The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and The Built Environment, Aberdeen, Scotland.

On 13 of March 2012 he lectured the architecture students of Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona, Barcelona in a conference by the title "Architecture of its time and its place" organized by the student association coollective barcelona.[1]

External links[edit]