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Malcolm Fraser (architect)

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Malcolm Fraser (architect)

Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser (born 1959) is an architect from Edinburgh, Scotland.[1] He is the founder of Malcolm Fraser Architects, a firm of architects who are based in the Old Town of Edinburgh.


Malcolm Fraser was born in Edinburgh and educated at the University of Edinburgh. Following University he worked as a community architect in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh; with architect and theorist Christopher Alexander in Berkeley, California; conservation practices in Edinburgh; and with poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay at his garden, Little Sparta, near Edinburgh.

He formed his architectural practice in 1993. The practice first made its name [2] with bars and restaurants for clients like Pizza Express, and with lottery-funded arts projects.[3] The practice’s work encompasses conservation and new build, often in historic contexts such as Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, based on respect for the historic built context and the need to build within it in a rooted, confident, contemporary way.[4] It has also completed masterplanning and construction work for volume housebuilders that has won for them, for the first time in Scotland, major awards - for The Drum, Bo'ness, West Lothian [5][6] and Princess Gate, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh.[7][8]



The practice has, between 1999 and 2009, won the Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Building of the Year/Silver Medal five times,[9] the Conservation award twice [10] plus other EAA Awards and Commendations.[11] Using this as a platform Fraser has campaigned about built environment issues in Edinburgh, including initiatives for Princes Street,[12][13] the Grassmarket [14] and the redevelopment of Boroughmuir High School,[15] each of which has been adopted by Edinburgh City Council as policy.

Public life

In 2002, Fraser was appointed as the inaugural Deputy-Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland – a non-departmental public body (or [16][17]

Fraser was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England in 2003 and Geddes Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, part of the University of Edinburgh, in 2009. He has also lectured in Europe, China and North America


During his time as a columnist for the weekly architectural journal Building Design, in 2003, Fraser initiated [18] a Flat VAT campaign to standardise Value Added Tax across new build (currently 0%) and repair (then 17.5%) that was taken up by Richard Rodgers and Debra Shipley MP but rejected by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown MP.[19]


Fraser acted as spokesman [20] for the Merger Action Group of Scottish businessmen who took Her Majesty's Government to the Competition Appeal Tribunal over the Government's alleged “ripping-up” of legislation and failure to heed anti-competition warnings when it enabled the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in 2008.

Main completed work and awards

Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, 1999
Scottish Ballet headquarters at The Tramway, Glasgow, 2009

Projects in chronological order with year of completion, major awards and citations:


  1. ^ "Malcolm Fraser" Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services – Image Library - Capital Collections. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  2. ^ "The Wee Blue", RIBA Journal, page 60, October 1997
  3. ^ Architects' Journal, page 40, 7 May 1998
  4. ^ Burman, Peter. "Conservation Philosophy in Practice — a Scottish Perspective", Architectural Heritage XVII, November 2006. Retrieved on 2009-11-22. “Malcolm Fraser is an architect who has thoroughly soaked himself in the language and traditions and morphology of the Old Town of Edinburgh in such a way that he seems to be able to design quite boldly for it, without compromising the overall harmony.”
  5. ^ Saltire Society, Saltire Housing Design Award 2005: The Drum (phase 3), Bo'ness
  6. ^ Deffenbaugh, John. "Review - Exhibition - Test of Time: 70 years of the Saltire Housing Awards", Architects Journal, 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  7. ^ Tim Cornwell, "Our best building? You may just be living in it", The Scotsman, 2007-10-3. Retrieved on 2009-11-22.
  8. ^ Saltire Society, Saltire Housing Design Award 2007: Princess Gate, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh
  9. ^ Edinburgh Architectural Association Building of the Year/Silver Medal 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008
  10. ^ Edinburgh Architectural Association award in 2006 and 2009
  11. ^ 2002 and 2003
  12. ^ 'Princes Street will be the crowning glory once more', Edinburgh Architecture, March 2003. Retrieved 209-12-10.
  13. ^ "Princes Street", Urban Realm, 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2010-07-11.]
  14. ^ "Grass is greener in Spanish plaza plan", Edinburgh Evening News , 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  15. ^ "A New Boroughmuir", Boroughmuir High School website, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  16. ^ Money, Rachel. "School PPP scheme a 'catastrophe' for pupils", Sunday Herald, 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  17. ^ "Interview following Fraser's resignation from A+DS", Urban Realm, 2007-04-17. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  18. ^ Building Design, 4 July 2003-07-04
  19. ^ Booth, Robert and Gates, Charlie, "Flat VAT now: high-profile support for flat VAT rate on all construction as BD launches campaign", Building Design, 2003-07-04. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
  20. ^ Sweeney, Charlene, "Action group chief braced for HBOS defeat", The Times, 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
  21. ^ Retrieved 2009-12-12.

External links

Official site

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