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Scots architecture ahead of the curve

Scottish architecture is "bucking the trend" in terms of the quantity and quality of new work being constructed, the secretary of the profession's representative body has said.

Speaking ahead of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) convention, to be held in Glasgow on Friday and Saturday, Neil Baxter said the event would help to showcase the city's Commonwealth Games-linked regeneration internationally, as it serves as a backdrop to a programme featuring some of the world's foremost designers of sports stadia discussing their work.

He said: "We have a large group of Scottish architects coming to the convention to take inspiration from international best practice."

The list includes: Alessandro Zoppini of Studio Zoppini Associati, Milan; Tom Jones, principal of Populous, London; René Kural, director of The Centre for Sports and Architecture, Copenhagen; Mike Hall, partner at FaulknerBrowns Architects, Newcastle; Hugh Dutton of Hugh Dutton Associés, Paris; and Martin Biewenga, partner at West 8, Rotterdam.

Baxter said: "The purpose of the event is to inform and entertain. We let people do an old-fashioned show and tell and demonstrate their passion for architecture of a quality that means the buildings themselves become a destination that people travel to see. The convention tends to feed into the continuing rise in the quality of Scottish architecture, which is bucking the trend by being healthier than anywhere outside of London."

Also speaking at the convention - parts of which will be held at the new Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art - are a trio of distinguished GSA graduates: sculptor Martin Boyce; Kelpies creator Andy Scott; and Charles Anderson, known for his iconic public artworks adorning many Scottish towns and cities.

Baxter said that Glasgow could "genuinely hold its head up" in the international arena for its achievements in architecture and urban renewal surrounding the Commonwealth Games, praising the work of Kerr Robertson, Glasgow City Council's lead architect, and his team.

Baxter added: "The Games have been a huge stimulus to improving the city's facilities, which in turn have inspired a new generation, the stadia, and also the brilliant athletes' village masterplan by RMJM."

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