A leading architect has declared that Scotland is one of the "worst countries in Europe to be an architect".

Richard Murphy, whose practice has built notable Scottish buildings such as the DCA in Dundee, the Fruitmarket Gallery and the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles, said restrictive procurement rules mean businesses of his size could be "doomed to extinction."

Murphy, whose self-designed home won a major UK architectural award last night, said young architects should consider leaving Scotland for work elsewhere.

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Murphy said: "Obviously the private the sector is the private sector, and there isn't much of it here, and at the moment architects are the canaries of the economy, we can sniff things coming, and we sense a very big slow down.

"The big problem with the public sector is that the Government has set up a procurement system that it doesn't matter how good you are, you cannot get a job - they favour the big commercial practices, and this has spread to universities.

He said health building is "hoovered up by specialist health architects" while other strict procurement rules, he believes, harm architectural practice as they favour large companies with hundreds of employees.

Mr Murphy added: "It's very worrying actually, I have been through a couple of recessions and you survive, but this is the first time that we really feel that the cards are stacked against you.

"An office of my size [Richard Murphy Architects], unless it specialises, is doomed to extinction, because either there will be offices of one to five people doing house extensions, or there will be offices of 100 plus - but an office of 20 people doing interesting work, turning their hands to anything, is doomed, because the public sector won't support us.

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"I feel quite bitter actually because I think there is an enormous hypocrisy in Scotland - you have an architecture policy, an architecture unit [in Government], and at the same time a policy which is putting design practices out of business."

He said: "You cannot do a good building without a good client, so Scotland is one of the worst countries in Europe to be an architect now."

To young architects he said: "Leave, get out - there is no future. I am sorry to say that because there are some really talented young architects. We find it really tough."

The house, a labour of love, has won the Royal Institute of British Architects House of the Year for 2016.

Neil Baxter, Secretary and Treasurer of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), said there was a still a lot of work to be done on making procurement rules "sensible and fair" but progress has been made in recent years, but said there were still some "absurdities" in the system.

He said Mr Murphy was an architect of "very considerable skill" but disagreed with him on the state of architecture in Scotland, adding that there are practices that are "very busy and the moment, although it is a very competitive sector."

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He added: "There was some very heavy handed procurement language but in the last few years that has been phased out."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government is currently implementing The Review of Scottish Public Sector Procurement in Construction, in which RIAS and other architecture bodies were involved. This sets out a vision of design-led procurement in Scotland.

“In common with all other professional services, there is a limit of three years’ experience for architects. This flows directly from European Commission directives and is to encourage new entrants into the market."

He added: "Scotland is and will continue to be a good place for architects to work. Our architecture and place policy supports and promotes architecture through a variety of means – including providing funding for one of the largest architecture awards in Europe - the RIAS Doolan Award for Best Building in Scotland.

"More than a third of the shortlisted projects for the 2016 award were public projects.”