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Richard Murphy OBE (born 24 April 1955) is a British architect and businessman. He is the founder and principal architect of Richard Murphy Architects, an architectural firm operating in Edinburgh. He is winner of the 2016 RIBA House of the year.[1][2]


Murphy was educated at Newcastle and Edinburgh Universities, and has taught at the latter.[3] In 1991 he formed Edinburgh architectural firm, Richard Murphy Architects, and it has since grown to over twenty architects. In the early years his firm focused on designing extensions to houses and mews conversions however have subsequently diversified onto education, healthcare, the arts and commercial work. They have worked on several UK National Lottery-funded buildings.

In 1995 Murphy designed the first of the UK's Maggie's Centres, in Edinburgh, which now acts as the administrative headquarters for Maggie's. Designed to aid cancer treatment, the building was designed without any corridors, to avoid an institutional feel.[4]

While teaching at Edinburgh University, he researched the work of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, and later published a book on Scarpa, and later yet presented a Channel 4 documentary on him.[3] He also co-wrote "An Architect's Appreciation of Charles Rennie Mackintosh". In 2004 Murphy exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 2012, Richard Murphy Architects published a book titled "Of Its Time and of Its Place: The Work of Richard Murphy Architects."

Murphy is a Member of the RIBA, a Fellow of the RIAS, an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow of Napier University. Richard Murphy Architects has also won a total of 20 RIBA Awards.

He was appointed an OBE in the New Year's Honours January 2007 for services to architecture, the only practising architect on the list.[5]

Murphy has held lectures in places such as Scotland, at Edinburgh University, the Student-led 5710 lecture society of The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and The Built Environment, Aberdeen and Strathclyde University in Glasgow. In 2006 he completed a lecture tour in South Africa, and on 13 March 2012 he gave a conference titled "Architecture of its time and its place" to students at Barcelona Institute of Architecture.[6] Most recently Murphy lectured at the Association of Icelandic Architects in 2015.

He previously completed a modern mews-style house at Calton Hill near Edinburgh Castle, for his own use, and says he lives "pretty simply".[7] More recently Richard Murphy completed his own house on Hart Street in 2015 [8] which won the Saltire Society Award for Best Single Dwelling New Build [9]

Proposed work

  • Haymarket Redevelopment, Edinburgh [10]
  • Candleriggs Quarter in Glasgow's Merchant City [11]
  • Dunfermline Museum & Art Gallery, Fife [12]
  • Perth Theatre, Fife [13]

Notable completed work

Projects by year of design

See also

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