Memorial announcement

A public memorial will be held for Gareth Hoskins who died on 9th January, 2016. His family and colleagues extend this invitation to all, and hope you can join this celebration of his life and outstanding achievements.

Details: Saturday 19th March, 2016 18:30 – 20:30 National Museum Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF. Please arrive by the front entrance

If you are unable to join us on the night, but would like to show your support, we have set up the following JustGiving page where donations can be made in lieu of sending flowers to the family or office.

February 2016

Gareth Hoskins: a tribute from his team

Gareth made a difference in the way he established his company; he created a collegiate studio atmosphere, where many of the traditional cultures that bedevil architectural practice were actively discouraged. As the company grew from a tiny operation from his family’s back bedroom, to an established practice with offices in Glasgow and Berlin, he remained accessible and approachable – listening to everyone, and encouraging everyone to have an opinion. Excessive work hours were discouraged, with family life outside work supported. Simply put, he cared about his team and their families. His own family were never far from his thoughts and the gentle, fair, delightful person that he was could never be seen more clearly than when he was talking with, or about, his children, which he did often.

Gareth was enthusiastic about the practice’s projects; he believed that good architecture benefits people and places in profound ways. Generous with his time and his talent, he made everyone, no matter how junior, feel that their ideas were valued. Gareth never had a ‘that’ll do’’ attitude and taught us all to aim higher, to do better, to not settle for anything less than the best. He was committed to finding the best solution to any problem, whether design or anything else. He was always ready to listen and ‘go for a coffee’ when anyone wanted to share a burden.

A kind hearted, interested and interesting man, Gareth was fun too. Happy to play ‘Santa’ at the practice Christmas party, he would also join in the Christmas jumper competition. Memorably, he once travelled to the office by train wearing pink nail varnish applied by his daughter in aid of ‘wear something pink’ for charity. The inclusive atmosphere Gareth fostered at Hoskins Architects has meant that the practice has always had a very low staff turnover; and while those who stay may sometimes forget what a great place it is to work, those who’ve left realise quickly.

When Gareth died we lost an exceptional architect, a gifted leader, a visionary, but above all, we lost a friend. He was one of a kind - such a special person. While in time we will realise how grateful we are to have known and worked alongside him, he has gone too soon and the void he leaves is great.

January 2016

Gareth Hoskins: April 1967 - January 2016, by Sunand Prasad

Gareth Hoskins was a gifted architect, a natural leader, and a tireless ambassador for design through its power to improve our lives. He died on 9th January 2016 following a heart attack while attending a fencing match, having been an accomplished fencer himself.

Gareth was born in 1967 in Edinburgh. His father was an actuary and his mother a distinguished practitioner and judge of flower arrangement. Gareth attended George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. By his own account, his academic achievements were unexceptional but it was upon discovering architecture that he found his real calling. Having got a place at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, he left school a little early to work for the summer at Michael Laird’s practice to which he returned in the following summers, having greatly enjoyed the experience. After his degree at the Mac he enjoyed a year out with Trevor Dannatt who remembers him as a ‘natural architect’ with a ‘boyish enthusiasm’. Gareth’s ability to revel in architecture both as a pursuit and as a business was evident early on.

His final two years at the Mac under Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein brought Gareth rich opportunities: six months in Florence, under the Erasmus Exchange Programme, focussing on large scale urban projects, followed by a final year project for a new railway station in central Florence, which won the City of Glasgow Silver Medal and the RSA architecture award; and then working on an installation at the Mackintosh School of Art with Ted Cullinan as part of ‘Glasgow European Capital of Culture 1990’. After a spell helping to build the Mac pavilion for the 1991 Venice Biennale and travelling in Europe, Gareth joined the London-based architects, Penoyre & Prasad, in 1992.

No one who ever worked with Gareth would have failed to notice his ready facility with design at all scales; that ‘sixth sense’ about shape, use and materials that few have. Gareth worked on a number of health, community and arts projects at Penoyre & Prasad including a prison visitor centre whose client was to be his first in his own practice.  He spoke fulsomely of the value of this experience and, in turn, Greg Penoyre and Sunand Prasad have spoken of Gareth’s contribution to the development of the practice’s architecture.

It was on his return to Scotland that he and Sarah, whom he had met at university through his love of fencing, were married. They went on to have two children. Equal to his passion for architecture was his love of family life.

By his early thirties he had already matured as an architect having assimilated a number of architectural influences, broadly in the tradition of modernism but with a people-focussed approach, and had the opportunity to put them into practice. In 1998 he returned to Scotland to set up Gareth Hoskins Architects in Glasgow, and within a year there were five people working on three projects, all won through competition. The smallest was also of the highest profile: the Mackintosh Gallery at the Lighthouse which Deyan Sudjic (director of Glasgow: UK City of Architecture & Design 1999) described as “probably the worst possible burden to expect a Glasgow educated architect to tackle”, adding of Gareth: “but he emerged unscarred”. He was named Young Architect of the Year in 2000.

Gareth’s consummate skills in networking and communication, and the growing reputation of the practice, brought forth several opportunities to compete for steadily larger and more high profile projects.  The practice won many of these competitions in no small part through the clarity of thinking and elegant diagrammatic presentations of spatial ideas. The Bridge Arts Centre, Easterhouse and the Mareel Cinema and Music Venue in Shetland won RIBA awards and were under initial consideration for the Stirling Prize (‘the mid-list’). In 2003, Gareth Hoskins Architects won the international competition for the £47m redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland, which was completed in 2011 and won the Andrew Doolan Award for the best building in Scotland. The practice won and completed several highly regarded projects in the arts, healthcare, housing and master-planning with many of them recognised through awards, but some of the smaller projects attracted equal attention in wider architectural circles: the ‘Architecture for All’ Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2004) in London and the first ever Scottish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2008.

At the same time Gareth became deeply engaged with the promotion of architecture and design as a public good. He was involved in Architecture & Design Scotland from its inception in 2005 as a Board member and regularly chaired its design review panels. He was the Scottish Government’s National Healthcare Design Champion from 2006 to 2010. In 2008 Gareth was made a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the following year he was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy. He was recognised with an OBE for services to architecture in 2010.

The practice, now Hoskins Architects, has continued to grow and has several major projects on the boards. It established a Berlin office in 2014, having secured commissions in Berlin, Munich and Vienna.

The members of the practice, like his clients, speak over and over again of his warmth, his persuasiveness, his determination, his ability to listen and his high standards. Gareth Hoskins had a rare combination of real talent and total conviction about his own views together with a genuine openness to other’s ideas to synthesise into a greater whole.

Sunand Prasad

14th January 2016

Gareth Hoskins

It is with great sadness that we confirm that Gareth Hoskins OBE, the founder and Managing Director of Hoskins Architects, has died.

Gareth, who was 48, took ill at an event in Edinburgh on Sunday 3rd January and, despite receiving the best care possible in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, he passed away on Saturday (9th January).

Everyone at Hoskins Architects is deeply shocked and saddened by this untimely loss. Our thoughts are with Gareth’s family.

Chris Coleman-Smith, a co-director of Hoskins Architects, said:
“Everyone at Hoskins Architects has lost an exceptional architect, a visionary and a gifted leader, but above all a very good friend. Gareth leaves a huge gap, he was such a special person. We appreciate the very many messages of condolence that have already been received.”

There will be a private family funeral.  A memorial service for Gareth is planned to be held at a later date.

Further enquiries:
Callum Spreng / Debbie Johnston at Spreng and Co – 0141 548 5191
[email protected] / [email protected]

January 2016

Latest phase of construction work in The National Museum of Scotland Masterplan is complete.

The third phase of our Masterplan works at The National Museum of Scotland is well underway with the base-build section of the project now complete.

This £14.4Million phase of works sees the refurbishment of 10 Art & Design and Science & Technology galleries including the replacement of over 200sqm of glazed roof. The new glazing provides controlled diffuse natural light throughout the galleries enhancing appreciation of the architectural features of the building itself and the exhibition displays currently being installed.

The new galleries will open to the public in summer 2016.

To read more about our National Museum of Scotland redevelopment click here

National Theatre of Scotland Fundraising Launch

Tonight sees the launch of the fundraising campaign for the National Theatre of Scotland’s new centre for creativity, production and talent development with the construction phase of the project also due to begin this month. 

Redevelopment of a derelict industrial shed on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal will provide the National Theatre of Scotland with 3700 sq. metres (40,000 sq.ft) of space over two levels, including three rehearsal rooms of varying scales, creative development spaces, a Learning and Community suite, a working wardrobe facility, production workshop and technical store, office space, meeting room facilities and social areas.  Over 3,000 people including writers, artists, school students, teachers and community participants are expected to use the facility each year. The National Theatre of Scotland will also make space available to emerging artists and small independent theatre companies.

The National Theatre of Scotland have dubbed their new home ‘Rockvilla,’ a name first used in the area in 1860.  An historic area which is quickly becoming a newly regenerated cultural quarter of the City, with organisations such as The Whisky Bond, Scottish Opera and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland already residing there.

View the project here