Local architect Richard Gibson has been presented with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, the highest accolade within Scottish architecture.
The award was made by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland at its annual convention in Stirling last week.
Mr Gibson said he was “extremely flattered” to have received the award, which came as a complete surprise.
Previous recipients of the RIAS Lifetime Achievement Award include Robert Steedman of Morris and Steedman and the architectural partnership Professors Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia.
After studying at the Architectural Association, Mr Gibson began his architectural career as an architectural assistant for various bodies including British Rail, before becoming a housing architect for Hampstead Borough Council in 1963.
In 1963 he took up the position of depute county architect of Zetland County Council. Before long the discovery of North Sea oil prompted a mini building boom and encouraged him to establish Richard Gibson Architects in 1972.
The company has been responsible for numerous important restoration and conversion projects throughout the isles including the RIBA Commended Hamnavoe Primary School.
Richard Gibson Architects seems equally at home dealing with the careful and accurate restoration of eighteenth century merchants houses, the Hanseatic trading booth at Symbister Harbour or the reworking of Symbister House, Shetland’s most outstanding Georgian building.
The firm’s awards are many, including a plethora of Shetland Amenity Trust Awards, Saltire Awards, Civic Trust Commendations and RIAS Regeneration and Dynamic Place Commendations. John Jamieson Closs in Lerwick, new-build housing in 1982, is deftly worked into the weave of the Lerwick lanes.
A similar later development at North Road, Lerwick, works the familiar lane pattern of the place into parallel terraces stepping down a steep slope.
From 1994 Richard Gibson Architects has been a member of Acanthus – a recognition of the practice’s very particular expertise in the restoration of historic buildings and the creation of sensitive new-build development within historic places.