50th Anniversary Lecture: Dundee – an Evolving Cityscape

As part of Dundee Civic Trust’s 50th anniversary year, we are delighted to announce this lecture to be given by Professor Ric Russell on Thursday 13 July 2023 at the Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee.

Ric is a popular figure who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, School of Architecture. He won several academic prizes and gained entry to the Royal College of Art, London, Industrial Design Course.

In 1982 he was co-founding Director, with the late Andrew Nicoll, of Nicoll Russell Studios Ltd. The practice’s first significant project was Dundee Repertory Theatre which, besides winning a Dundee Civic Trust Award, was last year granted Category A listing, joining a mere handful of other post-war listed buildings in Dundee. The practice has designed many other buildings which have received prestigious awards, seven of those being given by Dundee Civic Trust, most recently Dundee Railway Station and Water`s Edge.

Over more than forty years, Ric has had wide-ranging experience in many different types of projects including arts and theatre, commercial and hospitality, residential and educational, as well as being a specialist in contextual, environmental and interior design.  Unusually for an architect, Ric has also collaborated on the design of many major civil engineering projects including the Clackmannan Bridge, the Falkirk Wheel and Seabraes Bridge in Dundee.

Having been brought up and studying in Dundee, Ric’s work with Nicoll Russell Studios has naturally had a focus in the Dundee area; however, the practice works throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK, and overseas as far afield as Australia.

Ric has served as a Commissioner on the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and subsequently as a Director and chair of the review panel for Architecture and Design Scotland.

In 1996 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy and is now a full member. Subsequently he was appointed to Professorships at Heriot Watt University School of Architecture and at Dundee University Faculty of Architecture, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.  He has presented a variety of architectural papers and has addressed the RIAS Convention on several occasions.

There is no charge for the lecture, which starts at 7 pm. It will be preceded at 6.30 by a wine reception kindly donated by McNicoll and Cairnie of Broughty Ferry. To assist with these hospitality arrangements, please drop us a line via our contact form if you wish to attend the reception.

New purpose for the High Kirk

The contraction of church congregations in today’s secular age is resulting in many architecturally and historically important ecclesiastical buildings becoming redundant. Churches are significant elements of townscape; yet they can be difficult—in practical and economic terms—to convert to other uses.

The Civic Trust is therefore pleased to see proposals presented to enable what was latterly St David’s High Kirk to be converted to eight flats (Dundee City Council planning references 23/00388/LBC and 23/00389/FULL).

The High Kirk is one of the city’s most familiar and prominent buildings. Erected as the United Free High Church in 1877-78, to the designs of local architect James Ireland of the practice Ireland and Maclaren, it originally stood in isolation on the slopes of the Law at the top of what was then called Hospital Wynd (now Kinghorne Road) and almost directly above the disused tunnel of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway.