Architecture Centre Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland

ARC Edinburgh : Architecture

ECAN – Architects’ Resource Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Architecture Centre

A group of architectural practices in Edinburgh have joined forces to create a new Architects’ Resource Centre (ARC) that will give subscriber firms access to key technical information and standards at a substantially reduced cost, at the same time as raising their professional profile, and is aiming to launch in Q-2 2002. The Edinburgh Architecture Centre will be the first of its kind in the UK. The initiative has been developed by Edinburgh Chartered Architects’ Network (ECAN) and following the award of a grant from the City of Edinburgh Council and investment from ECAN members, and the concept has now been worked up to a detailed business proposal.

Given declining earnings, rising overheads and greater fee competition, small architectural practices are facing uncertain times. The Edinburgh Architecture Centre initiative is intended to enable them to compete on a level playing field with larger practices. If successfully implemented in Edinburgh, the concept could provide a model for other Architects’ resource centres throughout the UK. Web links between the architecture centres would provide a powerful new network for sharing of information and professional experience.

The aim of the Edinburgh Architecture Centre is to give subscribers access to the infrastructure typically found in a medium to large architects’ office, typically comprising:

– A library with both product and technical literature
– Specialist computing resources
– Model making facilities
– A meeting/presentation facility
– A public enquiry counter for issue of trade/product literature.

The Architecture Centre is intended to be located near the City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning and Building Control in the City’s old town. The reception area will give the public direct access to informal architectural advice as well as information on design services, project approval procedures and construction products. ARC is inviting small practices in architecture, engineering, landscape design, interior design, and other construction-related professions to join, as subscribers, or as subscribed-shareholders. A trading company will be formed and interested parties will be invited to take out one or more £100 shares, to provide start-up capital. Additional capital input is being sought from the RIAS and RIBA.

Whereas the greatest benefit will clearly be to subscribers in Edinburgh, small practices outside the city will also be able to benefit via a proposed web-site. This will also market the centre to a wider public.

ARC will be a standalone business generating its own revenues to meet its running costs. Income will be derived from: product literature services, user/member subscriptions, rental of CPD/presentation facilities, levy on fees to subscribers arising from referrals and income from commission on sales of other services. The centre is seeking interest from construction industry businesses with a view to gaining commercial sponsorship.

Further info re Architecture Centre Edinburgh: Alasdair Macdonald
0131 557 1494

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