Built Heritage and Townscape – An architect’s view

14 Mar 23

For further information, our brand new, hot off the press, brochure is available for viewing here


As a new member of Iceni Project’s Built Heritage and Townscape team in Scotland, I have been catching up with contacts made over many years of working as an architect in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Together we have been discussing our cities and their development, and our attitudes towards heritage and a changing townscape. These conversations have also given me the opportunity to describe our expertise, particularly north of the border, where our Built Heritage and Townscape consultancy is new.

So, what do Built Heritage and Townscape consultants bring to the table in terms of the design and construction of our built environment? We provide advice on the historic and built environment at all stages, from project inception to completion. As an architect, I have first-hand experience of trying to do everything all at once. As a result, I have been spending time telling my architectural peers that Built Heritage and Townscape consultants are here to help! Our aim is to get the best possible results for our clients and stakeholders, giving realistic and pragmatic guidance in relation to development, that will stand the test of time and help achieve consensus.

How new development can appropriately contribute to the existing urban fabric is an exciting aspect of how our cities and places evolve, becoming part of the future townscape. We work alongside architects, clients, and the whole design team to ensure proposals are contextually appropriate, while also adding value to the site. Townscape is a specialism within its own right, but by its nature benefits from an understanding of the layering of heritage.

Key to any successful planning application process is an understanding of context and place. How proposals fit into the townscape of our cities, how they bring new contemporary development to streets within our conservation areas, and how they respond to the many listed buildings and scheduled monuments, is a measure of their success. We are equally at home in more rural settings and provide advice ranging from the extension of listed mills, through to the impact on heritage assets related to proposed new solar farms.

Appointed early within the design process, we can offer advice on how to maximise the potential of sites, working with sensitive historic contexts to build for the future. We are pro-development and interested in supporting our clients and consultants in delivering new buildings and of increasing relevance, reusing existing buildings. Retrofit has a vital part to play in our sustainable future and we are experts on advising architects how they can adapt, extend and reuse existing buildings of significance, or buildings within sensitive areas.

We are not conservative in our attitudes, indeed, many of my colleagues have an interest in tall buildings and how these are to be built within our cities! With good knowledge of how to successfully design for our Scottish cities, I am hoping to bring something extra and complimentary to our Built Heritage and Townscape team’s considerable existing expertise on both sides of the border.

For further information, our brand new, hot off the press, brochure is available for viewing here

Nick Walker Director,Built Heritage and Townscape