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Scottish architect Alison Blamire dies, aged 66

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Arcade Architects co-founder Alison Blamire has died, aged 66

Born in Edinburgh, Blamire attended the city’s College of Art as well as being taught by Andy Macmillan and Isi Metzstein at Glasgow School of Art.

After graduating in 1976, Alison joined Gillespie Kidd & Coia, where she worked on its final major project, Robinson College in Cambridge. She set up Arcade Architects in Edinburgh in 1981 along with husband Alistair.

The practice’s Causey scheme in Edinburgh was shortlisted for AJ Small Projects in 2008 and its Mossman Houses project in the same city was a finalist for the coveted RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award in 2003.

Blamire worked at Arcade for more than 30 years, winding down her involvement after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. She combined work at the practice with teaching at the Mackintosh School of Architecture for almost 20 years.

In the final five years of her life, Blamire focused much of her energy on the ongoing project to convert Arcade’s one-off scheme at The Causey into a permanent feature.

Registered charity The Causey Development Trust is working to transform the traffic island – used for a temporary ‘elegant tropical island’ under Arcade’s 2007 initiative – into a permanent community space.

Alistair Blamire has pledged to continue his late wife’s work, in a bid to secure the conversion as a ‘fantastic legacy’ for her.

The couple had two children, Will and Lois.

Arcade Architects' Mossman Houses

Arcade Architects’ Mossman Houses

Arcade Architects’ Mossman Houses


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Readers' comments (1)

  • What tragic news. Alison was my 1st year tutor at the Mac. She was always challenging and hugely inspirational to a young woman forging her way in what was a very male world in 1981. Gone too soon but I hope you rest in peace. Rosalind Pajakowska

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