Autumn School 2017 : Homes to Last

22–23 September 2017

The Autumn School at Hospitalfield will enable professionals, local people and enthusiasts to spend time together to consider the opportunities and challenges in developing well designed housing in a way that meets economic imperatives. Good design begins with the master-plan and considers sustainability in all its aspects; from the materials used to the way in which the communities evolve and diversify and the existing towns flourish.

Homes to Last starts with the inaugural Andrew Nicoll Keynote Lecture by Malcolm Fraser on Friday 22 September at 7.15pm Hospitalfield House in Arbroath.

The exhibition of Dream Homes made by Friockheim and Hayshead Primary School pupils will also be on show on Friday evening between 5 – 7pm.

Please note we have had to postpone the Saturday part of the Autumn School. We would like to thank all the speakers for the thought they have put into the programme so far and we will be continuing those conversations.

The Friday Lecture will be an opportunity to gather and discuss the ideas and think through options for running a fuller programme in the future so we encourage you to book.

With thanks to Sofia Oliveira and Thomas Woodcock for their advice on the programme.


Friday evening lecture – £10

Friday evening lecture and supper – £16

Please book online…

All welcome, we are keen to bring members of the public, architects, students, designers, planners, policy makers and anthropologists together for the events.

Image: Chris Leslie, Disappearing Glasgow; Ash Sakula, Lightbox Project; Elder and Cannon

Although the themes of the Autumn School are universal it is interesting to take Angus as an example: this is a region of historic market towns where there will be much house building over the coming years. Angus will become a dormitory for Dundee and Aberdeen so now is the time to think about how we want this region to look in years to come.

Key Questions:

How do we influence and achieve good sustainable design ?
How can we ensure that the master planning process gives proper consideration to evolving sustainable and diverse communities?
How will this development support and enable the town centres in a region like this to thrive and grow?


A wise man once said that the root of all human mistakes is fixing things before we have found out what’s wrong with them.  Hence a housing world blighted by: finance based on debt creation and a rentier state;  placemaking dominated by scenic Royalist nostalgia;  and construction technology based on selling us problematic technical fixes to the last problematic technical fix it sold us. 

Malcolm Fraser will seek to analyse our core problems in each of these areas and talk about his advocacy of positive solutions, drawing on his architectural work and the policies he is advancing within current Government and other initiatives.

Malcolm Fraser is an Edinburgh architect whose work spans from advising and empowering communities to award-winning homes and placemaking for clients from individuals to Housing Associations, Councils and volume housebuilders. These included the first volume housebuilder developments to have won major awards, and Council Housing work ongoing for the City of Edinburgh Council and Port of Leith Housing Association to reinvent the traditional Edinburgh “Colonies” form – dense, social, town-centre family homes. He sits on the Government’s Joint Housing Supply and Delivery Group and contributes to current Land and Planning Reform initiatives, including with the Common Weal lobby group, whose Board he sits on. He also led the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Review, which sought to bring life and investment to Scotland’s urban centres, and is working on policy initiatives from Land and Planning Reform and Infrastructure initiatives through to Collective Self-Build. He is a Director with Halliday Fraser Munro Architects.


Friday 22 September

5.00 – 5.30pm: Registration and welcome (if you come later or on Saturday morning you can still register)

5.00 – 7.00pm: Opening of the exhibition Dream Houses, made by children from two local schools

7.15pm: Keynote lecture by Malcolm Fraser, followed by questions from audience

8.30pm: Dinner for participants

— Participants invited to set up camp on Hospitalfield’s Drying Greens —

Saturday 23 September – postponed

8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast

9.15am: Introduction to the day Lucy Byatt Director Hospitalfield

9.30am: Four Models of excellent practice in Scotland:-

Four architectural practices that have experience of working on low cost social housing – or bespoke housing that has the potential to scale up.

11.15 – 11.30am: Coffee

11.30am: Discussion Panel chaired by Malcolm Fraser questions from the floor based on presentations

12.00pm: Presentation from a client – speaker to be confirmed

1.00pm: Lunch

2.00pm: Workshops – Working to a Brief

Four people from Arbroath with very different life styles and housing needs have been invited to write a brief for a home. These briefs have been worked up very lightly by four practices. They will form the starting point for the conference to work together on four different projects on paper and in the form of models.

3.30pm: presentations from the workshops

4.30pm: Tea break

5.00pm: From the Ground Up – How to Build for People, presentation by Robert Sakula, Director at Ash Sakula, London

6.00pm: Drink and supper

7.00pm: Departure



PROGRAMME – preparing to come:

The events will take place throughout Hospitalfield House and grounds. Please bring clothes suitable for outside.

Please bring warm socks as we will have our shoes off in the house.

Arbroath rail station is on the main line north from London / Glasgow/ Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Hospitalfield House is 25 minutes walk from the rail station (5 minute taxi ride).

The 39 bus runs from Dundee city centre to the end of our driveway (40 mins).
Our address is Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath, DD11 2NH.

There is some space for car parking at the front of the house.
More travel info… 

Get in touch with if you need more info is useful (use postcode).

We are offering camping spaces in Hospitalfield’s beautiful grassy greens.
Please bring your own tent and over-pack on warm clothes and sleeping bags, it can be cold at night otherwise.

There are toilets and washing facilities available in the house & studios. Please bring towels.

Information on the Visit Scotland website about accommodation available on 22 September…

Hospitalfield’s chef will be providing delicious food for the Autumn School.
We love working with local produce. A lot of the food will be vegetarian.
Please tell us in advance if you have any specific allergies so we can try to accommodate you.
There are shops nearby if you want to bring drinks to the meals.

Hospitalfield House: 01241 656 124
Reid’s Taxi: 01241 873 212
Abbey Taxi: 01241 877 777

With many thanks to the Nicoll Family.

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