Festival website now live!

Visit www.foa2016.com for full information about the Festival of Architecture 2016.



The Scottish Government has announced its support for the Festival of Architecture and designated 2016 as Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The Festival, designed to boost confidence and understanding of our built environment, seeks to make a lasting difference to Scottish communities. It will inform all of Scotland’s people of the economic and social benefits of good architecture. It will also support Scotland’s ambitions as a player on the architectural world stage.

In the past Scottish architecture and architects have been hugely significant internationally. Both historically and today, Scotland’s diaspora includes a significant percentage of architects. Accordingly the Festival will look to celebrate this international dimension. Our present crop of creative talents will enable this influence to continue.

Architecture is pivotal in Scotland’s culture. We move into 2016 facing diminishing resources and escalating fuel costs. The Festival will encourage the imaginative re-use of redundant buildings and the adaptive re-use of historic settings. The Festival will also support the use of traditional skills and materials, promoting a better understanding of green design.

Our ambition is to work with our partners in other built environment organisations, with our museums and galleries and with the many agencies whose mission is to show the best of what Scotland can offer. Together we aim to transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment towards a whole new level of appreciation, understanding - and fun!


A round of workshops, supported by funding from the Scottish Government, has taken place in communities across Scotland to ensure that local issues, themes and shared goals are identified.

Among the priorities, repeated in numerous conversations and questionnaires, is an over-arching need to increase engagement with architecture and design. Similarly prominent has been the call to involve children and young adults. Many have identified the need for more information on Scottish architecture, old and new. All have agreed the Festival should create a long-term legacy and demonstrate the case for future-proof design. Improving the spaces between buildings, giving greater attention to the quality of the public realm, is another key issue for communities.

The programme

Ideas for the programme have been diverse and imaginative. They include a major touring exhibition and publication, Scotstyle, with public nominations and an international architectural ‘Expo’. There is also a strong demand to harness all art forms to capture the spirit and impact of architecture on our lives. Architectural poetry, imaginative art and commissions for music will demonstrate that all forms of creativity can come together in celebration of what has been called the ‘mother of the arts’.

Building upon the success of existing initiatives will also play a part. Additional resources for the widely acclaimed Doors Open Day, will help ensure it runs across Scotland. There are an estimated three hundred arts Festivals in Scotland, even a single architectural event in each would be a tremendous boost.

Getting the message across

Promoting the Festival will involve media and marketing, the use of television, radio, local and national newspapers, billboards and social media. Ambassadors in schools and local authorities will promote interest. Consistent visual branding will be applied to all Festival events and publications.

The Festival is for you. It brings the opportunity to make a permanent difference. A successful 2016 Festival will highlight the crucial role of well-built buildings and places to the future of Scotland.

The Festival partners

A full list of all our Festival partners (over 90 of them) is available on the Festival of Architecture website.

Getting involved

If you would like more information on the Festival, or want to be involved, please emailinfo@foa2016.com.


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