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Post war architecture focus on conference

20 October 2009

Scotland’s legacy of post-war architecture is to be the focus of a conference in November hosted by Historic Scotland.

The agency is opening the debate on protecting and celebrating the variety and innovative techniques used to create striking architecture since 1945.

Dr Deborah Mays, Historic Scotland Head of Listing and organiser of the conference said: “After the war, a notably different approach was seen in designing and constructing buildings, encompassing a new hope and vision for the future.

“While many people still view listed buildings as having to be traditionally crafted, the number of outstanding examples of architecture and design that remain need to be considered as an important part of our heritage and just as revealing of our past as older buildings. This conference will bring together people from across the spectrum to look at how we value modern architecture as part of the Scottish landscape and we are very much looking forward to hearing the range of views on what has been a hotly contested subject.”

In post-war Scotland there was a belief among key decision-makers that the world could be made better by design. New homes, schools and churches – even entire new towns – could be planned, designed and built for the benefit of all.

Scotland: Building for the Future will take place at the Bonar Hall at the University of Dundee on Tuesday November 24, 2009 and will be opened by the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Michael Russell MSP.

The day will be chaired by respected broadcaster Pauline McLean and in addition to speakers from Historic Scotland the program includes Raymond Young of Architecture and Design Scotland; Neil Baxter of RIAS; David Page of Page and Park Architects; Miles Glendinning of Edinburgh College of Art and Janet McBain of the National Library of Scotland.

A new website has been launched in addition to the conference to allow anyone with an interest to become involved in the debate at

Dr Mays added: “This is an important debate to have, and the new website will give people the opportunity to not only find out about the conference and book tickets, but also submit questions for our panel of speakers. It also provides information on the work we are constantly doing reviewing the protection of buildings and our publications.

“Obviously this is a topic that will continue to inspire discussion and, after the conference, we will use the website to carry on celebrating the variety of buildings we are lucky enough to have in Scotland and engage with people on how they can be maintained.”

Notes for editors

  • The conference costs £15 which includes lunch and can be booked online through the website.

  • Registration for the conference begins at 9.30am and a panel discussion will close the day, ending at 4.30pm.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873