Founded 40 years ago, Oberlanders Architects is based in a listed Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh, with a further four offices in Scotland and another in Oxford. By the end of 2022, the practice employed 45 architects out of a total of 76 permanent staff and had an architecture income of just under £5 million. It is currently enjoying a period of business growth and last year opened a new office in Inverness.
Oberlanders Architects has a broad portfolio of public and private sector work across multiple business sectors. These include healthcare and last year the practice won Healthcare Development of the Year at the Scottish Property Awards for its Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital (pictured). It also recently completed The Bella Centre in Dundee, one of the Scottish Prison Service’s new-concept Community Custody Units, which take a gender-specific and trauma-informed approach to how women are supported while in custody.
Current projects include a Mountain Bike Innovation Centre at Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders – a conversion of a former textile mill – and a Reindeer Visitor Centre at Aviemore in the Cairngorms, home to Britain’s only free-ranging reindeer herd.
Six other practices were in the running, including a second Scottish contender, Edinburgh and Glasgow-based Michael Laird Architects, and Manchester practice AEW. ECD Architects, which specialises in low-energy, low environmental impact buildings and has offices in London, Glasgow and Preston, also made the list, as well as London practices dMFK and RM_A. The shortlist was completed by BakerHicks, the design, engineering and project delivery firm previously known as Morgan Sindall Professional Services.
The newcomer award is judged taking into account both business success and quality of work. To be eligible, practices must be either making their debut in the AJ100 rankings or returning for the first time in at least five years.
- ECD Architects
- Michael Laird Architects
AJ100 New Member of the Year was judged by the AJ editorial team