Having an architectural practice based in Shetland has given us in depth skills and experience that is particularly relevant to working in the isles, and is easily transferable to work elsewhere. Our team has a creative and innovative approach to problem solving and high quality design.

We deal with all aspects of building design from conceptual stages to the planning and building warrant processes and construction stage.

We undertake measured surveys, feasibility studies, detailed drawing & specifications for costing and construction.

We act as lead consultant on projects, handle contract administration on behalf of our clients and provide site inspections as required.

The extent of service required from us is discussed and agreed with the client prior to commencing work on a project.

Our fees are based on the extent of work you require from us and nature of the project. Please get in touch to find out more about what we offer and related costs.


By applying the following principles to our projects, we can transform your vision into a reality that exceeds expectation.

Budgets - Image


We aim to help our clients develop an early understanding of how their budget limitation and space requirements can successfully mesh. We also help navigate clients through the complexity of getting their project built. In terms of our own fee structure, we operate an upfront and transparent fee system based on the level of work the client requires from us.

Communication - Image


We are good listeners. Regular dialogue with our client helps us to take a collaborative approach to enable our clients to unlock their potential and deliver successful projects imaginatively and effectively.

Durability - Image


Durability is imperative, and we have extensive experience of building construction methods that can withstand the harsh coastal climate.

Livability - Image


We develop a comprehensive understanding of a how a client intends to use their building, and to get a feel of how comfort, warmth, light, enclosure and shelter will be experienced. We want to ensure people using the building can enjoy a positive connection with their surroundings.

Landscape and environment - Image

Landscape and environment

We take pride in our understanding of scale and appropriateness for various projects, in a range of places from tight urban spaces to one-off houses in coastal landscape. We try to ensure that our buildings achieve a regionally sensitive response to site, purpose and their surroundings.

Sustainable approaches - Image

Sustainable approaches

Sustainable design and reducing energy consumption is fundamental to all buildings. There are differing extents to which a building can be both constructed and used sustainably depending on budget, location and use. However, we believe a sustainable approach must be applied to all of our work.


An introduction to the practice directors

Architect & Director - Image

Nick Brett / Architect & Director


Nick studied architecture at Southbank Polytechnic in London and worked with both Llywellyn Davies and YRM architects. Fancying a change, he came to Shetland to work with Moria and Wann briefly. Nick now has some 30 years experience of working on education, commercial and historic projects with this practice. He became a director in 2011 and plays a large part in the design of the practice's work.

Architect & Director - Image

Adrian Wishart / Architect & Director

Dip.Arch.(Dstn).BSc(Hons) ARB RIAS RIBA

Adrian graduated from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen. Having trained and worked as an architect in both Edinburgh and Aberdeen for ten years, Adrian moved home to his native Shetland to join this practice in 2005. Since becoming a director in 2011 he has a hand in most of the projects passing through the practice from design to detailing. As such, Adrian has an an array of project experience, specialising in houses and housing with award winning examples.


Some of our local and national clients

Client Feedback



Features on the practice and its projects

Details & Affiliations

Historical Background

Richard Gibson Architects was founded in 1972 to respond to a need for a locally based architectural service, previously provided remotely from mainland Scotland. Over 40 years the practice has developed a unique wealth of experience of building in the harsh Shetland climate, has endured the difficulties, and enjoyed the benefits of working in a remote island such as Shetland. The numerous and varied projects produced by the practice has yielded many happy and satisfied clients as well as the recognition demonstrated by our awards. The future continuity of the practice has been assured by the recent restructuring of the practice.

Company Details

Richard Gibson Architects is a trading name for Richard Gibson Architects Ltd.

Richard Gibson Architects Ltd is a company registered in Scotland - No. SC395919

We are an Apple Mac based practice and have been for over 25 years. We use Vectorworks 2 & 3D CAD, Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Photoshop with various other designware programmes at our disposal.

Memberships and Affiliations

All architects are members of the following bodies: