Architect found guilty of unacceptable conduct by watchdog

KEITH SINCLAIR December 17 2003

A LEADING Scottish architect has been reprimanded by one of the
profession's governing bodies after being found guilty of unacceptable
professional conduct.
Peter Richardson, of award-winning Glasgow-based Zoo Architects, was found
guilty by the Architects Registration Board of failing to provide
sufficient information to a client concerning the scope of his service,
terms and conditions.
Mr Richardson, the principal at Zoo Architects in Jamaica Street, admitted
producing documentation and drawings which were inadequate or unfit for
the purpose, therefore failing to maintain a proper or adequate project
The board's professional conduct committee, which heard the case in
Glasgow, found that these two offences constituted unacceptable
professional conduct.
Mr Richardson admitted in part failing to carry out his work with "due
skill, care and diligence" and the committee found him guilty of
unacceptable professional conduct only in the respect that he failed to
administer the valuations of the works and the issue of interim
certificates to the client and contractor and that he failed to exercise
adequate supervision of staff.
He was found not guilty of a fourth charge of failing in his obligations
to his client by abandoning the commission during the construction phase,
the committee accepting his "compelling evidence" that he believed he had
lost his client's confidence.
Peter Verdin, chairman of the committee, said: "It is so important that
the terms of engagement and instruction are clearly defined before any
work commences. Mr Richardson admits that this is where the root of the
problem lies and we hope it can be a lesson to the profession."
A spokeswoman at Zoo Architects yesterday said the company had no comment
to make on the matter.
York-born Mr Richardson came to Glasgow about 15 years ago after
completing his post-graduate in architecture at Edinburgh University.
He worked for two established Glasgow companies – Simister Monoghan and
MLDO – but later started his own business.
Zoo Architects has won 19 design awards over the past three years,
including the Scottish Grand Prix Award for Architecture and the
FX/Blueprint Award for best Education/Health Project.
The company says on its website that it produces high-quality design
solutions for buildings, interiors and the environment and offers
architectural, environmental, interior design and urban regeneration
services to clients in the commercial, housing, arts, and public sectors.
It was awarded the Innovative Architect Award in 2000 for its
collaborative working methods and delivery of a range of diverse projects.
The company's projects range from award-winning £3.3m arts projects such
as the Tramway to £1.2m new build housing developments at Greenhead
Street, Glasgow.
Its website also claims that the common thread is "the attention to detail
and quality that pervades all the projects".