Edinburgh based architects Kettle Collective leads in sustainable innovation with second Queen’s Award for Enterprise

DEWA Solar Innovation Centre

Edinburgh based architect, Kettle Collective, is calling for architects to be at the forefront of tackling carbon reduction, a sector which contributes up to 39% of the global carbon footprint, after being honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. 

This is the second Queen’s Award for Kettle Collective, which is one of 205 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise and one of only 17 for Sustainable Development. Previously landing the award for International Trade in 2016, the firm was formed in 2012 with a focus on creating high performance and energy efficient designs. 

Probably best-known for designing the Falkirk Wheel, design principal Tony Kettle is one of the country’s leading architects and is also behind the River Clyde Crossing bridge, the largest opening cable-stay road bridge in the world, as well as the concept for St Petersburg’s LEED Platinum, low energy Lakhta Centre, Europe’s tallest building. 

Sustainable design is at the core of everything we do,” says Kettle’s managing director, Colin Bone. “It is a great honour to have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen for our sustainable design. We set up Kettle Collective to make a difference, not just to the quality of the lives of the people living and working in our projects, but most importantly on making a positive impact to the natural environment on a large scale.” 

Underpinned by the belief that the space we live in directly influences the quality of our lives, Kettle was set up to create vibrant and sustainable projects. “The design phase is critical to the energy efficiency of any building and designers not only need to prioritise but to innovate if they are going to meet the considerable challenges we face. Through regenerative building and promoting habitats and biodiversity we are actively reducing the impact on the planet.” 

Kettle is an international business with satellite studios in Dubai and Oman, as well as a presence in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, St Petersburg and Shenzhen. The Middle East is a key market for Kettle, a region where they have designed a number of projects from large urban developments to individual buildings all underpinned by sustainable design.  

Kettle designed the LEED Platinum, multi award winning Solar Innovation Centre at the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority which acts as a hub to promote the sustainable energy future, showing Dubai at the forefront of thinking in sustainability.

“We continually learn from different cultures and are designing new buildings and communities across the world that are not only truly sustainable in a built environment, but that celebrate the place,” says Tony Kettle. 

“I am delighted and hugely proud of our team. This is our second Queen’s award and it is significant to win for sustainability, which is the key issue of our time and is a commitment on every project we design. We believe everyone has a responsibility to minimise use of the earth’s valuable resources and maximise use of renewable energy to the reduce the carbon footprint. As a studio we look to create long term value for our clients which will benefit future generations and society as a whole.” 

Meanwhile, The Hunter Foundation in partnership with the University of Strathclyde is currently developing the Hunter Global Leadership Centre on the banks of Loch Lomond, designed by Kettle Collective. The centre will be Scotland’s first dedicated leadership training centre, designed to be carbon neutral for energy usage and drive social benefit and economic growth.  

Sir Tom Hunter, philanthropist and founder of The Hunter Foundation, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Kettle Collective has won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development as recognition of its work leading the sustainability charge. I am particularly pleased at the recognition of Kettle’s impact to climate change, which is now nothing short of urgent to our planet.” 

Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years. 

Kettle Collective

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BDC 309 : Oct 2023