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A design-led, creative and practical contemporary Scottish architecture practice

We have extensive experience across a wide range of sectors but particularly specialise in residential, tourism, health, education and small commercial projects. We have particular expertise in one-off housing, working with existing buildings, conservation and interior design. 

Our projects are composed in a contemporary Scottish style. Careful consideration is given to our clients' aspirations and the surrounding landscape. Our work celebrates beautiful materials, careful detailing and the surrounding environment.

Design-led architecture: shaping spaces with purpose

We embrace the principle that architecture needs to be design-led. It's not just about creating structures; it's about crafting spaces with purpose and meaning. Our approach is rooted in a realistic and pragmatic ethos, considering a myriad of influences including the brief, context, form, planning, materials, and sustainability.

We bring a distinctive perspective to designing for Scottish conditions, leveraging solar diagrams to optimise window placement, integrating large overhanging eaves to mitigate overheating in summer and reduce solar glare in winter.

As creative and practical individuals, we've traversed the building process firsthand, mastering numerous techniques from plumbing to painting. This hands-on experience informs our designs, ensuring they are not only imaginative but also feasible and enduring.

Crucially, we prioritise listening. We understand that every project is unique, and we never impose our designs on clients. Instead, we invest time in crafting strong briefs and fostering collaborative design processes, ensuring we deliver outcomes that exceed expectations.

Harrington House, Ayr

Harrington House, Ayr

A contemporary upside-down house on the Ayr coast

Perth Extension

Perth Extension

Single storey extension within a walled garden

Stirling Extension

Stirling Extension

Contemporary single storey extension to developer home

Our latest projects

Our projects share a common ethos, that architecture must be design led, contextually sensitive and timeless. Every project is unique, we will design a home tailored to you and specific to the location. Explore a selection of our latest projects below.

Why choose us as your architect?

Every project we undertake is unique, shaped by its context and the vision of our clients. We believe in the power of collaboration, viewing the design process as a collective effort where client input is fundamental. Beginning with your ideas, we employ a range of tools—from hand-drawn sketches to detailed drawings and immersive 3D visualisations—to bring concepts to life. This iterative process ensures that our designs evolve to align precisely with your aspirations.

Central to our approach is the principle of designing what our clients want, not what we assume they want. We understand that many clients in the residential sector have limited experience with the intricacies of building in Scotland. That's why we place great emphasis on guiding you through every stage of the process, from selecting a site to navigating planning permissions, building warrants, technical design, tendering, and construction. Our expertise, dedication, and creativity are invaluable whether you're envisioning a new home, revitalizing a rural property, or expanding your existing family residence.

Frequently asked questions

We have put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about Nicholas Lindsay Architects and the services we offer. Please browse through the questions below and if you need any more help, please get in touch.

  • Architects provide a professional service and are held accountable by the ARB code of conduct. We provide a full range of services from design and planning permission through to construction detailing and contract management. In all projects, our involvement has saved Clients money.


    A good Architect ensures piece of mind when embarking on a new project. Choosing the right Architect will have a hugely beneficial impact from providing useful and accurate advice to helping you understand and coordinate the different project stages. They will work with you to develop your project brief and finalise the budget. It is essential that you agree this before starting the project. A good architect will develop solutions and propose ways to reduce costs whilst coming up with a design that will increase the building’s value. They’ll guide you through a whole range of processes – from coming up with an initial design to seeing the project through planning and construction to completion. Choosing the wrong Architect or draftsperson can be an expensive exercise.

    A good Architect will provide impartial advice, cost effective designs and help you achieve your wish list. Ultimately the key to any successful project is a good working relationship between Client and Architect. It is a collaborative effort and everyone has a role to play.

  • We offer consultations on site, over the phone or via video call. Initial consultations on site (local) are charged at £125 to cover cost of travel / time out of the office etc. Non-local initial consultation costs will be agreed, prior to the meeting. Initial consultations via phone and video call are free of charge.

  • Our fees are calculated on a project by project basis and do not use generic percentages of the construction budget. Once we have carried out an initial consultation we will be able to estimate our time required. We will then provide a fixed fee for a full architectural service from stage 1 to 6 however you are free to choose which stages you want our involvement in. 

  • Every project starts with an idea. This idea will likely comprise a description of the project, list of wants and don't wants. A good brief is a culmination of these along with the addition of precedent images that you like. Remember this is your project, so put everything in to the brief that you want, no matter how big or small. It should be a wish list. 

    Our role in the early stages, is to understand you and help you develop the project brief. We produce a project specific questionnaire which is a useful way to gain a better understanding of you, how you live and what your priorities are. By doing this at the outset, we can be confident that our design will be tailor made to meet your specific requirements.

  • We have worked with most local authorities throughout Scotland and have built a wealth of experience with each council. Our high approval rate demonstrates our ability to produce designs in keeping with their setting. The design does not have to be a traditional, mirror image of the surrounding building(s), in our experience a more contemporary, high quality architectural approach is sometimes best. Ultimately planning authorities are looking to ensure a high standard of design is produced which enhances the area.

  • Larger projects can be based on a square metre rate with a certain degree of confidence however smaller projects, particularly work involving existing buildings, carry too many unknowns to work to a flat rate. There are many factors involved when estimating the build costs including site constraints, construction techniques, and quality of finishes required.


    We have a wealth of experience so please feel free to get in touch and we will be able to help you estimate the likely costs for your project. 

Director Nicholas Goward

Nicholas Goward

Chartered Architect (ARB: 088800A)

Nicholas feels strongly in the uniqueness of Architecture, believing architecture must always reflect the age and cultural context that produced it. Nicholas is experienced with current BIM standards and brings a keen eye for technical detailing. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys playing tennis, hill walking and is an avid follower of Manchester United and the Ireland Rugby teams.

Director Lindsay McDonald

Lindsay McDonald

Chartered Architect (ARB: 091147J)

Lindsay is quick to understand a building and brings a creative perspective to the role of Architecture in everyday living. Lindsay has a thorough understanding of building contracts and leading projects on site. She uses this experience to guide Clients and Contractors carefully through the construction stage. Outside of work, Lindsay can often be found in the garden, visiting museums and enjoys hill walking and yoga.

Lisa Vitali

Lisa Vitali

Senior Architectural Assistant

Lisa joined us in April 2023 and quickly became an integral part of the team. She has a deep understanding of current planning and building regulations. Lisa has a particular interest in integrating sustainable building materials and technologies in her work. She uses this knowledge to create buildings that are beautifully designed and perfectly suited to the Scottish climate. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys kayaking, hill walking and skateboarding.

Office Dog Tura


Office Dog

Tura joined Nicholas Lindsay Architects in mid 2022 and quickly became a key member of the team. She loves being out on site and meeting clients. Outside of work, Tura loves long walks, cuddles and chewing everything in sight.


Nicholas Lindsay Architects was started by Nicholas Goward & Lindsay McDonald. Both Chartered Architects, they met while studying Architecture at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Since then, they have established a strong and unique architectural style bringing together elements of traditional and contemporary architecture. They work together on all projects, combining their individual skills and problem solving ability to create bespoke and thoughtful designs. 

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