Gail Halvorsen

Halvorsen Architects specialises in sustainable and ecological design for residential, educational and commercial buildings.

Halvorsen Architects was founded by Gail Halvorsen in 1994. Having trained at the Architectural Association and worked at leading London architects Michael Hopkins & Partners for five years, Gail Halvorsen established the practice with a view to developing her own brand of vernacular modernism. Running a small practice also facilitates one-to-one relationships with clients, which often leads to better and more imaginative designs.

Soon after setting up Halvorsen Architects, Gail Halvorsen was named as an “up and coming young female architects to watch” by architectural periodical Perspectives.

Two years later Halvorsen Architects relocated from London to Edinburgh where Gail focused on developing an expertise in sustainable architecture (at the same time having three children). Over the last couple of years, the firm has been putting its ideas into practice for designs in Scotland.


• Specialist in nursery school design.

 Speaker, ‘Quality in Space’, ‘Quality in Montessor conference, London 2019

• SEDA (Scottish Ecological Design Association) member since 2007, Events co-ordinator 2019-

The True Cost: Sustainable Fashion – Green Drinks event, Edinburgh 2020

Blending Ecological Practice: Dialogues, Wood and Water – two day annual conference, Forres 2019

Scottish Timber – Green Drinks event, Edinburgh 2019

• TRADA (Timber Research And Development Association) member since 2014

• ASHS (Association of Scottish Hardwood Sawmillers) member and regular contributor to The Full Circle 2017-

Architects and ASHS, Winter 2018

Whole Tree Architecture, Winter 2017

• GCDT (Gorebridge Community Development Trust) board member 2007–17, chairwoman 2014-6

Project manager £3m community centre, Gorebridge Beacon

One year primary school workshop on wood design, Wooploft

Conservation – Newbyres Castle & Arniston gunpowder works

• CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) board member & architect: 14 & 45 Main Street, Gorebridge 2013-17

Other articles:

Hutting in Scotland – The Magazine of the Architectural Heritage of Scotland (AHSS), 2014

Design by Emission: Sustainable Architecture in Scotland – Cockburn Magazine, 2002

• Occasional lecturer on sustainable design at Heriot Watt University 2003

• ECAN (Edinburgh Chartered Architects Network) member; chairwoman 2001–02; sustainable events organiser:

Low energy technologies – Facts or alternative facts?, Edinburgh 2017

Breathability and Low Energy Retrofit, Edinburgh 2016


Civic Trust, Isle of Barra, 2009

• Civic Trust Award assessor (rural and urban, England and Scotland) 1997–2011


Previous Experience

At Michael Hopkins &Partners:

• Project architect Westminster Underground Station, London 1992-95

• Site architect Westminster Underground Station, London 1997-98

• Portcullis House (New Parliamentary Building), Westminster, London 1991-92

At Ove Arup &Partners’ Lightweight Structure Department:

• La Grande Arche ‘Nuage’, La Défènse, Paris 1987

Youde Aviary, Hong Kong

Aviary, Hong Kong 1987



Architectural Association School of Architecture, London

• Diploma year tutors: Peter Cook & Ron Herron

• 4th year tutors: Peter Wilson

• 3rd year tutors: Peter Salter & Chris MacDonald


Sustainable Future for Upper Heyford

• Second place – Council for the Protection of Rural England Competition 1996

The New House, Buckinghamshire

• Second place – The Daily Telegraph Individual Home Award 1996

• Short listed RIBA Awards for Architecture 1996

• Second place Copper Roofing Competition 1995

Alterations and landscaping, Essex

• Short listed – Architects Journal, Buildings under £150,000 1997

Westminster Underground Station, London

• Winner – Royal Fine Art Commission Millennium Building of the Year 1999