Tributes have been paid to an award-winning Helensburgh architect who has sadly died aged just 48.

Gareth Hoskins passed away on Saturday, January 9 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

It’s understood he had suffered a heart attack during a fencing competition the previous weekend.

Mr Hoskins was born in Edinburgh in April 1967, where he spent his formative years.

Having developed a talent for creativity, Gareth left school to train as an architect at both the Glasgow School of Art and at Florence University.

In 1992 he joined Penoyre and Prasad as an associate, where he worked on projects ranging from the visitors’ centre at Belmarsh Prison, the care home at Lambeth, Mayesbrook Health Centre, the Young People’s Centre in Bridgwater and Wolverhampton Civic Halls.

After six years with the company in London, Gareth returned to Scotland and set up Gareth Hoskins Architects in Glasgow in 1998.

In 2003, five years after establishing his practice, Gareth and his family moved to Helensburgh.

Through a series of major competition wins Gareth Hoskins Architects became one of the UK’s leading design practices, producing creative, innovative, award-winning buildings and environments.

Gareth’s architectural experience covered a wide range of projects, from large scale regeneration and commercial projects to the public sector, and from community and healthcare to major cultural and heritage initiatives.

Gareth’s projects included the Art Park at Bellahouston, the Bridge Arts Centre, the architecture gallery at the V&A Museum, the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre at The Lighthouse, Robin House at Balloch, the award winning Culloden Battlefield Memorial Centre, a major development for the National Museum of Scotland (which won the 2011 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland-award, RIBA award and a special award from the Civic Trust in 2012), Ballymena Health and Care Centre, a golf resort development in Aberdeenshire, visitor centre for Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall and the Athletes’ Village for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Gareth also had the proud distinction of representing Scotland internationally, when he designed the critically acclaimed ‘Gathering Space’ for the 2008 Venice Biennale.

As a leading figure in the UK architectural industry, Gareth was much in demand as a speaker at architectural conferences and regularly contributed to a number of publications and architectural policy documents.

He was an advisor to the Royal Institute of British Architects, a board member of the Scottish Government’s design ‘watchdog’ Architecture and Design Scotland, and between 2006 and 2010 held the post of the Scottish Government’s National Healthcare Design Champion.

In 2009, Gareth was appointed as a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, an elite independent body of artists and architects founded as Scotland’s oldest artists’ collective.

Academicians, or members, are elected by their peers and are Scots by birth or domicile, the majority living and working in Scotland, from the Orkney Islands to the Borders.

Gareth won UK Young Architect of the Year in 2000, UK Architect of the Year in 2006 and in 2008 was named in the number one spot in Architecture Scotland’s Power 100, listing the most influential people in the industry.

In the same year the gifted visionary was awarded the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award in the Arts Category – the first time an Architect had received this award.

And 2009 saw Gareth’s incredible award run continue with the collection of three major awards in the Scottish Design Awards, including the award for ‘Architects of the Year’.

Last year he rebranded his practise from Gareth Hoskins Architects to Hoskins Architects in recognition of the contribution of its 40 employees, operating from both Glasgow and Berlin.

But it’s not just some of the world’s finest museums and heritage sites that benefited from Gareth’s expertise.

As a local man, Gareth always showed a keen interest in potential design projects within the Helensburgh and Lomond area. He created proposals for a new swimming and leisure complex on Helensburgh’s pier head for Argyll and Bute Council.

In January 2015, it was announced that Hoskins Architects together with Gillespies had won a publicly tendered design contract for a £2 million revamp of Helensburgh’s Hermitage Park.

Another local landmark building which had caught Gareth’s imagination was the Cardross Seminary which was originally designed by Glasgow architects Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan and is regarded as a key example of Modernist design.

In 2008, Hoskins Architects were commissioned by Historic Scotland and the developer Urban Splash to develop proposals to bring the derelict buildings back through a new use.

Gareth was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.

Director of Helensburgh Heroes Charity Phil Worms said: “I came across Gareth in 2005 and it was when we were looking at doing something with the old Clyde Street Centre.

“He was of the same opinion as me in that the area needed some kind of social hub.

“We worked together and put forward a pitch for the building. “Ultimately the building was retained and turned into council offices but we worked together for about eight months.

“He was a modest man but a great visionary and highly respected in his industry.”

First minister Nicola Sturgeon also posted a tribute to the late Mr Hoskins on Twitter.

She said: “Very sad to hear of the death of Gareth Hoskins, one of Scotland’s finest architects. My thoughts with his family.”

Chris Coleman-Smith, a co-director of Hoskins Architects, said: “Everyone at Hoskins Architects has lost an exceptional architect, a visionary and a gifted leader, but above all a very good friend. Gareth leaves a huge gap, he was such a special person."

“We appreciate the very many messages of condolence that have already been received.”

Michael Clarke, director at the Scottish National Gallery, added: “The Galleries were deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death of Gareth Hoskins, one of Scotland’s leading and most respected architects.”

A private family funeral and a memorial service for Mr Hoskins is planned for a later date.