October 2009

Work has continued to improve over October with the completion of the last of our programme of new build care homes completed in Cumbernauld, Wellwynd Church Community Hub progressing on site, submission of Glenboig Community Life Centre for Planning and a new commission to design a new campus for the YMCA/YWCA in Cumbernauld. This along with a good number of smaller projects is really keeping us busy and the majority of work is interesting, challenging and heavily design orientated.

Both of my submissions to the Architect’s Eye photography Competition made the shortlists in each of the categories entered. The first being ‘Hope is Important’ , a photo taken at Maggie’s Centre in Dundee by Frank Ghery in the Architecture and Place Category and “matrix’ in the Architecture and People category taken at OMA’s Central library in Seattle. Decided to go to London for the exhibition in November and take in some other events too.

'Hope is Important'

I think this photograph works on several levels although it is not technically very good. The sky, the human figure, the shine of the undulating roof all contribute to providing a sense of what the ‘place’ is. I love this building and think it shows that Ghery’s architecture can work at this scale as well as on his more usual grand scale.


This photo was taken just outside the entrance to Seattle Central Library and was a chance shot taken as the guy reading a book brushed past me and walked away along the walkway with the light filtering through the structure of the building. i only noticed a further person in the photo when looking at a large scale version to submit to the competition, see if you can spot them! I have had an amazing response to this photo on my Flickr page and think this was the stronger of both my entries.

Competitions and Awards are nice and can certainly help from a business and marketing perspective and prizes are great to get, however, I think anyone working in the creative industries should be more concerned with their personal satisfaction and that of their clients than seeking plaudits from judging panels. I was annoyed recently when I submitted several buildings for local awards (at a cost for entries) and the judging panel never even visited the buildings which can only truly be appreciated by experiencing first hand for many reasons. I know it sounds like sour grapes, but I have thought about it this way and still feel a bit aggrieved to be dismissed without even a visit.

I had 2 planning applications approved during October, one for the house extension discussed in my July post and the other for a refurbishment and extension of an existing Children’s House in Coatbridge, a continuation of the work we have been doing for North Lanarkshire Council Social Work Department for the past 5 years.

Buchanan Street Children's House

I am now planning to put together, along with my client, a record of the work we have done on the development of Children’s care facilities as I have found that although there is plenty of information on nurseries and school facilities, there is very little on residential care for children and there are many things we have learned and developed over the programme of work completed to date.

The days are getting shorter, darker, wetter and colder and I am hoping that we don’t have as long and drawn out a winter as last year, roll on Spring!

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