My 2009

I have now been running this blog for just over a year and it was interesting for me to look back at my initial posts and see what changes have taken place in the space of a year. There was quite a bit of disappointment in some planning matters and uncertainty about the next 12 months workload. I am now looking at a healthy workload but stil seem to have the same concerns and stress levels as I did this time last year.

It has been a significant year for my practice, GCA, as previously we did not have a large portfolio of built work since i started to run the practice in 2004. 2009 has seen the completion of 3 new children’s houses for North Lanarkshire Council and the commencement on site in the summer of a £3.5m community business centre in Airdrie. During 2009 we have also been appointed as Architects 2 more significant projects in central Scotland and continue to expand our portfolio of smaller scale domestic refurbishment and extension work which has seen some coverage in the design magazines.

I am optimistic about the next 12months and feel i have found a better work/life balance in the past 12months while still managing to maintain the quality of the work we do. I am excited about our 2 new major commissions, much more of will hopefully be discussed in coming months.

To sum up 2009 I was planning on doing a top 5’s type list but thought I would just pick out a list of highlights in no particular order:

Films: Generally the big box office hits where disappointing for me, films I saw this year (not necessarily made in 2009) that I liked are  The Hangover, Inglourious Basterds, Slumdog Millionaire, Watchmen, District 9, Rec, Let the Right One In, Man on a Wire

TV: Still loving Peepshow, Red Riding was great, good to see Limmy’s Show pilot has gained him a 6 part series aswell. I don’t actually watch a lot of TV

Music: Loved T in the Park this year, but best gig was probably one I went to in Seattle with Eulogies, Great Northern and the dears at the Crocodile, great venue and atmosphere as well as music.

Great Northern

Great Northern

Books: Didn’t read nearly enough this year but currently enjoying Nick Cave’s Death of Bunny Munro. Resolution to read more

Restaurant: LaVallee Blanche on Byre’s Road, Glasgow takes my best and now probably favorite restaurant this year although I have had some tremendous meals out this year with Launcestoun Place being another highlight.

Travel: Going to Seattle and Idaho was my overall highlight of the year. Pike Place market is amazing and I loved seeing Steven Holl’s St Ignatious

Architecture: I was happy to see Peter Zumthor awarded the Pritzker prize this year. I have been an admirer of his work for some time now. I was also happy to see Steven Holl and JM awarded the Glasgow School of Art project. There is a lot of good small scale Scottish architecture being produced and I would like to see smaller practices awarded some bigger projects like schools or health care projects rather than this encouragement to team up with larger practices, I just can’t understand how this benefits a larger practice.

Resolutions: Glasgow Half marathon in September as i have missed it 3 years in a row, design something for the plot at the back of my garden, decide on website design for the practice, write about the children’s house design process, travel a bit more, improve photography skills.

I wish everyone who bothers to read this all the very best for 2010

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