Feb/Mar 2010

It didn’t take me long to fall behind with my 2010 blog posts. I started this as an almost diary like blog but my use of twitter and flickr has taken over on this role so I have been thinking a lot about what role the blog page should have. I knew when I started it would need to evolve which I think it has, although I still view it as a personal record rather than an information service and those of you read or even just look at my page I hope that there is something of interest there (I know there are some!).

Work is as tough as ever, i just think it always will be that way for what I do and where I have chosen to practice. No matter what the economy holds, as long as I ensure that I keep the standards I have set for myself and the company and we produce good design then I will be happy. It is easy to get disillusioned by the industry and I must admit that I have considered and still do consider,  moving from Scotland to practice somewhere else. I have weighed up the pros and cons of this many times. Although successfully running my own practice for 5 years, I am still under 40(relatively young in architectural terms) and think I have a lot more to offer and to achieve, I just don’t know if I can do it where I am.

Probably our biggest and most high profile project, the redevelopment of Old Wellwynd Church in Airdrie, is really taking shape now. The external screens are due on site shortly and it will be wind and water tight before long. I am holding off posting pics untill the scaffold comes down as it just looks like any other building site at the moment. There is one section of the building which I think would make a great architectural office!

About this time last year I started working on a new community building for the village of Glenboig, full planning was granted in March and we are now awaiting funding approvals(images in August 2009 post). Hopefully if we get funding we can move onto detailed design stage with a view to getting on site early next year and would be a great follow on project to the Wellwynd development.

I have continued to get out and about taking photos with trips to Edinburgh, Skye, Troon and another visit to the 20th Century ruin of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. There has been a lot written about this building by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, the last I heard was that Gareth Hoskins was working on a spa/residential development of the building with Urban Splash but I think that in the height of the property market this would be a difficult and risky venture nevermind now.

St Peter's Seminary, Cardross

St Peter's Seminary, Cardross

I have started printing some of my photos. In the past I had only printed any for competitions or exhibitions but have decided to get a few put together for myself or anyone else interested, the first being this dark foreboding picture of the Black Cuillin in Skye which I particularly liked:

Black Cuillin

Black Cuillin

Skye is an amazing place and I would encourage anyone to visit. Stayed in an apartment just North of Portree called Dunsgiath with views over Loch Fada and beyond to the Old Man of Storr. I had been planning on getting some serious walking done but was failed by my faith in the Scottish weather and was in fact nearly snow bound in Skye even though we were nearly in April! A last night stay at the Michelin star awarded Kinloch Lodge made up for the disappointing weather though and were treated to an amazing meal in a tremendous setting.

Stayed a night in Edinburgh at the end of March to catch The Beauty Queen of Leenane, a play by Martin McDonagh who wrote the screenplay In Bruges. I took the opportunity to take the guided tour of the Scottish Parliament building while there which I have done before, once during construction and once when it was newly opened. I am almost always asked for an opinion on this building which is in extremely loaded question in Scotland. It can be a tricky one to answer depending on who you are talking to as generally they will already have formed their own view on it based on all the bad press it has received and 9 out 10 will not have visited it yet. Having met Enric Miralles in the early 90’s in Barcelona and visiting Igualada cemetery with him, I was more than happy with his selection to design the Scottish Parliament and I was not disappointed in the building produced. If cost and politics are put aside, a true appreciation the architecture can then be looked at with an open mind and I consider what he has done is the work of a genius.

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament

I will be 39 at the end of April and plan to make the best of my last year as a 30 something!

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1 Response to “Feb/Mar 2010”

  1. April 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Great post! I don’t think you could have accomplished all that in 140 characters and pictures can only say so much. Cheers!

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