My last post was pre-lockdown and I have, like the rest of you, been scrambling about to make sense of what I’m being told is “the new normal” (usually by people who had no idea what the old normal was ). The last few months have been a difficult juggling act of trying to manage remote working with the added complication of being one of two parents that have continuing jobs and two pre-school children requiring daily education, stimulation and occupation. I am very glad I moved our office to within sight of where I live up here in Killearn which has allowed me to continue working with minimal interruption – albeit at a much (much!) slower pace than usual and in shifts with my better half. Pretty much all of our projects are still proceeding as before, so there has been no chance to slow down too much. We’re busy with two large new houses, three lodges in various remote locations and a myriad of small jobs from people who have been trapped in their houses for three months and realise they don’t like them very much. Remote working with Lewis has been successful enough to not see any reason to return to compulsory office hours – however we are both back in the office at least a couple of days a week for now. I will start posting more regularly now I’m officially back at work – call if you need anything!
So 2020 has a lot going on - and as usual no unifying themes. Above is a small selection of projects with passable CGIs that are currently undergoing detail design for 2020 site starts - We have an invisible bothy, a monopitch lodge, a disused public toilet in the east end being converted into a mock hebridean croft, another large lodge with yet another sedum roof, a very large house with a lot of stonework and (guess what?) another lodge with another sedum roof. On top of all this there is the old tin tabernacle and its new modern twin, some listed building renovations, some large domestic remodels/refurbishments and plenty of feasibility works. As architects are the canary in the coalmine for economic downturns - I don’t think we’ve hit gas yet (but one should never tempt fate, so I’m still perfecting my barista skills on the big Gaggia!)
In The Trees at Monachyle is now finally finished and what started off as an idle peruse through ebay has now finally come to life as a new top end hotel suite at one of Scotland’s finest hotels. Its worth recapping what was involved to bring a disassembled exhibition piece from a storage yard outside London and transform it into a highland retreat…
Firstly transporting the pieces up an eight mile single track road and unloading them on a windy winter’s day. Making the pieces water proof for the winter while we figured out where to put it, how to put it back together, how we would add an ensuite bathroom and entrance area, how we would get rid of the ladders and cram in a staircase, heat it, get hot water to it, make it usable and desirable for discerning hotel guests etc etc. Fast forward to today and we’ve solved all the problems and created a luxurious and very individual hotel suite, with biomass power, room for four guests (more likely two guests and their children!) and a top floor snug lounge that is a great a place as any in Scotland to enjoy a wee dram!
Another fantastically interesting, complex, frustrating and exciting little project – thanks to all involved, from our patient clients, the ever resourceful Lewis Brothers & Skinny, Fiona Denholm, Nic & Franc, Ghillie & Willie. We’re already giving the next stupid idea some legs.