Building things halfway up mountains can be a bit tricky…I can see why people generally stick to more accessible sites. We had the Monachyle Beag Bothy foundations nearly designed but niggling doubts brought us back to the site not with a 1.5T mini digger but a proper machine. So no rock, just big boulders and a host of other issues to solve on a site where - helpfully, almost no quarries will deliver crushed stone. Tom, our engineer (helpfully holding a spade in the picture) is designing somewhat out of his comfort zone!
So 2017 is starting with two Grade 2 Listed projects - however while Achara House is complex it is thankfully quite small. This project on the other hand is not small - Its the old District Court building on Turnbull Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City - Also known as the Old Central Police Station. This Dickensian courthouse, police station, prison and piece of Glaswegian social history is overdue a rebirth as a vibrant, mixed use development. We have already trawled the Mitchell and marveled at how drawings used to be done - and marveled how such a building was laid out in the 1900’s - kennels, stables, lots of bars and plenty of rank distinction. Emily Pankhurst was locked up here for a wee bit and it has seen everything from troops mustering for the Battle of George Square to weekly petty court sessions up until 2008. It is an extremely robust building, solid brick and steel/iron frame and it is brimming with historic detail despite its use until very recently as a public building. We’re really looking forward to getting started with this in January
Achara House - Duror. This Grade 2 Listed Lorimer-inspired house has had a summer of unplanned but very comprehensive fabric repairs. Now 2017 is upon us its time to start developing the building into a high end (albeit small) hotel. Extending the building is a delicate exercise as so many Scottish country houses have been ruined by conversions to hospitality use and we are being given a doubly tough brief that the conversion should be fully and easily refocused back to a modern country house if required. Highland Council seem happy with our initial proposal…so some speedy development work needed for a late January detailed planning submission..