We put lots of effort into our project’s foundations - as you would expect. Supervising ground surveys, reviewing our engineer’s proposals, examining all of the issues that will relate to the performance and longevity of the building. It is a little boring but absolutely essential. So it rests one’s mind somewhat when you find a building that has survived for nearly a century with no foundations at all. We’ll be turning this little oddity into something exciting but rest assured - it’ll have decent foundations!
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