OUR FAVOURITE PROJECTS OF THE YEAR7th December 2023
Practice directors Fiona and Tom Robinson took time to nominate their favourite design moments of the year, from whole projects to aspects of their work that have particularly stood out.
Of course, it’s hard to pick a favourite project. Our process means that each one is the work of a whole team, clients included. So, while I don’t have a top favourite from current projects that are on site or being designed, this year has seen some remarkable completions of which I mention a few here.
After its first year of operation the Thomas Graham Library in Strathblane is working very successfully. The space has a welcoming quality about it. It’s partly the light and shape of the main space, but it’s also the fact of the building’s purpose itself, and the librarians that work in it. The public architecture project was a momentous community effort with a great result, and put simply, I love this building.
Our work on the Kilmaronock Kirk restoration feels important to us. It’s a significant local building and an important facility and landmark. To see this charming church re-roofed, repointed, the bell cot repaired, and rainwater goods sorted, is very pleasing. Simple work such as this is not always so straightforward as one thinks it will be, but thanks to a great client, engineer, builder and generous benefactors it has been achieved.
My third notable project is a rural, listed lodge, which, after two years of hard work has been transformed into a magnificent result. This house is a Georgian classic. It is so good to know that it is pristine once more and set to be enjoyed long into the future.
I’ve decided to single out individual moments in our process. I tend to work at the beginning of projects, shaping and influencing the raw design. And on every project, there is a moment when I’ve completed my black felt pen initial sketches and revisions, and computer-aided designs have come together, and suddenly everyone can see what I see in my mind. The CGI drawings emerge, and our design ideas jump into life, generating excitement among every member of the team who is involved, including the clients.
A moment that stood out for me this year, was becoming finalists for a Herald Property Award for a very successful project that gave a Victorian villa a new lease of life. We did a full interior-architecture redesign on the property, bringing in natural light and a new flowing plan that opened up the ground floor and connected it to the garden, with a lovely covered deck adding an outdoor room.
A team site visit to one of our renovation projects this year sparked a great deal of joy. Our projects photographer was on site, too, and captured a moment with six of us leaning out of a generous window frame, after we’d assessed what has become a hugely successful restoration project of a historic Scottish building.
Here’s to more great moments in 2024, with the completion of projects, the pushing forward of all those on the go, and many more successful planning applications!
If you have a project in mind to restore a historic building, or build your dream home, don’t hesitate to get in touch >