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Gordon Murray and Alan Dunlop go separate ways

The co-founders of leading Scottish lights and multi-award winning Glasgow-based practice gm + ad have decided to part

The move ends a 14-year working relationship between Alan Dunlop and Gordon Murray whose firm, at its peak, employed 45 staff.

Details of exactly why the pair agreed to ‘dissolve the partnership’ remain unclear although a formal statement is expected later this week from the self-declared ‘Mies Modernists’ (AJ 27.09.07).

However, it is understood the majority of the former gm + ad workforce will remain with Murray, while Dunlop has already been approached to join an, as yet unnamed, practice.

Dunlop said: ‘I’m happy now to be on my own. I have teaching and lecturing commitments and offers in the USA and Europe, which will take me through until September/October at least.

‘It’s my intention to start my own office but have an offer already to take a directorship in a UK practice.’ 

Among gm + ad’s best-known work is the much-publicised Hazelwood School (pictured below) for children with sensory and dual sensory impairment (AJ 27.09.07) and its Radisson Hotel – both in Glasgow.

Murray commented: ‘Gordon Murray Architects will continue with staff of the former practice, servicing the projects and clients on an ongoing basis.’

Penny Lewis , the author of 2006 practice monograph gm + ad: Curious Rationalism, said:

‘Alan and Gordon share Glaswegian personas and a passion for architecture, but they are also very different characters. Gordon, as Past President of the RIAS, is part of the architectural/professional establishment while Alan tends to occupy the Fifth Column among the media types asking difficult questions and criticising his peers. As such the two men have, for the past 14 years played a formidable role at the centre of Scottish architecture.

‘Their work has reflected, to a greater and lesser degree, the combined passions of both men, Murray’s aspiration to miesian clarity and Dunlop’s to create drama. It was a very fruitful design collaboration that demonstrated to (mainly) commercial clients that it was possible to create architecture (as opposed to buildings) and contribute to the cultural development of the city - clearly illustrated by the Radisson Hotel.’

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