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Glasgow's new practices: BARD

Ruairidh moir by alexander james (@vlexjames instagram)
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The AJ takes a look at Glasgow’s emerging architects, discovering how they have adapted and stayed motivated in a procurements system designed for big practices

Who are you?
The practice is a ‘one-man band’ operation at present, led by myself, Ruairidh Moir (pictured), which means I am constantly ‘on the tools’ as well as managing day-to-day operations.  

When did you set up?
Officially in April 2016, following several years of undertaking small commissions while working in practice. 

What was your breakthrough project?
The series of Scottish Scenic Routes competitions (2013). I was highly commended on one scheme and another was built at Loch Lubnaig. This gave me experience in pitching, communicating an idea and leading a team. 

Unfortunately, the days of government start-up grants offered to new businesses seem to be over

What are you currently working on?
My main project is a proposal for a motor garage next to Windyhill, the lesser known house outside Glasgow, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. We are also working on a Historical Society Museum on the Isle of Lewis, and a project to bring Glasgow’s Tollcross Park winter gardens back into use.   

Motor garage, windyhill model

Motor garage, windyhill model

Motor garage, Windyhill, model

How hopeful are you about your prospects as a young practice in Glasgow?
I formally set up the practice last year to test the response, and have been hugely encouraged so far. Glasgow is a brilliant place to practise as it is easily accessible and has an excellent architecture school [at Strathclyde], where I teach.  

What is the biggest challenge facing your practice?
The practice will not be alone in having to monitor cash flow in order to ensure it stays afloat. Unfortunately, the days of government start-up grants offered to new businesses seem to be over, so the practice has been entirely self-funded. 

How will you ensure you remain profitable?
Currently the business is quite lean in terms of overheads; a number of smaller projects have been undertaken to secure a reasonably steady stream of income.  

Which architects inspire your practice?
Mackintosh for his convictions; Andy MacMillan who encouraged and motivated me from an eager student to an architect in practice; Benedetta Tagliabue for her leadership of an inspirational studio as well as her advice, support and friendship. Also, Enric Miralles, Rafael Moneo and David Mackay. 

Aiginis house aerial crop

Aiginis house aerial crop

Aiginis house

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