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
More from: Glasgow's young guns defy Scottish gloom
Who are you?
The practice was founded by Andy Campbell and Matt McKenna. We have since been joined by Hazel Wallace and Romain Charlet.
When did you set up?
What was your breakthrough project?
One of our largest projects was a feasibility study for an arts and heritage centre within an 18th-century mill building, which has led to other work in restoration and cultural re-use of industrial buildings in Glasgow.
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Source: Gordon Burniston
What are you currently working on?
We’re developing a therapeutic art and design strategy for the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. This brings together our work in art and architecture in very sensitive spaces. We’re also working on a private art studio and domestic projects in Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland.
How hopeful are you about your prospects as a young practice in Glasgow?
We’re optimistic as we are starting to see the different strands of our work in art and architecture coming together on larger projects. Our growth has been steady and we’re keen to continue this in the future.
What is the biggest challenge facing your practice?
A procurement system that stacks in favour of larger, established practices. We would like to see more opportunities to compete on quality of ideas and design for public projects. There is a value to working with smaller practices; that is something we’re keen to communicate.
We’ve always used the city as a tool to learn from
How will you ensure you remain profitable?
Do good work, keep interested and create our own opportunities with a wide-spread net.
What is so great about being a young practice in Glasgow?
We’ve always used the city as a tool to learn from. We’ve based our research projects on mapping aspects of the city and its buildings which have led to design work in specific areas.
Which architects inspire your practice?
Mackintosh, Utzon, Aalto and Barragan as well as more contemporary British practices like Caruso St John and Sergison Bates. We’re equally inspired by environmental artists like Donald Judd, Matt-Clark, Rachel Whiteread and a number of artists which emerged in Glasgow during the 1990s.
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