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 Matt Loader, and Iain Monteith.
When did you set up?
What was your breakthrough project?
We didn’t really have a breakthrough project. Our first stand-alone house, Trapezium House, which is in green-belt land, was fairly significant because it was the first project we had that came with no connection via family or friends.
There are clients out there in Glasgow and beyond who appreciate what we do
What are you currently working on?
We’ve quite a diverse range of projects in size and complexity; generally for domestic clients. We have defaulted towards tricky locations – those involving green-belt land, conservation areas, historic or listed buildings.
How hopeful are you about your prospects as a young practice in Glasgow?
We’re tremendously optimistic. We are just at the beginning of this venture, but our experience so far is that there are clients out there in Glasgow and beyond who appreciate what we do and share our fascination with making things beautifully.
Strone conversion and extension
What is the biggest challenge facing your practice?
The procurement system in Scotland is difficult to grapple with. Public projects require spending a significant amount of time for a very small likelihood of winning work.
How will you ensure you remain profitable?
This is one of the issues we’ve grappled with to date. While we like working on small projects, they do take a disproportionate amount of time, especially when they arrive on site. We’ve adjusted our fee structure for projects smaller than about £50,000 so that it reflects this complication and so, if a really lovely smaller project does come along, we have a way of taking it on without losing profitability.
Which architects inspire your practice?
Atelier Zumthor, O’Donnell + Tuomey, John Pawson, Elder & Cannon and Jan Gehl.
Nithsdale, Loader & Monteith Architects
Glasgow's new practices: Loader & Monteith Architects