David Johnson first joined GLM back in 1997 and now heads up the architecture team. In the run up to the 20 year anniversary of David being at GLM he will share with us some of his favourite projects through the years and the odd photo along the way too!
Tucked in a back corner of Young Street South Lane still stands one of my very first projects with GLM. Officially called 113-115 George Street, it is better known as The Slug and Lettuce and Candy Bar to those in the know.
At the turn of the 21st Century, offices were starting to vacate George Street to more open plan and modern buildings. Our brief was simple: connect 2 town houses at ground and lower ground level so that the landlord could rent the spaces out to a restaurant bar operator. My extension may only have a footprint of around 30sqm but it is something I am still quite proud of as it completely unlocked the space for landlord and tenant alike. Although low key, it was a contemporary intervention with a curved stone wall at ground level and oiled Utile boarding below. You can’t see it from street level but the curved wall has a curved rooflight separating it from the flat roof. I remember having a meeting with the Structural Engineer who was trying to persuade me to have additional cross support along its length to make the structural solution easier but I stood my ground (as a newly qualified Architect) and asked him to think again; something else I was proud of.
The success of the project also hinged on being able to cleanly extract cooking fumes from the restaurant all the way to roof level without annoying the planners. It took a bit of “ducking and diving” but we managed to take a 600mm flue all the way to the attic within existing service cupboards on the upper floors, then splitting into several smaller flues which we ran within a reconstructed existing chimney stack, terminating with 4 traditional clay pots. You would never know it’s there and you can’t take a dramatic photo of it but without it, the operator could never have taken the space.
So next time you are having a drink or meal here, remember you have me, in part, to thank!
David Johnson, Director
Head of Architecture