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!
Whilst I enjoy the convenience of living in a city and especially one as beautiful as Edinburgh, being brought up in the countryside my passion has always been with rural architecture and in particular domestic rural architecture.
Over the past 20 years at GLM I have got to know many interesting clients and their families some of whom I have stayed in touch with. For me, this personal interaction is just as satisfying as designing. My first project of this nature at GLM as project Architect was an extension to a gardener’s cottage on the Culachy Estate, Fort Augutus.
The existing building was a delightful 2 storey traditional Scottish Highlands cottage but in a terrible state of disrepair and set in overgrown grounds. The brief was simple – create a comfortable getaway for a young family whose dad is often away on business. With its limited window openings, the cottage was ideal for 3 bedrooms and a snug, leaving me to come up with an extension design that would be the hub of the house for the family to relax together and also entertain.
I find the smell and colour of Western Red Cedar a pleasure to the senses and this was the first project where I was able to put it to good use, cladding the extension with a “board on board” detail. This project was such an education in the finer detailing of working with timber. I remember spending many an evening reading TRADA literature.
I look back on this project with a great sense of pride and see it as a well composed design both internally and externally and equally well executed. The extension sits perfectly with the existing cottage and against the backdrop of the surrounding woodland. Internally the double height extension allowed us to include a balcony from the first floor landing and bedrooms giving a greater sense of family interaction in 3 dimensions. The detailing didn’t stop at the external timber cladding. I had to give equal attention to a new Oak staircase, painted dado panelling, a number of bespoke timber and stone vanity units as well as an open fireplace.
David Johnson, Director
Head of Architecture