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!
As an architect, you know you are making headway in the profession when you are personally referred to by a previous Client. It’s a great reward for hard work. Often hard work over many years. Whilst there is still a sales process to go through and complacency should never creep in, you start from an extremely strong and positive position. “I DO know what I am doing and I’m actually pretty good at my job!”
From what I can recall, my first personal recommendation came from David & Emma Platt. Their close friends, Luke & Kate Comins had seen what I had created for them at Morridgehall and needing to remodel and extend their own delightful cottage in Earlston for an expanding family they asked me to help them out. My new clients explained how much they liked some of the features at Morridgehall, the twist of contemporary and vernacular, the cedar cladding, projecting dormers and welcoming entrance hall but wanted their own unique creation. Here was an opportunity for me to advance some of the detailing and design already experimented with through previous projects and develop my own style.
As well the obvious need for adding more space, the challenge before me was to reverse the existing cottage. To turn a back door into a front door and a front door into a back door. As many people, have stated, design is 20% inspiration and 80% perspiration and having played that out, I would like to think the result was a very clever, coherent and attractive solution. As already mentioned, the design has hints and aspects of Morridgehall within it, but with its own distinction. This was probably played out the most in the dormers to the extension. To the front of the existing cottage (or is that the back?) are traditional sash & case windows but with stone Gothic arched heads. Quite unusual. To reflect this and provide some continuity in design between the existing and new, my cedar clad dormers were designed with a lead covered Gothic arched roof. Something the roofer had never had to form before.
Oh and I also designed a small room for the dog, under the Utility Room sink, complete with a Gothic arched entrance.
The project wasn’t all plain sailing. I learnt many valuable lessons in Client management through the months on site and despite some heated moments the project was successfully delivered to the delight of Luke and Kate and with our relationship still very much intact.
Another interesting aspect to this project was the conversion of a dilapidated but very quaint potting shed at the bottom of the garden into a 2 bedroom holiday cottage that also provided the client with accommodation during the works to the cottage. But that’s another story………
David Johnson, Director
Head of Architecture