Posts Tagged: hta

Locking down: March to August 2020

COVID 19, Sketchbook 62

This sketchbook was all about lockdown one and the easing we had after it. I stopped updating sandysdrawingroom during that time: there was a lot on I think, and the website stopped working. I’ve fixed that, and for the sake of continuity I’ll add them all here. I’m writing this in October 21, now on sketchbook 67, so there’s a lot to catch up on.

The sketch above is on Leith Walk, a couple of days before lockdown one was announced. I’d just been on the phone to my partners discussing what might happen and looking at the sketch brings back all the feelings of uncertainty.

The next day: people are working from home and the pubs are shut.

24th March. The remaining food rescued from the HTA fridge and the first day in fifty years that HTA hadn’t made lunch for everyone who was in the office.

Time to get used to working from home: straightforward enough as it turned out. The sketch shows our first go at producing face shields for the NHS, the government having found itself short of suitable PPE. Eventually this grew into quite a collaborative effort and my colleague Richard Foxley won the British Empire Medal for his work.
Time to be at home. There was a lot less time than I’d imagined, but the weather was fantastic and I broke the days up sketching the following from my surroundings.
Paying attention to the garden, in this case one of the rocks that sits to the north of the house.
The sketch below is annotated to show where the above plants are located in my garden.
It was a period of being outdoors when ever possible.
Fixing the bike.
Eventually we were allowed some visitors again, outside.

In the house, it was like this:

My workspace.
The hall.
The garage.
Hanging out with the family. We were aware that we were lucky to have company.
Fraser
Isla
Julie
Julie
The boys doing Scouts and Cubs on line.
Isla, in a mask our neighbours were nice enough to make for us.
The new way to visit the shops.
Lots of time working at home, and drinking coffee.
Keeping up with colleagues online.
The end of the day. After a while we were allowed out again. I’ll cover that in the next one.

HTA Paris 2016

To Paris with the office, partners and kids. About 170 of us.

paris-2016

I love Paris, and looking out from our hotel bedroom window, you’d think nothing ever changes here.

paris-hotel-october-2016But it does and we are here to learn. Two ‘Fondations’. The first is the Fondation Le Corbusier in the stripped back austerity of the beautiful Maison La Roche.

le-corbusierThe second, by way of contrast, is the Fondation Louis Vuitton. As excessively opulent as Versaille but anyone can come in and enjoy the spectacular roof terrace views back to Paris, for a few Euros.

louis-vuitton-2-october-2016These are the exceptions. The character comes largely from the distinctive eight storey blocks that line the Haussmann boulevards.

hausman-elevations-3-october-2016Paris might have a bit of catching up to do as a cycle friendly city, but we still did almost all of it by bike. 30 miles and two days of interesting places and buildings.

pompidou-3-october-2016None the less, I’m as happy watching the characters of Paris life as I am looking at the buildings.

cheminade-3-october-2016Two highlights: talking to a smoking portrait artist in brown cord jacket and burgundy roll neck, outside the Pompidou. A Presidential candidate canvassing the Sunday morning Metro goers at Place d’Italie. Street life.

Second Home – 20 August 2016

This is Second Home, in my second home.

second home - 25 August 2016

It describes it’s self as a  ‘carefully curated community’, and a ‘creative accelerator’. It’s certainly an interesting environment to do some sketching in.

leaving do - 18 August 2016

A leaving do for Andrew, Massimo and Cheng, all returning to further their education. This is Massimo’s third leaving do. I pretend to be upset but I’m mostly glad they want to come back.

Alice Fraser - 20 August 2016

“Any story told long enough becomes a tragedy” said Alice Fraser at the start of her emotional ‘comedy’ The Resistance.

LEXI - 17 August 2018Back home, we’ve been sharing with a cat.F&I - 20 August 2016 Isla drawing a (mechanical) dog.

 

Restart – 20 April 2016

I’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping the sketch diary up to date, the online version anyway. I’ve kept the sketch books just the same but painting the six portraits I did recently used up all my spare time. Then I cycled across France.

Housing Forum Leeds - 23 March 2016I had an idea that I’d go back and colour up the old sketches and up load them all here: do a catch up blog. But of course I won’t. The thing about a diary is that the keeper is only interested in recording today, not writing up the past.

Drumsynie - 28 March 2016So here are the sketches from the current book.

Bute - 28 March 2016There’s another sketch book that’s almost entirely missing.

HTA 3rd Birthday - 6 April 2016So getting back up to date there’s lot’s about HTA, which is about right. This includes celebration dinners…

The Bitter Taste of Victory - 12 April 2016

… and fascinating presentations: this one by Lara Feigel on her book ‘The Bitter Taste of Victory’…

WIA @ HTA - 19 April 2016…and this one on Women in Architecture and women in HTA. In the non architectural areas of our business: planning, graphics, sustainability and landscape design the genders are balanced throughout the grades. In architecture they aren’t. Something to sort.

My Partners – 13 January 2016

HTA Design LLP employs about 140 people. There’s always plenty to consider when the board meets each month. Here are my partners, considering the issues.Board 2 - 150113Board 1 - 150113Board 3 - 150113Board 4 - 150113Board 5 - 150113

We spend a lot of time in each others’ company so it’s nice to draw them from time to time, just to see them in a different way.

Training at HTA – 17 December 2015

Over the last year, we’ve had Mike Hopkins coming in to train our management team in a few useful techniques. We’re a business run by designers so it’s good to hear how the professionals do it. Contrary to popular perception (big egos/ sensitive souls) designers don’t really need to be treated all that carefully but they are good at questioning the conventional route. Mike has a straightforward style, telling our creative team what he thinks, and this is going down well. 

mike hopkins - 17 December 2015

Getting a great guided tour around the first bespoke build-to-rent building in the UK, for be:here.behere- 9 December 2015

Fraser and Isla have expertise too. Here they are showing two year old Ellan some advanced present unwrapping skills.

ellans party - 20 December 2015

A man in a stripy jersey watching his kid at swimming lessons.

stripy spectator - 13 December 2015

Julie watching the tennis and working out how we’ll get the boiler fixed. We moved into a house in the winter and the boiler burst. It now appears this happens to pretty much everyone.

julie at tennis - 6 December 2015

Maybe the 25% of the population who’d consider buying a new house have got it right?

A few things to learn – 29 November 2015

Fraser is learning to play tennis.  I drew Isla watching him, then she drew him, and titled it.isla and fraser 28 November 2015

 

At an office CPD, on lighting. Not a bad one. CPD 27 November 2015You learn more, obviously, from seeing the things skilled designers (and their visionary clients) have actually built than you do from watching Powerpoint.

Asa & Daniels 29 November 2015Edinburgh has an extensive stock of ageing bungalows with big back gardens and they’re gradually being bought up by young families. A roster of talented local architects can transform them by taking a bit of back garden and building the kind of bright and open living space people are after these days. Few are as lofty and light as friends Asa & Daniel’s one, by David Blaikie.

innes 28 November 2015

 

Innes (and me), learning to be gardeners.

 

The PRS Forum – 8 October 2015

Talking to the PRS Forum about the differences between placemaking for Private Rent and placemaking for sale. There are more than you’d think, so I had to be selective in my ten minute slot. PRS FORUM 1 - 151008I listened hard to the session before, trying to work out what the most relevant things were to talk about. I noted down “the IRR will ring the bell at 7” but mostly so I can ask my more financially fluent colleagues what that means.

PRS FORUM2 - 151008Sketching on stage. I’ve not done that before. I’m happy listening and drawing, so I think that’s ok.

PRS FORUM 3 - 151008

Afterwards, listening to the summing up. Regulatory uncertainty outweighed by confidence in the concept I think. Thanks to Grosvenor and Movers & Shakers for asking me along.

The London Sketch Club – 30 September 2015

The London Sketch Club was founded in 1898 by a few prosperous illustrators of the day. It’s been on the go since and I enjoyed some dining and sketching in their fantastic first floor studio on Dilke Street in Chelsea.London Sketch Club - 30 September 2015It’s a club open only to those who make their living from drawing. And you have to be invited. Surrounded by silhouettes of past members, their beautiful works, and the items that make a studio a studio, I gave a talk on what I enjoy about sketching.

The rich history of the place makes for a great atmosphere and hopefully I can go back to do some life drawing one Tuesday night. Many thanks to the London Society for the invitation to talk, and the sketch club for hosting.

Cycle to MIPIM 2016 Launch – 29 September 2015

At the launch event for Cycle to MIPIM 2016.

Cycle to MIPIM - 20151450 km from London to Cannes in five days. All for good cause: children’s charity Coram. It’s in March, so bring on some Scottish winter training on the bike.