‘I came across Mr Murphy of an evening at Q10’

Gerard O’Brien: Chartered Landscape Architect/Senior Design Officer, Architecture & Design Scotland

Drawing is an important part of my professional and personal life.  I have been keeping sketchbooks since undertaking my master’s degree in landscape architecture some twenty odd years ago. I draw ‘on site’ mostly but here I also did some work from a photo I took.  I added the orange ink sky to add to the drama and abstract the image somewhat.

I watched the transformation of the Royal Infirmary site into a new cultural, business and residential quarter of Edinburgh over the years and was intrigued by this addition by Richard Murphy Architects. According to RMA’s website Q10 ‘provides the affordable housing component of the overall Quartermile development…’

I have always admired RMA’s work and find this building intriguing for its expressive elements such as the oversized semi-wrapped balcony spaces and jutting triangular balconies. The cladding echoes that of adjoining blocks by Foster’s. I happen to work in one of RMA’s projects – a converted brewery in Edinburgh’s old town which has some key features of the architect’s work. 

As I say, drawing is important to me. It is an act of investigation. And I always feel that to draw is to know.