Back to the Drawing Board featuring Gary Collins.

Back to the Drawing board is a series of articles where we speak with some of the leading Architects from across Europe. We explore the inspirations, favourite places and work habits of some of Architecture’s leading lights.

For Part one of the series, we caught up with Gary Collins, Founding Partner of Triglyph Property Consultants.

A little Background

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to interview Gary, with whom we are currently working with to deliver a lift solution for their client Chopard. The Swiss luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer needed a new fit out of their Grade II Listed property in London’s West End and Triglyph was appointed for the fit out and design.

Gary Collins is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and founding partner of Triglyph Property Consultants, a leading London firm with a diverse and varied range of clients, including Michelin House, Chopard, The Prince’s Trust and Vision Express. Established in 2007, the have just celebrated a decade of success. Founded by Marcus Aspden, Gary Collins and Richard Wilson, the company is based on on the strong working relationships and personal friendships between the three. Today Gary is in the hot seat!

What’s your favourite city in the world?

Well, I have to say, I love Dublin. It’s not just about the architecture though, it’s the sense of culture and vitality that the city conveys. The hodgepodge of Victorian and Georgian buildings, almost at times overwhelmed by different eras of development, is fascinating. At times, this has led to some disappointing streetscapes, but there are also a host of surprises which you won’t find anywhere else. All you need to do is look up. I’m never interested in ground level, I walk about most places looking at the elevated stories, that’s where my eyes are always drawn.

Dublin Arcitecture
“The Home of the Black Stuff” and one of Gary’s favourite cities.

And in London, is there a building there that you appreciate?

That’s an easy one. The Palace of Westminster. It’s one of the most fascinating buildings. It was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1835, who won a design competition created by Parliament. As most of us know, the Palace had existed before that, but much of it was lost in a fire in 1834. Some parts of the Palace survived, and so Barry’s design had to take into consideration these remnants. A lot of what we do is about this – understanding preservation and then incorporating design that not only fulfils the building requirements, but that can holistically improve the landscape. The building itself uses the perpendicular Gothic style, though he himself was a classical architect. He relied on Pugin to incorporate Gothic influences. Today the building incorporates a hair salon, a pub and of course the Houses of Parliament. The ceiling (again, always looking up) is one of the most impressive things to look at. Did you know – the Lords Prayer runs around the exterior of the building, carved into the stone? It’s full of surprises!

Lifts UK
The Palace of Westminister is “Full of Surprises” according to Gary.

What’s your take on the business environment – what are you seeing right now?

Many of our UK clients and partners are being cautious at this point in time. With Britain on the cusp of Brexit, there are a number of concerns around. These are very unsure times, and so many of the biggest projects are on hold, at least until Brexit has become a reality and the effects are seen and measured.

What apps or tools do you use most frequently at work?

I use my voice recorder constantly! Where ever I am, if I see something interesting, or if I need to make a note, I create a quick voice record which can be written up later if needed. I also use voice to text, also a good time saver.

Can you tell us about the current fit out for Chopard?

This listed building is situated in the West End and is one of a number of buildings earmarked for restoration. Such a busy location creates incredibly complex challenges for a site fit out. It’s incredibly important to manage all the various strands with the minimum of disruption to residents and businesses in the vicinity. So timings are crucial. Chopard are expanding within the building, taking on the basement also. This is why we selected Premier Lifts – we needed to enable basement access, in a building that had a complex set of limitations, with a client that had a strong aesthetic vision for their space.

Thanks Gary for taking the time to talk to us about Triglyph, Chopard and of course Premier Lifts. We are delighted to have had the chance to take a look at your world!

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