Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

MANCHESTER 0161 236 9761




"Grant has been working on several of our development schemes across the region and has provided very high quality layouts and images for the presentation of the sites we are promoting through the planning system. All projects have been delivered on time and within budget. We will continue to work with Grant on future projects."


Andrew Laing

Land & Planning Manager

Hollins Strategic Land



“What impressed me most about Grant Erskine Architects is the professionalism, knowledge, experience, unbeatable pricing and the communication throughout. I know their services are endless, but importantly they return calls, provide free initial advice and deliver what they agree to do. I would not hesitate in recommending them where the opportunity should arise.


Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, On Time”


Joanne Nuttall

Owner, Breakey & Nuttall



“I would describe Grant Erskine Architects as extremely professional, but personable and approachable at the same time and as people who "think outside the box" and really go that extra step to delivery results with quality. In all honesty I would recommend them to anybody including friends and family and we are extremely happy about the project that they recently completed for our business.


Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, High Integrity


Mike Naughton

Diggle Nursery Owner



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 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

Methodist Church to Nursery Conversion in Diggle, Oldham. Accomodation for children of all ages, as well as a multi-purpose space. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

This House Extension in Bramhall, Stockport compliments the traditional house, with glazing and retractable doors that take full advantage of the view and morning sun. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

A cost effective refit of a 4th floor office in an old mill in Bolton, providing a range of accommodation between 200 and 1000 square feet.. more



What is Architecture?

By I.T. Adam

Of Grant Erskine Architects Ltd.

What is Architecture? ¦ Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

I remember writing my personal statement when applying to university for architecture and my thoughts were something along the lines of “architecture should complement nature and should mould around existing spaces and structures, rather than impose itself on its environment.”


My simplistic answer back then to the question of “What is Architecture?” was not far off my current ideas, but I had definitely not had the chance to consider the details that define this complex profession and the implications of my beliefs.


Having had a background in Maths and Art, I was used to thinking highly logically or completely artistically and my A levels didn’t offer much in between. My art classes came closest to helping me develop aesthetic opinions and decisions about what it is I want to create and at the time I swayed heavily towards organic architecture. I was influenced by the likes of Hundertwasser and Gaudi and perhaps saw Zaha Hadid’s work as the modern interpretation of organic architecture. What I didn’t realise when I was 18 was that I was almost solely focusing on the exterior form of buildings and generally their outer appearance rather than their functionality. I knew of things such as Vitruvius’ principles of “firmness, commodity, and delight”, but assumed that all buildings are somehow inherently useful and functional.


What architecture school teaches you is that they aren’t and that is where the Architect comes in. One of the first things you are taught is that form follows function and that truly is the key to successful design. What I had imagined earlier was that I would be designing these beautiful grandiose exteriors that would allow for “stuff” to happen inside. What I learnt was that an Architect actually starts small, from designing spaces that facilitate people’s actions, like having a cup of tea or having a conversation with a group of people. The creation of these small spaces and their connections leads on to the building design later on. This is what I now believe is the principle of architecture that moulds rather than imposes itself. What I then thought was “organic” I now think can be achieved in many other ways and can be as simple as designing a sitting area using warm, locally sourced oak that creates a certain tactile sensation for the people who sit on it.


It really goes to show how studying a subject in depth for several years forms you and your perspective on design. That’s not to say that my views are fully formed, as I don’t think there is a point when you can say you know everything there is about architecture. You learn about it your whole life – and that’s the beauty of it!


ARB Registered Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

Company Reg. No. 07477118


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Grant Erskine Architects Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office, 3rd Floor, Suite 5, 61 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HZ


0161 236 9761