Brian Macdonald of Design Cayman Limited
The Managing Partner of Design Cayman Limited, Brian was born and raised in Scotland until fate intervened seventeen years ago and he found himself on a plane headed to the Caribbean. A British qualified and registered Chartered Architect, he spent six years in Bermuda then four years in Turks and Caicos as the Managing Director of OBM International. With over twenty years' experience on all aspects from concept design to completion, Brian is passionate about architecture. When not in the office, he can be found on the golf course.
RL: How did you come to practice architecture in the Caribbean?
BM: I always wanted to practice in a different country and one evening I noticed an advert looking for an architect in Bermuda. I applied along with 62 others and, thankfully, I was offered the position.
RL: Describe your design style and how it has evolved since you started out.
BM: I don’t necessarily have a style per se, but now that I’m older and more experienced I can instinctively relate with clients and understand their needs so as to provide creative and holistic solutions. That said, I have a real sense of how the outdoor living can influence spacial planning be it an internal open-air or sculpture garden or a simple breezeway where you capture the wind and direct it through the home. Generally architects mature like a great bottle of wine.
RL: What are you trying to achieve with your designs?
BM: We aim for tailored designs that reflect the personalities of our clients, along with the simple integration of the exterior environment.
RL: What is the most important lesson that you have learned?
BM: Simple: advise and guide the client in all aspects of the process and, most importantly, listen, record and take instructions. If permitted, we will push the boundaries and think outside the box, but that liberty must be agreed on and given by the client.
RL: What makes for a good experience when building or renovating?
BM: A great design team and an integrated holistic approach with key consultants. It’s the only way to have a great home that is on time and budget, and allows you to enjoy the process.
RL: What are you working on at present?
BM: A variety of projects of all natures big and small: a 49 acre master plan development, luxury contemporary estate homes, family homes, simple renovations of existing condos and homes, installation and coordination of a 132 KW commercial solar array and commercial fit-outs for offices around Cayman. We also have our first courtyard home nearing completion with two others on the drawing board.
RL: What are the hallmarks of a Design Cayman build?
BM: Our integrated design approach provides designs that reflect the personalities of our clients so they get a unique home that is robust, well thought out and will mature with age.
RL: What inspires your work?
BM: My design mantra is simply, “Good design elevates the human spirit.” It’s my clients that inspire me. They allow me to be involved in their dream; it’s a very intimate process. Important memories will be created in their home, so I take my role as the cradle-to-grave servicer of the house seriously.
BRIAN'S TOP TEN
- Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
- Artist: Impressionism art movement
- Design Tool: Real black ink pen for sketching
- Appliance: Espresso machine
- Book: Autobiographies. The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson, is a great read.
- Holiday: Hawaii
- Vice: Mature cheddars
- Mistake: Falling asleep on a stool only to wake up on the floor with two black eyes and a smashed nose – my hands were still in my pockets.
- Meal: Horse Shoe Bar, Glasgow, Scotland. Mince pie, chips, mushy peas and a cold glass of Guinness.
- Way to spend the day: Playing board games with the family, then feet up with a dark and stormy, reading a book.
For more info contact: Call: 345.916.0930; Email: or Visit: www.design-cayman.ky
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