Drew Carr




Young Architect of the Year



Drew has worked at John Gilbert Architects for the past 4 years where he is now a Senior Architect, having also previously worked at Ryder Architects. He has worked on a range of projects since joining the office, but his focus has been on conservation and retrofit work. His most prominent completed project was the 107 Niddrie Road retrofit project which explored whether a tenement could be retrofitted to passivhaus standards - this project won the GIA Sustainability award, was shortlisted for the ASPB awards and is currently shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards; not to mention it was featured on an international scale by the UK Green Building Council who included it in their COP26 virtual pavilion. Drew’s other significant projects include the recently completed enerphit standard retrofit of a house in Fort William; the conversion of a former primary school in to a community centre in Glentrool (shortlisted for the RIBA McEwan awards); and he is currently project architect on the ongoing conservation works to the A-listed Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow as well as Provand’s Lordship, the 15th century ‘oldest house in Glasgow’. Drew has been involved in supporting Renfrewshire Council develop retrofit solutions for over 100 housing typologies which are being rolled out across their stock and improving the lives of thousands of people. Prior to joining JGA, Drew was involved in major school projects for Argyll and Bute Council in Dunoon (2017 - £8.6m) and (2020 - £8.7m), which involved the restoration and extension of existing Victorian schools. His recent success led to Drew being long listed for the RIBA Rising Star in Architecture in 2022 and shortlisted for Retrofit Designer of the year at the Retrofit Academy Awards in 2022. Drew’s creative skill extends outside of the office too, he featured in the 2019 series of Sky’s Landscape Artist of the Year and currently runs the ‘Tenement Tabletop’ YouTube channel where he recreates historic battles in miniature! Whilst he also put his talent as a runner to use during COP26, leading running tours of the city’s architecture for the GIA. Drew is an incredibly competent and rigorous young architect, who is capable of adapting to technically challenging projects with ease. His passion for the adaptive reuse, conservation and high-quality retrofit of existing buildings is infectious, and critically important at a time when architects have to be pushing the boundaries of what it is possible to achieve.

Reason for nomination

Drew is a brilliant architect, it's as simple as that! I am the director in charge of Drew's projects and he consistently displays a level of commitment, organisation and technical understanding that I've not encountered in another architect of his age. He is working on the office's most complicated and technically challenging projects - requiring knowledge of conservation, low energy design and building physics all of which he has learned in practice - and his consistent ability to digest these really challenging ideas and techniques and then immediately effectively apply them, and importantly communicate their importance to staff on site too is incredibly valuable.


John Gilbert Architects; Tom Manley (where noted in file name)