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Meet a member: Architect Al Reid

Updated: Nov 14, 2023


One of the many things that we love about our lifework community is the diversity of interesting jobs that our members do. So allow us to introduce you to architect Al Reid who has been a lifework member since day one.


Al Reid is the architect behind the conversion of The Barn from stables to restaurant and co-working space. He is a Director of Bath and London based practice, AAVA Architects, working on a mixture of new-build homes, residential remodels and extensions and commercial projects. In 2020 Al co-founded architecture consultancy Pick Our Brains with his wife Milla.


1. You rented for a long time in Winsley waiting to find the perfect house, what makes this community so special?

There's a real sense that the people have got your back in Winsley! It has most things you need but is also amazingly well connected to Bath and Bradford on Avon to fill in the gaps.


2. What is Pick Our Brains, and how did it come about?

Pick Our Brains is an approachable architecture consultancy that gives clients access to experienced and creative architects without committing to a full service. It was born out of lockdown and the desire to provide creative input to all projects no matter the scale. From the refurbishment of listed buildings and new build houses to a sauna on wheels and a farm shop we love the variety that each brief has to offer.


3. What are your top three pieces of advice for house buyers?

If you plan to do work to a property it is essential to research the constraints prior to purchase: is it listed? is it in the green belt?; is it in a conservation area?


4. What do you love about lifework?

lifework provides a great opportunity to meet interesting "colleagues" working across a variety of sectors as well as a great flat white and chocolate pippin donut* in the farm shop next door.


5. Last of all, what’s your lifework balance?

Cooking is my real passion: baking, pickling and cooking over fire.


* for the uninitiated, the unparalleled Pippin donuts are available every Friday next door in The Barn and Farm Shop.



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