My practice Domus Design, Architect (DDA) was formed in 1981, and as a Registered and Chartered Architect I continue to concentrate on :-
– Small to medium sized projects,
– Refurbishment, alteration, extension or new-build,
– All residential and commercial and industrial projects.

My practice operates on a single practitioner basis offering :-
– The hands-on experienced personal touch throughout all stages of a project which larger firms often find difficult to achieve.

I continue to provide skills and services to all my clients :-
– In a dedicated professional and personal way,
– With lateral thinking and imaginative design,
– With expert guidance through the complex construction process,
– From the gem of an idea through to the finished item.

Enjoy the site
Charles Girdler, Principal


I studied Architecture full time at, and graduated from, the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen. Since then I have accumulated a wealth of experience from over 30 years in private practice as an architect. From a raw recruit I progressed to a project director running the Edinburgh office for a large national architectural practice, leading internal and external design teams undertaking large corporate offices and town centre redevelopment projects.

During the early 1990’s I ran my own single practitioner practice on a full-time basis. Additional skills were developed attending specialist courses in Abitration, Planning Supervision, Project Management and I have provided expert witness services for building defects.

I am a founding member of ECAN (Edinburgh Chartered Architects Network), a networking group of single practitioner architects providing a vast pool of skills and experience. As part of a small group from ECAN for many years I have provided an expert duty architect service for the ESPC (Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre), on designated weekends.


Becoming an Architect takes 7 years – 5 years of study and 2 years of practical training in an architectural office. I studied Architecture full-time at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen and graduated, firstly with a BSc Hons. (1st.Class) ) after 4 years of study, followed by an obligatory 1 year of practical training; secondly a Diploma in Architecture after 1 year of study followed by a further obligatory 1 year of practical training.

After which I successfully passed the obligatory professional exams enabling me to become registered as an Architect with ARB – only ARB registered professionals can legally call themselves an “Architect”.

At the same time as registering with ARB, I also became a member of both the RIBA and RIAS which also entitles me the use of “Chartered Architect”.


Registered with ARB – (Architects Registeration Board)

Chartered member of RIAS – (Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland)

Chartered member of RIBA – (Royal Institute of British Architects)

Founding member of ECAN – (Edinburgh Chartered Architects Network)

Architects Registration Board RIAS RIBA ECAN


As a practicing architect I am obliged to hold appropriate levels of professional indemnity insurance as required by both my registration and chartered bodies.


Some clients may have concerns about the ‘strength in depth’ of single practioner architects. However, being a member of ECAN provides the following benefits to all my clients:-

ECAN is an incorportated networked group of practices providing a vast pool of skills and experience.

A shared framework for professional back-up, as well as peer review of practice standards.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is provided by ECAN for its members.

In the event of any period of absence beyond 7 working days during which a client has been unable to contact me and has not been given prior notice of such absence, they should contact ECAN on telephone number 0131 467 7039, or email them at info@ecan-architects.com who will provide guidance and if appropriate, a free initial backup arrangement with an Architect from the networking group – an arrangement approved by our registration body ARB.