James (Josh) McCosh
Josh joined vHH in 1999, and was appointed an Associate in 2001 and a Director in 2004. In 2006 he became a Partner when the practice became an LLP. With a family tree that includes artists, industrialists and engineers, Josh grew up ‘taking things apart, sometimes managing to put them back together again’, and progressed to designing and making things. At school he had a particular interest in ceramics. ‘My decision to study architecture came after meeting architect John Prizeman, who persuaded me that my love of creating things could also be developed in architecture.’
After working for several small practices Josh decided to look for an established practice with a more varied portfolio. His first job at vHH was the Chinese Picture Gallery at the Ashmolean Museum, inserting an addition within an existing Grade I listed building. This set the tone for several subsequent projects that have involved the creative adaptation and reuse of listed buildings or sensitive sites, designing with an understanding of the conservation issues, now one of his particular areas of expertise. This includes work at Chatham Historic Dockyard, the redevelopment of Bolton Market Hall, and most recently the reordering of Leicester Cathedral and its precinct, including the high profile design of a tomb for Richard III.
Josh has also been responsible for several education projects including the Classics faculty at Oxford University, the refurbishment of Chelmsford College’s two sites, the new Bow School in Tower Hamlets and the redevelopment of a large catholic school in Flanders. ‘I am very interested in the process that creates a new building, including understanding viability and advocacy with stakeholders.’ He enjoys working closely with his clients and engaging with large specialist teams, such as for the redevelopment of Portsmouth’s Northern Quarter. He was instrumental in vHH’s adoption of BIM. He was a member of the South East Regional Design Panel for nine years, and is a member of SPAB