University of Glasgow reveals new College of Arts building design team

‌The design team for the University of Glasgow’s new College of Arts building has been appointed after a rigorous competition process.

A team led by Hawkins\Brown Architects has been selected as the winner from a shortlist of six teams and over 20 applications.

The College of Arts new building is part of the University’s ambitious campus development programme on the site of the former Western Infirmary. The new building will be on the south of the site facing Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and will be a key part of a new cultural quarter in the west end of Glasgow.

All six design teams made public presentations and took part in a Q&A session at an event in November to which all members of the College were invited.

Professor Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, vice principal and head of the College of Arts, said: “Our vision is to create a place that stimulates and supports critical thinking, innovative learning, engaging teaching, and world-class research. The new building will also provide a range of cultural and learning opportunities for our local community and the city of Glasgow as a whole.

“As well as offering an outstanding place to think, learn, teach and collaborate, our aspiration is that this building will support the health and wellbeing of our staff and students.

“The Hawkins\Brown team demonstrated an excellent understanding of our brief to develop a creative thinking space which will act as an inspiration for the Arts and Humanities.

“We are looking forward to working with the design team in a collaborative way, where we listen to all user groups to develop a building solution that meets their needs. We are excited to see our new building’s design develop over the coming months.”

Eleanor Magennis, project development manager for the College of Arts project, said: “The new College of Arts will be a gateway building connecting the University with the West End’s Cultural Quarter.

“Our masterplan calls for a distinctive building of high architectural quality. This will be Hawkins\Brown’s first project in Scotland and they impressed us during the interview process with their experience, enthusiasm and engaging approach.”

Hawkins\Brown Architects has an excellent track record in designing unique spaces.

Among its portfolio is the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire; University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture and the Creative Arts Building for Leeds Beckett University.

Roger Hawkins, founding partner of Hawkins\Brown, said: “We are delighted to be working on the exciting new College of Arts building for University of Glasgow to provide an inviting space that will ignite creativity and innovative thinking.

“Key to our design was the potential exchange of cultural ideas for students, staff and the wider public of Glasgow.”

Over the next year, the design team will work closely with the College of Arts and Estates and Commercial Services staff to develop the new building from concept to detail design. The new building is due to be completed in 2022.

New Loretto homes transform site of former Glasgow primary school

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken marks the start of work on new Loretto homes at Buckley Street with (from left) Wheatley Group’s Jackie McIntosh, Paul Sweeney MP, Patrick Flynn of Glasgow City Council, Douglas Robin of Loretto Housing, Bob Doris MSP, Wheatley Group’s Olga Clayton, Councillor Gary Gray and Loretto’s Dan Blake

Work has started on transforming the site of a former primary school in the north of Glasgow into stylish affordable housing.

The former Greenview School in Buckley Street, Parkhouse, is being converted into 28 flats for social rent by Loretto Housing Association, part of Wheatley Group.

The historic B-listed school was designed by James Austen Laird, personal assistant to Sir JJ Burnet, one of Glasgow’s most distinguished architects.

The existing school building, as well as the adjoining janitor’s house, is being refurbished to include 20 flats, with the other eight being a new-build development on the same site. The homes will be for older tenants.

Loretto Housing chair Douglas Robin welcomed leader of Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken, local elected members including Paul Sweeney MP and Bob Doris MSP, as well as staff from Loretto and Wheatley Group and other partners to mark the start of work on the new homes.

Douglas Robin, chair of Loretto Housing, in part of the old Greenview School building

The £4.1 million project is supported with a £2.5m grant from Glasgow City Council. The contractor on the development is McTaggart Construction.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a fantastic project, with the conversion of one community asset – a former primary school – into 20 affordable homes for Parkhouse.

“We want to work with our partners to deliver as many affordable homes as we can in Glasgow, and we can look forward to many such developments in the city in the coming years.”

Douglas Robin, chair of Loretto Housing, said: “At Loretto, we want to build better homes and better lives for our tenants.

“These modern, energy-efficient new homes will help people save on their fuel bills and really improve their quality of life.

“Preserving this distinctive building, while building much-needed affordable housing, will make a big difference to this part of Glasgow.”

The new homes at Buckley Street are a mix of one and two-bedroom flats, with one of the flats suitable for wheelchairs. They are expected to be complete around April next year.

The former janitor’s house will be supported accommodation for people with a learning disability.

As part of the contract with Wheatley, McTaggart is providing jobs and training opportunities for the community.

Gary Climson, managing director of McTaggart, said: “Bringing this characterful, old building back into use for the benefit of the community is very gratifying for our team.

“As the building is listed, we are combining traditional craftmanship with modern techniques to create these contemporary, highly-efficient homes.”

Paul Sweeney MP said it was apt the historic school was being brought back into public use.

Mr Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East and board member of the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said: “Parkhouse was one of the first districts to be developed for municipal housing by Glasgow Corporation after the passing of the historic 1924 Housing Act, led by Glasgow Labour MP John Wheatley.

“The superior ‘cottage’ style of dwellings in Parkhouse was modelled on Ebenezer Howard’s ‘garden suburb’ concept, presenting a stark contrast to the city’s traditional tenements, and was intended to serve as a showpiece for the healthier post-war city.

“The north of Glasgow lost much of its historic built environment though poor planning decisions in previous decades, so it is encouraging that there is a renewed focus on creating new housing to repopulate the area, while protecting what is left of our heritage in this part of the city.

“This new investment to protect its heritage by Wheatley Group and Loretto HA lives up to those founding principles of good quality social housing championed by John Wheatley.”

Loretto has already built around 200 homes since joining Wheatley Group in 2014.

As well as Buckley Street, work is well underway on another 114 Loretto homes at sites in Broomfield Road, Wallacewell Quadrant and Shawbridge Street, all in Glasgow.

Work will start soon on another 28 new Loretto homes in Muiryhall Street, Coatbridge.

3DReid submits plans for speculative Merchant City office

Architectural practice 3DReid has submitted its plans for a “pioneering” office building designed to attract new business to Glasgow’s designated Innovation District.

A building to complement Scottish Enterprise’s Inovo1 development and the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, Inovo2 will be situated on a key city centre site, with extensive public realm and collaborative workspace will bring together the academic and Merchant City areas of Glasgow.

Working with client Scottish Enterprise, 3DReid said its plan is for a “forward-looking building that reflects modern working behaviour – a flexible, collaborative, people-centred space designed for firms eager to innovate through partnership with both academia and industry”.

It added: “The proposed Inovo2 building will enhance Phase 1 by offering a truly agile mix of space, able to accommodate larger tenants who might need one or more whole floors but nimble enough to provide smart, self-contained suites tailored for small and medium businesses.”

A conference and events space with roof terrace provides a unique facility for use by both the commercial and academic sectors, offering expansive south-facing views across the city, 3DReid added.

Trees and green landscaping, as well as use of materials echoing the City’s past, will help knit the building into its historic surroundings and create a landmark new space for public activity.

The project team for the development includes project manager Mace, structural & civil engineer Curtins, mechanical & electrical engineer Rybka and quantity surveyor CBA.

Images courtesy of 3DReid

Structured House Group signs £500m student accommodation joint venture deal with US company

Plans for Scotway House

Property developer Structured House Group (SHG) is set to deliver 5,000 student accommodation beds across the UK after securing a £500 million deal with a US investor.

The Glasgow firm said the agreement with Chicago-based Harrison Street Real Estate will also see it source land and deal with the planning processes.

Work on the first project is under way on the site of Scotway House on the north bank of the Clyde in Glasgow, which will provide around 400 beds.

Around 300 people are expected to be employed on its development, with two restaurants, a library and study and screening rooms among plans for the building. It is expected to be ready in time for the 2019 academic year.

Further projects are planning for Dundee, Edinburgh, Manchester, Plymouth and Liverpool, while sites are also being assessed in Germany, Austria and Portugal.

SHG chief executive Craig Inglis said: “This is a major moment for SHG and a great example of a Scottish company attracting major investment, giving us the scale and ability to perform on a global platform.

“This joint venture will significantly boost the amount of accommodation and living space for students, as well as bringing jobs and prosperity to every city we enter.”

Robert Mathias, head of international at Harrison Street, added: “We are excited to enter into a long-term partnership with Structured House Group to bring much-needed, high-quality student accommodation to the city of Glasgow and other attractive markets.

“As one of the largest investors in student housing, we look forward to bringing our significant resources and experience to bear for the benefit of our partners and investors.”

SEPA raises flooding concerns over 700-home Govan Graving Docks plan

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has lodged an objection to plans for more than 700 homes at Govan Graving Docks warning that the new properties would be at risk of flooding if the project went ahead.

ZM Architecture and New City Vision unveiled plans in March to bring the site back into use after 40 years of dereliction with the creation of 750 homes in a series of buildings ranging from four to 15 storeys in height.

Following a public consultation, plans for the area were updated in November to include up to 800 homes, a hotel, shops, restaurants and office space.

The proposal extends the Clyde Walkway at an area currently closed to the public and there will be heritage centre telling the story of the docks.

However environmental agency SEPA has warned that “significant parts of the site” are within the ‘high probability’ flood extent.

They added: “We are also concerned about the potential increased flood risk to surrounding people and properties as a consequence of introducing buildings into the flood plain.

“We therefore object in principle to the planning application on the grounds that the proposal may put buildings and persons at flood risk contrary to Scottish Planning Policy and our position is unlikely to change.”

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative (CDPI) welcome the objection which it said echoes its own “very serious concerns” about the unsuitability of the flood risk assessment and the proposed mitigation measures in the housing proposals.

It said: “Objections have already been lodged by Historic Environment Scotland and West of Scotland Archaeology Service. While it is clear neither Scottish Water nor Scottish Natural Heritage received sufficient information to arrive at a fully informed view of the proposals.

“We cannot envisage that Planning Officers would recommend that the Planning Applications Committee contravene the advice of statutory consultees by approving the NCV Ltd planning application.”

Glasgow manufacturer expands headquarters to accommodate growth

Rearo’s Graham Mercer and AGM Group’s Andrew Meek

Building work has started to extend the Glasgow headquarters of manufacturer Rearo Laminates Ltd as part of a £500,000 investment expected to create 10 new jobs.

The company, which makes bathroom and kitchen wall panels, worktops and flooring, revealed the £200,000 project will add some 2,000 sq ft and form a link area between its two existing factories.

The new building is the first phase of a £520,000 capital improvement programme which will also include new and upgraded machinery, such as a new bonding and panel processing line. A Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant of £100,000 will partially fund the programme.

Construction work on the expansion will be carried out by a neighbouring Govan-based company AGM Group Ltd.

Graham Mercer, managing director of Rearo, said: “The expanded factory will provide vital space to support our ambitious growth plans, including a new sampling and marketing suite, and we expect the overall investment to create 10 new jobs at the company.

“We are targeting sales of more than £5m of our new Selkie waterproof panel system in the first year, so we need to hold a large amount of stock to be able to deliver to customers quickly.

“We have already invested around £250,000 in transforming production processes and working practices, developing new products and embedding a commitment to customer service across the company.  This gives us a solid platform from which to target larger construction projects in the hotel, restaurant and social housing sectors.”

Rearo has seven customer branches across the UK, as well as its Govan premises. The company is going through a period of growth, with turnover now reaching £10m. Rearo has also recently struck a deal with Scottish interior designer and TV home makeover specialist, John Amabile, to be a brand ambassador for its new Selkie waterproof panel system.

Andrew Meek, managing director of AGM Group said: “Rearo has supplied its products to many AGM projects and it is now our turn to return the favour. With this project we are linking Rearo’s operations, enhancing our supply chain, building better relations and improving the future of both businesses.”

Work is expected to be complete by spring 2018.

Council approves actions to allow £50m investment in Clyde quay walls

The next stage of investment on quay walls on the Clyde, hailed as a crucial part of the regeneration of the river, has been given the green light by Glasgow City Council.

The council’s city administration committee today approved a report on the quay walls, with just over £50 million of Glasgow City Region City Deal funding to be invested in quay walls, with this funding to allow further regeneration of the waterfront between Glasgow Green and the proposed Partick-Govan bridge.

Locations such as Custom House Quay/Carlton Place, Clyde Street at the Briggait and Anderston/Lancefield Quay have been identified as priority sites for this investment. While the council owns around 3,400 metres of quay wall in this area, much of the quay wall ownership is held by third parties, and the council is now developing a grant scheme where owners can submit expressions of interest in the award of funding if they can demonstrate that they meet City Deal objectives.

This investment in the quay walls will address the structural integrity of quay walls; enhance pedestrian and cycle connectivity along the banks of the river; unlock the development potential of vacant and derelict land along the river corridor; and improve place quality and the vibrancy of the river and its banks.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Clyde is a key part of our future economic growth, and this investment will unlock regeneration that can benefit everyone in Glasgow. Restoring the quay walls on the Clyde will not only remove barriers to developing sites along the waterfront, bringing jobs, homes and businesses, but will also improve access to the river making it an even more attractive location.”

In the 21st Century, the regeneration of the river has attracted developments such as the International Financial Services District, Glasgow Harbour, the Riverside Museum, Pacific Quay and the SEC, and attractions on the banks of the Clyde bring more than six million visitors to the city every year.

Artisan unveils £90m hotel and leisure quarter plan for Glasgow’s waterfront

An aerial view of Custom House in Glasgow

One of Glasgow’s most significant waterfront development sites is set to be transformed into a thriving hotel and leisure quarter following outline plans unveiled by Artisan Real Estate Investors.

The investment partnership, which is driving Edinburgh’s New Waverley project, has submitted a pre-application notice to Glasgow City Council to develop the Custom House site, which links the city’s famed Buchanan Street with the River Clyde waterfront.

The £90 million plan spans a development area of 2,700 sq.m. and includes the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House and its former stable block, together with two adjacent tenement buildings straddling the corner of Clyde Street and Dixon Street.

Artisan purchased the site in August 2017 and agreed a leasing deal with the Dalata Hotel Group in November to bring Scotland’s first Clayton Hotel to the Custom House – a four-star development including 300 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and conference facilities. A 150-room aparthotel is also planned for the adjacent tenement buildings, together with street level bars and restaurants.

Welcoming the proposals, Artisan’s project director Clive Wilding said: “This is a hugely significant opportunity to, once again, bring Glasgow’s burgeoning waterfront area back into the vibrant heart of its city centre.

“For too long, the imposing Custom House with its distinctive Greek revival frontage and its neighbouring tenements had become the forgotten segment of the city’s waterfront, having lain mostly vacant for the best part of a decade. We are now in a position to bring these wonderfully characterful buildings back to life, introducing established boutique hotel and aparthotel brands, which will fill the area with energy and life throughout the day and evening.

“We will now work with our partners to create a flagship regeneration project for the city, providing a seamless link from the Clyde waterfront to the St Enoch Centre transport hub and Buchanan Street – part of Glasgow’s ‘style mile’ and generally regarded as the best shopping street outside of London.”

He added: “We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in Glasgow, and securing another high-quality regeneration opportunity in such an excellent city centre location fits our model perfectly.”

Artisan brings a wealth of experience of sensitive city-centre development, and is currently spearheading the award-winning transformation of Edinburgh’s Old Town through its New Waverley project.

Designed by Irish-born customs official and engineer John Taylor, who was also responsible for the Customs House in Dundee, Glasgow’s Custom House opened in 1840 and provided a direct link from the bustling Clyde quayside to the heart of the city centre. The building underwent internal modifications in 1873 carried out by the renowned Glasgow architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

The imposing double height first floor rooms, fronted by classically styled Doric columns, are the standout feature of the building and will form the heart of the new conference centre for the Clayton Hotel.

The Custom House was more recently occupied by the Procurator Fiscal’s office, which vacated the building in 2007. The neighbouring former tenement buildings were home to a department store in the 1960s as well as other small businesses.

The wider area, including Custom House Quay, Custom House Gardens and Carrick Quay form part of a long-standing Council-backed scheme to transform the waterfront with mixed use development including hotels, retailers, luxury flats and a promenade including restaurants and bars, aiming to create an extension to the retailing and commercial activities within the city along the riverside.

The Custom House project will be delivered by Artisan St. Enoch Quarter Limited, a subsidiary of Artisan Real Estate Investors. Architects will be Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson. Following an ongoing consultation exercise, a detailed planning application is expected to be submitted in spring 2018 with a completion date set, subject to planning, for mid-2020.

Consent granted for mixed-use quarter in central Glasgow

Planning permission has been granted for a new mixed-use quarter including 400 new homes in central Glasgow.

The masterplan for Central Quay, a seven-acre site on the western edge of Glasgow city centre, also includes over 300,000 sq. ft. of offices, a 150-bed hotel, food and retail units and an extensive public realm.

Central Quay is prominent from the Kingston Bridge and has been a brownfield site for several years. It is bounded by Anderston Station and the river Clyde and is owned and managed by Harbert Management Corporation (Europe) LLC and XLB Property. Both are advised by GVA and CBRE and the masterplan was designed by architects Keppie Design.

Tony Lawson of XLB said: “Central Quay is a significant site and its regeneration is long overdue. It will now provide a major new mixed-use quarter to the western edge of Glasgow City Centre close to the SSE Hydro, Scottish Exhibition Centre and major transport hubs.

“The masterplan is designed around a vibrant high-quality environment, providing new homes and offices plus supporting amenities. Harbert Management Corporation (Europe) LLC and XLB Property are in discussions with a major PRS developer to ‘pump prime’ the waterfront site. The first phase of development is expected to commence towards the end of 2018.”

Due to Central Quay’s location on the periphery of Glasgow city centre, the Grade-A office space will be available to pre-let at significantly less than city centre rents, which are now in excess of £30.00 per sq. ft. and reliant on refurbished stock with little speculative development in the pipeline and no new Grade A space with large floor plates anticipated in the city centre until 2021.

As well as the Central Quay masterplan, there is presently 30,000 sq. ft. of office space for rent at the adjacent 2 Central Quay.

Kier Construction Scotland wins main building contract for Burrell refurbishment

New Central Access Core at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of John McAslan + Partners

Glasgow City Council’s contracts and property committee has confirmed Kier Construction Scotland as the preferred bidder to deliver the Main Building Contract to take forward the Burrell Collection’s ambitious refurbishment plans.

The appointment marks the next phase which will see the sensitive repair of the building envelope, renewal of the building services, creation of a new internal access core and refurbishment of the museum’s interiors along with external landscaping.

Kier Construction Scotland is set to start onsite at the Burrell early summer 2018 with procurement for the Burrell’s visitor experience contract taking place later this year.

New Central Access Core at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of John McAslan + Partners

Chair of Glasgow Life, and depute leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald, said: “The refurbishment of the Burrell Collection will unlock the great potential of Sir William’s incredible gift to the city and the appointment of Kier Construction as the main contractor is a significant milestone. We are protecting and enhancing the Collection for the current and future generations – and creating a home for these treasures which, in its location at the heart of Pollok Country Park, is nothing short of exceptional.”

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland, said: “It’s an honour to be working with Glasgow Life in the restoration of the home of the Burrell Collection – a national treasure for Scotland.

“We have a solid record of successfully working on major heritage projects of this scale, including the restoration of The Mackintosh building at Glasgow School of Art and the refurbishment of Edinburgh College of Art and Aberdeen Music Hall.

“We are committed to working closely with the local supply chain to help create a range of diverse employment and training opportunities and provide opportunity throughout the life of the project to help increase footfall in Pollok Park during the construction period as we deliver this important project.”

Gallery space and displays at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of Event Communications

In a further boost to the museum’s refurbishment, the Burrell Renaissance has received an additional £1.4 million funding from four major supporters. The Wolfson Foundation and The Headley Trust have each pledged £500,000. The Gannochy Trust has pledged £250,000 and The Taylor Family Foundation has pledged £150,000.

Chair of Burrell Renaissance, Sir Angus Grossart, added: “We are grateful for the support of those who have committed so generously to the Burrell Renaissance, including The Wolfson Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Gannochy Trust and The Taylor Family Foundation. That significant support reinforces our ambition to ensure that Sir William’s legacy will have a physical context and the international engagement that his great collection deserves.”

Gallery space and displays at the Burrell Collection. Image courtesy of Event Communications

The cost of the project is estimated at £66m with Glasgow City Council agreeing to fund up to 50% of the overall project cost. Support of the project has been overwhelming with over 94% of the estimated project costs now raised including £15m from the National Lottery.

Plans for the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell will see the museum’s public space increase by 83% and gallery space increase by 35% with store rooms on the lower ground floor open to the public for the first time. As well as improved facilities including café and retail opportunities, landscaped terraces will link the museum to its parkland setting, enhancing the visitor experience.

A re-interpretation of treasures of the Collection will also tell much more of a story about their importance and how they were collected, with an increase in artworks on display across the museum’s collections.