Holmes Miller

Blog: Isabel Garriga on being voted as next GIA President

Isabel Garriga from Holmes Miller, who was elected as the next President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, outlines her vision for the organisation.

This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Glasgow Institute of Architects and I am delighted to have been elected as president of such a great Institution. As a result of the hard work and dedication of the numerous past presidents and council members we can celebrate our achievements during our long history. Thank you to all of them.

The GIA is continuously growing and changing and I am very proud to have such a dedicated, reliable, hardworking and passionate team and we plan to make sure we can make the GIA an organisation that is transparent, democratic and most of all, truly represents the variety and richness of architecture and architects in our chapter. We want to keep improving the things that we are well known for such as the Design Awards, Student Awards, the Glasgow Urban Design Panel, our great CPD series and building visits as well some of our more innovative new projects such as PaperCUT. We will also work to improve some of our own processes and efficiency such as the newly reformed Conservation and Sustainability Committee and the RIAS Liaison Committee.

As a woman myself, I want to make sure that women have a bigger voice in our profession, that our work is recognised and celebrated to ensure we have true equality for future generations.

I hope my passion for architecture in both my work in practice and as an educator in university, can create further connections between education and the profession. Over the years, the GIA has been kindly supported by many private practices, without their support and generosity none of our activities would be possible, thank you to all of them. On a personal note, I would like to thank my own practice, Holmes Miller who have continuously supported my predecessor and I, enabling us to have such active roles in the GIA.

Over the next 2 years I look forward to working with other industry related professionals, institutions, local councils and the RIAS to help bring focus to the incredible emerging talent that is all around us. Viva la GIA!


Isabel Garriga is a Mackintosh School of Architecture graduate & has extensive experience practicing in Spain and the UK. At Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects she was involved in a wide variety of award winning projects such as the Sentinel Office and the Scottish Crime Campus. Since joining Holmes Miller in 2011, her portfolio include works such as master planning in China or custodial projects like HMP & YOI Grampian and the new Women’s National Facility in Cornton Vale. 

Isabel is a Studio Design Tutor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, she has been a Glasgow Institute of Architects Council member since 2012 and the Convener of the Architecture People and Places and the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Committees until 2017 and held the position of GIA Vice-President prior to be elected to GIA President.

Construction of new Arbroath primary schools underway

Ladyloan Primary School

Work to replace two Arbroath primary schools as part of an ambitious multi-million pound project was marked by two official site visits today.

Children and learning vice-convener, Councillor Derek Wann, attended first at Muirfield Primary School and then at Ladyloan Primary School to tour the developments underway at both school sites.

He was joined by pupils and staff, fellow local councillors and council officers, as well as representatives from contractors Robertson Tayside, procurement partners hub East Central Scotland and the Scottish Futures Trust.

Councillor Wann said: “The Arbroath Schools Project represents a significant investment in our local schools estate as well as our local community, our local children and their futures.

“It has seen the delivery of new schools at Timmergreens and Warddykes. We forge ahead with replacing Muirfield and Ladyloan schools, where work got underway before Christmas. Later this year, work will also begin on a shared campus for Hayshead and St Thomas primary schools.

“These are exciting times as we continue the transformation of our educational facilities. We are committed to ensuring that the schools resources we provide to our children in Angus present them with the best opportunities to realise their potential.”

Designed by Holmes Miller, both the new Muirfield Primary School and the new Ladyloan Primary School are being constructed within the existing schools’ grounds so that they can remain operational and the impact upon pupils and staff is minimised while the work is being carried out.

Construction of the new buildings should be complete by the end of this year, with children and staff scheduled to move in at both new schools in time for the Spring Term (Jan 2019). The existing buildings will be demolished and each replaced by a new car park and sports pitch. This work is scheduled for completion by the end of May 2019.

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “It’s great to see the project progressing well and we look forward to delivering two high quality news school buildings for the community. Our teams work closely with Angus Council to support their education and learning strategy and this project follows the recent successful completion of community school campuses in Brechin and Forfar.”

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Tayside, said: “These two projects will have a major impact on future generations in Angus. We look forward to engaging with the council and community – including future pupils of the two schools – throughout the construction phase and beyond. We will be working with all stakeholders, including our facilities management business, and I have no doubt that the completed schools will be of the highest quality.”

Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at Scottish Futures Trust, added: “Ladyloan and Muirfield primary schools takes the number of schools to have entered construction under the £1.8bn Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, which we manage on behalf of Scottish Government, to over 100.

“This is a very exciting time and these two primaries are great examples of the evolution of school design that has been seen over the programme. They promote the creation and delivery of world-class, learning environments that not only meet future educational needs but the communities they serve as well.”

BAM wins £18m deal to deliver new Glasgow schools

Blairdardie Primary School

Blairdardie Primary School

BAM Construction has been appointed by hub West Scotland to build two new primary schools on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

Located on Liberton Street in the East of the city and on Kearn Avenue in the West End, Carntyne and Blairdardie Primary Schools will provide modern state of the art teaching facilities for local children, which, in the case of Carntyne, will include a multi-use games area that will be available for community use.

Designed by Holmes Miller, both projects commenced on site last month with completion of Carntyne scheduled for Autumn 2018 and Blairdardie following in Spring 2019.

The combined contract value is £18 million and funding has been made available through Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) which delivers public infrastructure investment on behalf of the Scottish Government through the hub network and Glasgow City Council.

Carntyne Primary School

Carntyne Primary School

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this contract. The partnership between our local authorities, hub West and SFT is transforming Scotland’s school estate and creating buildings of importance for the wider community.”

Iain Marley, CEO of hub West Scotland, added: “We are proud to be delivering these schools on behalf of our Partner, Glasgow City Council and we are very pleased to continue our successful partnership with BAM. The projects will create high quality inspiring learning environments and bring significant benefits to local communities starting immediately during the construction period and continuing well beyond.”

BAM Construction has completed a number of primary and secondary schools in both East and West Scotland including the £27m Barrhead Secondary School for East Renfrewshire Council which was recently handed-over and Our Lady and St Patricks for West Dunbartonshire Council valued at £25m which opened to pupils in August this year.

Both of these projects were delivered in partnership with hub West Scotland.

Prestwick assisted living development wins planning approval

Prestwick extra careMcCarthy & Stone has secured planning permission for an assisted living development at Links Road in Prestwick.

Designed by Holmes Miller, the four storey building contains 69 independent living flats with common facilities including dining and kitchen.

Prestwick extra care 3Former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

The seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2Douglas Jack, the residential lead at Holmes Miller, said: “This is a fabulous site with views west across the Firth of Clyde with the silhouette of Arran in the background, and north and east to the beautiful Prestwick golf course. We have designed an outward facing bookend to the Prestwick seafront, with generous windows and balconies opening to both views.  Great to see the planning permission granted.”

Work starts on apartment project at Glasgow’s Park Quadrant

Park Quadrant, GlasgowExpresso Property and development partner Ambassador Developments (Park Quadrant) Ltd have announced the beginning of on-site works at a 98 apartment development in Glasgow’s West End.

Designed by architects Holmes Miller, Park Quadrant will complete the vision of the architect Charles Wilson’s concentric ringed design of a 19th century masterplan of the area. Building will complete in 2020 and will support up to 500 construction jobs.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property said: “In conjunction with our development partners, we are pleased to announce that on-site works have now commenced for the highly sought-after Park Quadrant Residences. Being on site with construction underway underlines our commitment and confidence to deliver the development that will complete ‘the missing piece’ of Charles Wilson’s original Park Area masterplan.”

How the completed development will look

How the completed development will look

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “We are delighted to announce today that the Park Quadrant development will support up to 500 construction jobs during the construction phase and will have a total end investment value of £53m.

“Expresso is funded to purchase schemes from £1m to £50m and we are actively looking to acquire further commercial, office, residential and retail development propositions. These may be currently on the market or direct approaches from company principals wishing to explore their thoughts and ideas.”

As well as Park Quadrant, York-based Expresso is investing in Perth’s new Mill Quarter leisure hub and a new mixed-use site at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

Planning approval for Dundee community centre

Menzieshill Community CentreDundee City Council has granted planning permission for the city’s newest community centre.

The new Menzieshill Community Centre, packed with adaptable, community friendly features, will be built in front of the existing community facilities in Orleans Place, to the south of Charleston Drive.

Spectators will also be able to watch games from inside the hall, as mobile seating has been incorporated into the plan that can be stowed away when not needed.

Part of the ground floor will be built underground, as it will be constructed on a slight slope.

Meanwhile, three multi-purpose meeting rooms will make up the first floor.

Menzieshill Community Centre 3The project, the second phase of a wider Menzieshill masterplan developed by Holmes Miller, is being procured through the Scape framework and will be delivered by Robertson Construction Tayside.

Holmes Miller said the rooms will be made up of partitions that makes them adaptable for various community uses.

In a planning statement, the firm said: “We have attempted to identify as many opportunities as possible for flexible, multi-functional spaces by incorporating moveable partitions and minimising fixed furniture.

“This will allow the community centre to cater to a wider range of uses, whatever the space requirements of various community user groups.”

The first floor will also house a cafe, kitchen facility and gym/fitness suite.

In all, the new community centre will be 3,100 square metres and made of sandy-coloured bricks with gold metallic cladding and copper window frames — giving what the developers call a “simple yet refined appearance”.

Menzieshill Community Centre 2These plans form the second phase of a three-part rejuvenation masterplan for the Menzieshill Community Centre.

Detailed plans submitted by Holmes Miller in August show that it intends to partially demolish the existing retail units and health centre.

In their place, a community garden will be created.

Phase two of the plans, seen here, will see the sprawling community centre built alongside a number of other amenities.

These include a new playpark to the south, a new plaza space stretching onto Charleston Drive and 50 car parking spaces which will be accessed from Dickson Avenue.

Two of the parking spaces will be equipped with electric car chargers in line with Dundee City Council’s efforts to encourage electric vehicle use.

The final and third phase of the plan will see a new GP surgery and more landscaping at the edge of Charleston Drive, but these plans are yet to be finalised or approved.

The developed masterplan also suggests the Menzieshill community campus could yet host a care home and an early years/nursery centre.

Green light for Celtic hotel and museum complex

Celtic hotel and museumCeltic Football Club has been granted planning permission to create a new hotel, retail store, ticketing facility and museum next to its stadium.

Designed by architecture firm Holmes Miller, the estimated £18 million development will see a five-storey hotel based on London Road outside the main stand of Celtic Park and close to the Emirates Arena.

A restaurant and cafe/bar will be situated on the ground floor of the building, while the proposed new shop, ticketing facility and museum entrance would be at first floor level with the main portion of the museum below this.

Richard Brown, executive director for development and regeneration services at Glasgow City Council, has written to the Parkhead club saying the development had been approved without the need to go to councillors.

Celtic hotel and museum2No objections were lodged to the plans and the decision notice states that building work must be commenced within three years.

Planners Muir Smith Evans, on behalf of Celtic, said more than 100 jobs could be created by the development.

A statement submitted as part of the planning application said: “The proposed development will result in the creation of some 100 to 120 permanent full and part-time jobs and will contribute positively to the regeneration of the Clyde Gateway area.”

Celtic hotel and museum3It continued: “The direct creation of over 100 new employment opportunities will be a major boost to the area and will clearly contribute towards the key planning aim of achieving sustainable economic growth.

“There is currently no quality hotel accommodation within the area between the city centre and Tollcross despite the key attractions of Celtic Park and the Emirates Arena.

“The current lack of hotel accommodation in the vicinity means that everyone attending events at the football stadium or the arena requires to travel on the day of the event, adding to traffic volumes in the surrounding area.”

Previous plans for a £44m hotel development on a site facing Celtic Park were shelved in 2013.

Expresso Property to make £100m investment in Scottish mixed development schemes

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire  of Expresso Property

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property

Expresso Property Limited has announced a major investment in mixed development property schemes which will transform three significant sites in Glasgow and Perth, and is actively seeking further development opportunities.

The company said its portfolio will have an end investment value of £100 million and will support the creation of over 1000 Scottish new jobs.

York-based Expresso is investing in three major projects, at Park Quadrant Residences in Glasgow’s West End; Perth’s new leisure hub, Mill Quarter, and a new mixed-use site at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

The company is also actively seeking further UK sites and is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m.

Park Quadrant Residences A

Park Quadrant Residences will complete the missing piece of Park Circs

Designed by architects Holmes Miller and developed in conjunction with development partner, Park Quadrant Residences will complete the vision of the architect Charles Wilson’s concentric ringed design of a 19th century masterplan of the area. Building on site begins in Autumn 2017 and will complete in 2020, supporting up to 500 construction jobs. Park Quadrant will have a total end investment value of £53m.

Expresso Property has concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site, a new leisure hub at the heart of Perth, comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema: a mix of bars; restaurants and speciality shops, a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments. During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30m, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion.

The Mill Quarter will 'transform Perth’s visitor destination offer'

The Mill Quarter will ‘transform Perth’s visitor destination offer’

The company said the scheme will be a catalyst for economic change in Perth and will significantly transform the city’s visitor destination offer. Construction works are due to commence in 2018 and is due for completion in summer 2019.

Expresso Property has also been named as the preferred developer by Scottish Enterprise, for a new mixed-use development at Pacific Quay Glasgow, comprising offices and shops overlooking the river basin. The development will sit adjacent to the Cineworld Cinema, Glasgow Imax at the Glasgow Science Centre, the BBC and STV. With an end investment value of circa £12m, Pacific Quay will accommodate over 400 new jobs.  Works begin on site in next year with completion due in 2019.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property said: “Expresso is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m and we are delighted to announce that the Scottish schemes will support the creation of 1000 new jobs in Glasgow and Perth.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “We have various UK schemes underway, three of which are major Scottish projects. We turn each development on its head and look at what design fits the site, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. By replicating this success across key UK cities, our schemes will regenerate vacant, floundering and under-utilised spaces to benefit residential, and business communities for people to enjoy and be proud of.

“We share information and ideas and our teams are actively looking to invest in sites from Bath and Bristol to Birmingham and the North of the UK. To include Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Leeds, Dundee and Scotland. With funding now in place we are actively looking to acquire further commercial, office, residential and retail development propositions.

“These may be currently on the market or direct approaches from company principals wishing to explore their thoughts and ideas.”

Expresso Property concludes missives for £30m Perth leisure hub

(from left) Stephen Hampshire from Expresso Property; Cllr Ian Campbell; Callum Purves, vice convenor environmental enterprise and infrastructure committee at Perth & Kinross Council with  Nick Robinson and Ben Sherriff from Expresso Property

(from left) Stephen Hampshire from Expresso Property; Cllr Ian Campbell; Callum Purves, vice convenor environmental enterprise and infrastructure committee at Perth & Kinross Council with Nick Robinson and Ben Sherriff from Expresso Property

Work to develop on a new landmark mixed leisure scheme in Perth are due to commence next year after Expresso Property Ltd concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site.

Mill Quarter is a new leisure hub at the heart of the city comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema, a mix of bars, restaurants and speciality shops as well as a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments.

The scheme has been designed by Holmes Miller Architects.

During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30 million, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property, the developer of The Mill Quarter, said: “We are delighted to announce we have concluded missives for The Mill Quarter site from Perth and Kinross Council. The next stage is to obtain planning and we hope to apply shortly in the hope that construction works will begin in the first half of 2018.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “With the support of Perth and Kinross Council, Invest in Perth and designers of the scheme Holmes Miller Architects, we are pleased to be providing this new landmark leisure hub and also to play our part in creating over 300 jobs. The Mill Quarter development is a catalyst for change that will drive Perth’s economic growth and give the city’s residents a brand new leisure destination to be proud of.”

The Mill Quarter will 'transform Perth’s visitor destination offer'

The Mill Quarter will ‘transform Perth’s visitor destination offer’

Councillor Ian Campbell, leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “The Mill Quarter development is an exciting opportunity to develop and enhance Perth’s leisure offering for residents and visitors, and I’m pleased to see the project reach this milestone. Expresso Property has identified the city as a positive location for growth and investment, and this sends out an important signal to existing and potential investors that Perth is the place to be.”

Located in the heart of City of Perth, The Mill Quarter will also offer immediate access to the city’s main transport links as well as several bus routes and is within easy walking distance from its main retail and leisure zones.

York-based Expresso Property is currently developing Park Quadrant Residences, a 98-apartment development in Glasgow’s West End, in conjunction with its development partner Ambassador Developments (Park Quadrant) Ltd.

It has also been named by Scottish Enterprise as the preferred developer for a new mixed-use development at Pacific Quay.

The company is looking to acquire further commercial, residential, retail, development propositions and offices, from Bath and Bristol to Birmingham to include Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Leeds and all major cities in Scotland.

Plans submitted for Prestwick care home

Prestwick extra careRetirement home builder McCarthy & Stone is seeking planning permission for a 69-apartment extra care accommodation block in Prestwick.

Under the plans, former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

Designed by Holmes Miller to cater for the frail elderly, the seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2The application follows a three month consultation with local residents and community representatives earlier this year, including a public exhibition which was attended by 54 people. Of those providing feedback, over half (54%) supported the proposal, while 89% felt more specialist accommodation for elderly people was needed locally.

As a direct result of the consultation McCarthy & Stone made several changes to the application. This includes a more traditional finish, with the predominant material now being cast stone and light coloured render. Some brick will be retained to create feature panels. The north-west corner of the building has been made bolder by adding a raised parapet and wraparound corner feature balconies.

In response to concerns about the proximity of the neighbouring golf course, the layout of the building has been changed from an L to a T shape to safeguard the proposed development and Golf Club from exposure to any errant golf shots. A new landscaped area has been created as a result, increasing the amenity space and visual aesthetics of the development.

Prestwick extra care 3Russ Stewart, development director of McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, said: “We’ve addressed comments raised at the consultation and have made changes to the proposal as a direct result of feedback.

“The proposed development provides a fantastic opportunity for a high quality development, in a highly sustainable location, which will cater for the changing needs of Ayrshire’s elderly population and provide a substantial investment into the local economy. It is pleasing that the proposed Extra Care facility will maintain the historical care use established on site and provide wider social and health benefits to residents and the community.

“We have aimed to make the best use of the site and maximise amenity space, while protecting the neighbouring properties through the positioning of the building, windows and balconies, which ensures there is no direct overlooking of the adjacent townhouses.

“McCarthy & Stone is committed to consulting with the local community and we would like to thank everyone who attended the consultation events and gave us their views.”