Shop demolition approved to make way for Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre

How the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre will look once completed

How the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre will look once completed

Scottish Borders Council has approved the demolition of a shop to make way for a permanent home for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

The removal of the former Poundstretcher store in Galashiels, as well as internal and external alterations to the nearby old Post Office, has been given the green light by councillors.

Submitted for planning earlier this year, the £6.7 million scheme would see the two buildings linked to create the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre with a completion target for the project in early 2020.

The project proposes converting the Grade B listed former Post Office building, complemented by a bespoke new building designed by architects Page\Park.

The new attraction would include a permanent home for the Tapestry – a 143 metre long community arts project which involved over 1,000 volunteers stitching the entire story of Scotland – as well as temporary space for exhibitions, and flexible space for education, learning and events. In addition, the plans include space for community and retail facilities including a café.

It is estimated that the visitor centre would help employ 16 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts, attract over 50,000 extra visitors to Galashiels every year and provide additional annual spending of almost £900,000 to the local economy, supporting a further 17 FTE jobs.

The application also includes plans to introduce interpretation and art installations across the town centre, which would encourage visitors from the nearby Borders Railway to visit the Tapestry, as well as increase footfall and spend in Galashiels.

Galashiels tapestry visitor centre plans submitted

36949554480_5ca9339d3f_zThe next step towards regenerating Galashiels has been made with the submission of a planning application to create the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre.

The proposed visitor attraction at the former Post Office and Poundstretcher buildings will be a catalyst for significant economic, social and educational benefits for Galashiels.

If approved, it is estimated that the £6.7 million visitor centre would help employ 16 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts, attract over 50,000 extra visitors to Galashiels every year and provide additional annual spending of almost £900,000 to the local economy, supporting a further 17 FTE jobs.

The project proposes converting the Grade B listed former Post Office building, complemented by a bespoke new building designed by architects Page\Park, who are currently leading the restoration of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building.

The new attraction would include a permanent home for the Tapestry – a 143 metre long community arts project which involved over 1,000 volunteers stitching the entire story of Scotland – as well as temporary space for exhibitions, and flexible space for education, learning and events. In addition, the plans include space for community and retail facilities including a café.

The application also includes plans to introduce interpretation and art installations across the town centre, which would encourage visitors from the nearby Borders Railway to visit the Tapestry, as well as increase footfall and spend in Galashiels.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre already has funding of £2.5m from the Scottish Government, and the facility is at the centre of a Regeneration Capital Grant Fund application to the Scottish Government.

The project is being delivered in close partnership with all of the key local community organisations such as Energise Galashiels, creative and business groups, Heriot-Watt University and Borders College. It is only through this close working relationship that this exciting project can be jointly delivered.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “The submission of the planning application for the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre is the next step towards creating one of the most significant town centre economic development projects to take place in the Scottish Borders in recent years.

“If approved, the visitor centre will be more than a home for the Great Tapestry, but also provide educational, retail and community facilities to benefit a wide variety of groups.

“The visitor centre would also be the first stage of a long-term strategy to stimulate investment in the local economy, and it is pleasing that local groups are supportive of this approach.

“The council and partners are committed to continuing to engage with these groups to ensure they remain at the heart of the regeneration of Galashiels.”

If approved, it is expected the visitor centre would be completed by spring 2020.

Glasgow School of Art unveils full size prototype of Mackintosh Library

Master craftsmen Angus Johnston and Martins Cirulis of Laurence McIntosh in the Mackintosh Library prototype. Credit McAteer photo

Master craftsmen Angus Johnston and Martins Cirulis of Laurence McIntosh in the Mackintosh Library prototype. Credit McAteer photo

A full-size model of a section of the Mackintosh Library has been unveiled by the Glasgow School of Art as work continues to restore the building to its original 1910 design.

Six months in the making, the prototype at the workshops of specialist carpenters Laurence McIntosh has been used to test and retest every aspect of the design and manufacture of the centrepiece of the Mackintosh Building restoration.

The process began with detailed research of items retrieved and information gathered in the archaeological survey complemented by detailed consultation of Mackintosh’s original designs, early photography, letters and other documentation. The challenge then was to translate this mainly 2D imagery into the 3D prototype.

Professor Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art, said: “Today marks a hugely significant step in the restoration of the Mackintosh Building. From the outset we said that we would restore the building and restore it well. The creation of this prototype which are unveiling today is underpinned by two years of ground-breaking and hugely detailed research ranging from information discovered in the archaeological survey to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original designs and paperwork and meticulous designs of every element, profile and joint to 0.5 millimetre accuracy which were created by our design team and then incorporated into a comprehensive set of drawings for the specialist carpenters to work from.

“The challenge was then to convert this research into the physical object. Months of testing and retesting of all aspects of the design and manufacture by Laurence McIntosh working in close partnership with our design team lead Page\Park have culminated in this final prototype. The calibre of the craftsmanship in every aspect of the manufacture is of the highest order and is testament to the skill of the specialist carvers and woodworkers here at Laurence McIntosh.

“For those of you who remember the library as it was in 2014 the biggest change you will notice is the colour. This is how we believe is how the library would have looked in 1910.

“One of the first discoveries after the fire was that much of the library was constructed from American Tulip wood. Samples from the bottom of a Library column and one of the shelves from the Library cabinets which survived the fire gave us the first clue as to both the colour of the library in 1910 and how the colouring has been achieved.”

Professor Inns added: “Highly pigmented oil-based paint had been rubbed directly on to the surface of the wood which once dried was polished with beeswax. As with every aspect of the work on the prototype many experiments were made using the closest product to the original oil-based paint – medium-burnt umber and raw umber artist paints.”

One of the design team who has been most closely involved with the research into the Library is architectural heritage and conservation expert, Natalia Burakowska, of Page\Page architects.

Speaking at the launch Natalia said: “The GSA’s decision to undertake a detailed archaeological survey of the library was crucial to the process of restoration. We soon realised that precious charred timbers had a considerable amount of information to reveal. We were excited to learn about timber joints, nailing techniques, timber sizes, and clever assembly strategies adopted by craftsmen working on site. We were privileged to look at the Library in a manner that nobody else had had a chance to do before.”

The team gathered information carefully and prepared draft reconstruction drawings using the latest 3d technology together with the production of the 1:10 and 1:1 physical models to test understanding of the construction in reality, and this process was supported by extensive archival research.

“We poured over the archives sifting through original plans, Records of Building Committee, receipts, financial records and specifications. Photographs taken by Bedford Lemere in 1910 and later images assisted in tracking the changes and amendments to the original design,” added Natalia.

Specialist woodworkers Laurence McIntosh then joined to team.

“This is a wonderful project to work on,” said David Macdonald of Laurence McIntosh. “We are privileged to be working as part of a team of people who are passionately committed to restoring the jewel in the crown of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s designs.”

“From tulipwood blanks we have seen the prototype emerging slowly through months of careful carving and re-carving, colouring and re-colouring. Fascinatingly, on occasion this has meant not so much a refining of the design so much as making something which was too perfect slightly rougher and more in synergy with the original craftsmen’s’ work.

“We are now looking forward to taking all that we have learned in the development of the prototype and applying it to the library proper.”

As work on the Mackintosh Building continues apace, Gordon Reid, regional business development manager for Kier Construction Scotland, who are managing the overall construction project said: “The intricate restoration work that we are carrying out at The Mackintosh Building is progressing well – the temporary roof has been removed and the new roof is now complete. The loggia have been restored and the work to reconstruct the iconic Hen Run is under way. Today marks another milestone in this very special journey.

“Importantly, we have been able to attract a diverse range of new talent to the construction industry to work at this iconic building.  Working closely with the local supply chain, specialist conservators and other industry training and employment groups, we have already created 60 once-in-a-lifetime training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities.”

The Tulipwood for the Library is currently being sourced in the USA. It will be manufactured at Laurence McIntosh with installation on site expected to begin in spring 2018.

Plans revealed by teams competing to design Edinburgh’s Ross Pavilion

The entry from William Matthews Associates and Sou Fujimoto Architects

The entry from William Matthews Associates and Sou Fujimoto Architects

The seven diverse proposals from the teams vying to win the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition and revitalise West Princes Street Gardens have now been unveiled.

The Ross Development Trust in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council today revealed the concept designs devised by international and UK teams for a new landmark Ross Pavilion, which is intended to revitalise Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens.

The seven-strong shortlist that reached the second stage of the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition was selected from the 125 teams (made up of 400 individual firms) who entered the competition.

The Pavilion, which will provide a flexible platform for the imaginative arts and cultural programming that Edinburgh excels in, will allow visitors and residents to engage with a variety of events all year round. Other aspects of the circa £25 million project include subtle updates to the West Princes Street Gardens – the latter being of outstanding cultural significance and operated and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council as Common Good Land.

Proposals have been submitted by the following shortlisted teams (in alphabetical order):

Adjaye Associates with Morgan McDonnell, BuroHappold Engineering, Plan A Consultants, JLL, Turley, Arup, Sandy Brown, Charcoalblue, AOC Archaeology, Studio LR, FMDC, Interserve and Thomas & Adamson.

“Adjaye Associates’ proposal for the new Ross Pavilion and the reimagined West Princes Street Gardens is a celebration of Edinburgh as a cultural capital and a reflection of the site’s unique topography and location on the verge between the Old and the New Towns.

“Our scheme honours the legacy and architectural language of the original bandstand that was once the beating heart of the Gardens in the late 19th century, reinterpreting its function and iconography within the contemporary context.

“The result is a garden temple responding to the modern-day city, a pleasure pavilion conceived as a sculptural intervention, which serves as a flexible performance space, a community hub and a new icon for Edinburgh. The Pavilion is the focal point of a system of stone-clad outdoor, indoor and in-between public spaces, discreetly embedded into the landscape.”

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with JM Architects, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, GROSS.MAX., Charcoalblue, Speirs + Major, JLL, Alan Baxter and People Friendly.

“At the meeting between the old and the new, the West Princes Street Garden occupies a central location – geographically, historically, and culturally – in Edinburgh. The existing bandstand, in the heart of the Gardens, paradoxically has the feeling of a leftover space that divides rather than unites.

“We propose to enhance and reconnect the abundant qualities of the Gardens with a pavilion sculpted by its context: its gently undulating canopy reflects the movement of the terrain below and the light of the sky above. Visual transparency at ground level allows for uninterrupted enjoyment of the Gardens. From within, it will frame the context of Edinburgh Castle and its dramatic setting.

“The rejuvenated bandstand provides momentum to reconsider the Gardens at-large by updating the planting regime, opening up key views, and improving access and connectivity throughout. A refreshment of the historic Gardens that roots its future in the heritage of its past.”

Flanagan Lawrence with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup and Alan Baxter.

“The Gardens form a topographical and visual division between the Old and New Towns, whilst also uniting the people of Edinburgh; a place for people to gather and appreciate the thrilling topography of the city.

“The sinuous landforms of the Performance Space and Visitor Centre reflects the Garden’s natural landscape in contrast with the angular built form of the Old and New Towns.

“Our proposals aim to make the Gardens more connected to the city with a dramatic and accessible sense of arrival for all at the Visitor Centre.

“This is a project of contrasts; between the New and Old Towns and the Gardens that separate them and between quiet tranquil days in the Gardens and vibrant large scale public events. Our concept is based on creating an architecture that can perform equally well with each of these contrasting modes of behaviour. Our design solution is based on understanding how our interventions can be both introverted when the gardens are quiet, and extroverted during the celebrations and events.”

Page \ Park Architects, West 8 Landscape Architects and BuroHappold Engineering with Charcoalblue and Muir Smith Evans.

“Princes Street Gardens, linking the New Town to Old, is a landscape for viewing the spectacular setting, a garden of commemoration, and a garden to enjoy. The lengthy flower bank to Princes Street is world unique. Our strategy is simple: we leave this alone.

“Splendid new entrances, self-evident way-finding and a re-visioned ‘Blaes’ area provide for contextual augmentations to a new Ross Pavilion which includes a combined visitor centre and performance venue.

“In Classical garden tradition there is a typology of a grotto fed by springs for assembly, marriage, song and dance – the Nymphaeum. In imagining the new Ross Pavilion we have carved into the landscape such a grotto. A stage at the foot of the ‘Castle Rock’; marking the memory of the old ‘Nor Loch’, lined in pillars of decorated stone echoing the ‘modern henge’ Royal Scots memorial and surmounted with a golden copper roof in the spirit of the ‘Ross Fountain’.”

Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter with GROSS.MAX., AECOM, Charcoalblue, Groves-Raines Architects and Forbes Massie Studio.

“How can the Ross Pavilion offer a new world class cultural venue not just for Edinburgh, but the whole of Scotland?

“The Ross Pavilion will be the focal point of the city of Edinburgh and its many visitors, but it can also be a symbolic place for all of Scotland as well. The intervention into the Gardens is therefore conceived as a facility for the entire nation, indeed it is a project that has the potential to capture the imagination of people across the country. For the Ross Pavilion, we propose a public asset that can not only perform as a modern performance venue, but a visitor experience that explores the varied landscapes and histories of the Gardens and the terrains of Scotland beyond.

“A simple but bold design allows us to propose a venue that can host the wide variety of functions the pavilion calls for. Furthermore, it offers us the flexibility to propose a wider range and intensification of human activities in the Gardens and unleash the incredible potential the site has for Edinburgh. For that matter it can tap into the long history the city’s backdrop has had for inspiring some of mankind’s highest achievements in the arts, literature, philosophy and science.

“Our approach to the architecture and landscape has been that of sensitive interventions into the historic fabric of the Gardens. Elements are formed from their context and crafted from quality and timeless materials, and completed with water terracing that recalls the Nor Loch.”

wHY, GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth with Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Beatrice Colin, Peter Ross, Alison Watson and Adrian Turpin.

Butterfly / Pavilion

“The word ‘pavilion’, from the Old French for butterfly (papillion), parsed through the pictogram of a highly-decorated tent, evokes the fluttering canvas and heraldry of a field campaign with a glorious connection between nature and humankind.

“The butterfly is unity of symmetry and organic form, whose lines can be traced and followed, eagerly denoting meaning. Occasionally alighting, it is of the air but connects with the ground. It delights and draws you in.

“And so it is with this new ‘pavilion’. Pleasure will be drawn from rock and fold, from seam and segue. There are glimpses of history and the promise of a performance. People will connect through their common story and shared song. There is music in the air.

“Light, space, sound, and poetry. Castle, rock, garden, and fountain. Without nature, the city is lifeless.

“This is a place for people and their perpetual delight.”

William Matthews Associates and Sou Fujimoto Architects with BuroHappold Engineering, GROSS.MAX., Purcell and Scott Hobbs Planning.


“These four words defined both the brief and our response – a place for people to gather and celebrate the performing arts in one of the global capitals of culture.

“The inspiration for the project came from Celtic spirals, the remarkable stone circles of Orkney and the circular forms of the original Bandstand, the Ross Fountain and the Royal Scots memorial. They were reinterpreted to create a new typology of pavilion and viewing platform for the West Princes Street Gardens. The proposal is a powerful landmark symbolising the unity of Edinburgh: its history, originality, art and culture.

“The rings offer new panoramic views of the important heritage sites of the city. They connect the New Town, the Castle and the Old Town without disturbing the existing axial paths of the Gardens.

“Contrasting with the light and floating spiral are the Visitor Centre and the Performance Space. They blend into the urban context of Princes Street on one side and the Gardens on the other, ready to come alive for the cultural events for which Edinburgh is famous.”

The concept designs are now available to view in an online gallery on the international competition website and in a free-to-enter public exhibition at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre, which runs for five weeks.

Norman Springford, chairman of the Ross Development Trust and competition jury chair, said: “The revival of this, one of Edinburgh’s best and most prominent sites, is a hugely exciting prospect and we now have seven fascinating design concepts from some of the world’s most in-demand creative minds.

“These design concepts help us visualise how the new Ross Pavilion could both complement and act as a counterpoise to the Gardens and the Castle. The concepts will now be assessed in detail, the public will get their chance to comment, and then the jury will interview the teams and review and debate each submission in turn.”

Competition director Malcolm Reading added: “Such was the appeal of the project that the competition brought the global design community to Edinburgh! Each of the finalists knows winning would be both a privilege and a career-defining moment. While the seven Pavilions show different approaches, the competing teams are connected by a shared love of materials, form and placemaking.

“Of course, these are concepts, and not final designs – the winning team will work closely to develop their ideas with the City Council and the Ross Development Trust.”

The public is being invited to share its views on the project via a survey at the exhibition or by emailing the competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants, at

The jury, which includes Alexander McCall Smith CBE, FRSE, Sir Mark Jones FSA, FRSE along with Andrew Kerr, CEO, City of Edinburgh Council and Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, will subsequently meet to interview the teams and the winner announcement is expected in early August 2017.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

All images © Malcolm Reading Consultants / individual teams

Work begins on £12m Edinburgh printmaking studio

Edinburgh Printmakers3Edinburgh Printmakers has begun work to create its new home at Castle Mill Works in Fountainbridge.

The home of the former North British Rubber Factory is set to be transformed into a £12.3 million creative hub hosting a new Centre of Excellence for Printmaking and Creative Industries Hub.

A focal point for the local community, the development of Castle Mill Works will allow Edinburgh Printmakers to extend its work as a leading arts charity; bringing together artists and visitors to offer everyone a direct experience of Printmaking.

Inside Castle Mill Works visitors will be welcomed to a world-class cultural facility housing galleries, a learning studio, a state-of-the-art printmaking workshop, creative studios, a cafe and much more.

Architects Page/Park have been appointed to bring the Grade C listed Castle Mill Works into public use for the first time in its 160-year history. Complementing the architectural design and retaining links to the history of the building, a series of permanent artwork commissions will be sited throughout the building.

Edinburgh Printmakers4Over £10m has been successfully secured from funders including the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland as well as trusts and foundations including Garfield Weston Foundation and The Robertson Trust allowing construction to start on the building which is due to be completed in 2019.

Following a tender process Interserve has been awarded the contract to deliver Page/Park’s vision for the site.

Speaking at the breaking the ground ceremony, Edinburgh Printmakers CEO Sarah Price said: “We’re delighted to be in a position to formally begin construction on Edinburgh Printmakers new Centre for Excellence. Coinciding with our 50th birthday this marks a new chapter in our journey to improve facilities for artists and makers in the City and for our ever expanding and diverse audience to enjoy printmaking at its best.

“I’m extremely grateful to my team at EP, our design team and the many supporters who have helped us along the way, from our major funders to the small donations, every penny raised has helped us to get us to this point. In redeveloping Castle Mill Works we are preserving an iconic piece of Edinburgh’s industrial heritage and planning to look after it for generations to come.

“We are aiming for the main building to be open in Spring 2019 and will continue to fundraise over the coming 3 years to complete the full Creative Industries incubator project as planned. We will continue to build on the overwhelming support from the local community and donors to fully realise this transformative project.”

Edinburgh PrintmakersInterserve’s divisional director, Martin Smith, added: “We are delighted to be starting this prestigious project for Edinburgh Printmakers and to be working once again with Page\Park Architects. This new work comes just as we have successfully completed another exceptional historic building redevelopment with Page\Park in Edinburgh and affirms our position as one of the Capital’s premier restorers of iconic listed buildings. Our commitment to measured growth and sustainable development in Scotland, partnering with valued clients like Edinburgh Printmakers, is cemented in this contract.”

A public fundraising drive has been launched and by donating towards the campaign members of the public will have their name ‘immortalised’ in print within the new building.

Supporters of the project can also become Friends of Edinburgh Printmakers giving regular donations at a variety of levels in return for exclusive rewards and EP Circle Patrons giving large donations will have the opportunity to receive a limited edition print created specially by Edinburgh Printmakers Artist Patrons John Byrne, Callum Innes or Rachel Maclean.

The public can also help Edinburgh Printmakers reach the £12.5m target by texting CMWS001 to 70191 to give £10 or by visiting

Society of Architectural Historians conference to explore Glasgow’s history and heritage

mackintosh-buildingOver 500 architectural historians, architects, conservationists and others from around the globe will meet in Glasgow for the 70th annual international conference of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH).

The conference will run from June 7–11 at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) and marks the first time SAH has met outside North America in over 40 years.

SAH conference local chair, Marina Moskowitz of the University of Glasgow, said: “We’re delighted to welcome SAH members to Glasgow, recognizing the city’s rich architectural heritage, which seems particularly fitting during Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage, and Archaeology.

“The paper sessions feature an international roster of speakers, and the conference also features a wide variety of public tours and events that showcase everything from Glasgow’s best-known architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson to Scotland’s vernacular and industrial heritage.”

Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “It is a privilege to welcome the Society of Architectural Historians to Glasgow for what will be its first-ever visit to Scotland. As well as enjoying an international reputation as a world-class conventions centre, Glasgow is globally renowned for the legacies of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

“This milestone meeting for SAH will celebrate the city’s rich architectural heritage and give delegates the chance to experience some of the treasures of our built environment; from the Glasgow School of Art, City Chambers and Queen’s Cross Church to the Barony Hall, Kibble Palace and our state-of-the-art Technology and Innovation Centre.”

The conference kicks off on June 7—Mackintosh’s 149th birthday— with the symposium ‘Mackintosh: Materials & Materiality’ presented with the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). This public program will examine the material aspects of Mackintosh’s work by looking at several restoration projects underway.

Pamela Robertson, professor emerita at the University of Glasgow, will deliver the keynote, and speakers will represent four major Mackintosh projects, including the GSA. This event is open to the public. Ticket details can be found at

Brian Park of Page\Park Architects will give the conference’s introductory address, ‘The Architects Who Made Glasgow’. His talk will provide conference delegates with a whistle-stop tour of the city’s origins and architectural history and set the context for the work of Glasgow’s great architects. For over 20 years Page has been involved as a conservation architect for the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building, including planning the reconstruction following the 2014 fire.

SAH members will present new research on the history of the built environment during the paper session portion of the conference on June 8 and June 9. Sessions covering Scottish topics include ‘Landscape and Garden Exchanges between Scotland and America’ and ‘A Narrow Place: Architecture and the Scottish Diaspora’.

On June 8, SAH will delve into the latest developments in the restoration of the Mackintosh building at the GSA with the roundtable ‘State of the Mack’. Dr. Robyne Calvert, Mackintosh Research Fellow at the GSA, will moderate the discussion and panellists will include experts working across the project from Page\Park Architects, Historic Environment Scotland, and the GSA. This roundtable is sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland.

Conference delegates will experience the works of Mackintosh and ‘Greek’ Thomson, along with those of other architects, on 33 architecture tours presented throughout the duration of the conference. Local experts from the academic, heritage, and cultural sectors will lead tours in Glasgow and nearby locations such as New Lanark and Edinburgh. All tours are open to the public.

The SAH Glasgow Seminar, ‘Making and Re-Making Glasgow: Heritage and Sustainability’, will be held at Mackintosh’s Queen’s Cross Church on June 10. The seminar will explore how local identity can be cultivated around the city’s built heritage, how Glasgow might benefit from a culture economy that looks to both the past and the future, and how preservation interests can be aligned with development pressures.

The program will feature a screening of the short film (Re)Imagining Glasgow by local artist Chris Leslie and speakers from University of Glasgow, Historic Environment Scotland, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, National Trust for Scotland, and Glasgow Museums. The SAH Glasgow Seminar is sponsored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and Historic Environment Scotland. This event is open to the public and tickets may be purchased at

SAH will celebrate the close of the conference with ‘The Architects’ Birthday Party’ on the evening of June 10. This year is the bicentenary of the birth of ‘Greek’ Thomson, Mackintosh’s 149th birthday, and the 150th birthday of the renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The festivities will take place at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens’ iconic Kibble Palace.

For more information on the SAH 2017 Glasgow conference, please visit

Kelvin Hall takes top honours at RICS Scotland Awards

Kelvin Hall GlasgowThe £35 million refurbishment of Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall claimed the overall ‘Project of the Year’ honour as more than 30 of Scotland’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out at the RICS Scotland Awards 2017 yesterday.

The prestigious annual ceremony, held at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel, celebrates inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors.

TV presenter and newsreader Catriona Shearer was the host for this year’s sell-out ceremony, which attracted more than 250 property professionals from across Scotland.

The highly acclaimed Project of the Year accolade is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.

Delivered by Page\Park Architects, Gardiner & Theobald LLP and McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Ltd for Glasgow Life, the category-B listed Kelvin Hall reopened to the public in August 2016 after a three-year development, which transformed the 90-year-old venue into a multi-purpose sports, culture and education building.

Also securing the Tourism and Leisure title, the judges praised the project for its complexity, diverse community outreach and “opening a new chapter in the history of the Kelvin Hall”.

The eight-category shortlist with category winners…

Building Conservation

Winner: Dalkeith Country park, Dalkeith

Shortlisted: Dalkeith Corn Exchange, Dalkeith, South Rotunda, Glasgow, St Columbkille’s RC Church Refurbishment, Rutherglen, The Capitol, Aberdeen, The Schoolhouse, Edinburgh, Wemyss Bay Pier Walkway, Wemyss Bay, Willowbank Student Accommodation, Glasgow.


Winner: Ineos HQ, Grangemouth

Shortlisted: 2 Powis Place, Aberdeen, Premier Inn, York Place, Edinburgh, The Capitol, Aberdeen

Community Benefit

Winner: Thistle Foundation Centre of Wellbeing, Edinburgh

Shortlisted: Harris Academy, Dundee. Kelty Community Centre, Fife, Windmill Community Campus, Fife.

Design through Innovation

Winner: Hazelwood Studio, Dumfries and Galloway

Shortlisted: Campus Futures Project, Glasgow Caledonian University, Eastwood Health Centre, Glasgow, Tigh Na Croit, Inverness.


Winner: Wemyss Bay Pier Walkway, Wemyss Bay

Shortlisted: Royal Highland Showground Livestock Crossing and Pedestrian Underpass, Edinburgh.


Winner: New Waverley, Edinburgh

Shortlisted: The Schoolhouse, Edinburgh, Waverley Arches, Edinburgh


Winner: Devon Lane, Winchburgh

Shortlisted: Coldrach, Upper Deeside, Parkview, Dundee, The Schoolhouse, Edinburgh, Tigh Na Croit, Inverness, Willowbank Student Accommodation, Glasgow.

Tourism & Leisure

Winner: Kelvin Hall Refurbishment, Glasgow

Shortlisted: Culardoch Shieling, The Cairngorms, Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith, Forsinard Lookout Tower, Sutherland, The Rings, Cupar.

Several Highly Commended certificates were also awarded by the judges to projects which impressed but were just pipped to the post by the winners.

These were: South Rotunda, Glasgow (building conservation), The Capitol, Aberdeen (commercial), Kelty Community Centre, Fife (community benefit) Tigh Na Croit, Inverness (design through innovation) and Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith (tourism and leisure).

RICS regional director for Scotland, Gail Hunter, said: “These exemplary built schemes are already having a positive impact on their local communities and are actively helping to ensure Scotland is one of the most attractive places in the UK to live, work and visit. The teams behind them should be incredibly proud as they have shown just what is achievable with vision and an innovative approach to collaboration.

“Despite the ongoing skills shortages in the construction industry, every year Scotland’s professionals continue to deliver world-class built projects. This just goes to show that we have some of the very best skilled property professionals and surveyors, who together are attracting significant investment into Scotland.”

All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final on 2 November 2017 in London, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.

Financial close reached on Gorbals & Woodside health and care centres

Gorbals Health and Care Centre

Gorbals Health and Care Centre

hub West Scotland has reached financial close on the Gorbals and Woodside health and care centres, signalling a £35 million investment in health and social care infrastructure.

Designed by JM Architects and Page/Park, the new facilities will be constructed by Morgan Sindall and are being delivered on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and Glasgow City Council.

The new Gorbals Health and Care Centre, situated on Sandiefield Road, will house NHS services including GP surgeries, social services, treatments rooms and community space.

The Woodside Health and Care Centre will be located at Doncaster Street, replacing the existing facility in Barr Street. It will provide GP surgeries, dental, physiotherapy and adult day services, alongside community services such as health visiting, district nursing and the older people’s team and home care.

The developments, which follow on from the recently opened health and care centres at Eastwood and Maryhill, will be open to the public by the end of 2018.

These projects will be followed by a further £40m investment in health and social care facilities in Clydebank and Greenock.

Both projects are in the development stage with contemporary facilities being designed to meet the needs of modern health and social care requirements.

Seven architects shortlisted to design Edinburgh’s Ross Bandstand replacement

Image courtesy of David Springford of Infinity Photography

Image courtesy of David Springford of Infinity Photography

A shortlist has been drawn up to replace the Ross Bandstand in the heart of Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens with a new landmark Pavilion amid worldwide interest from architects and designers.

Entries from 125 teams spanning 22 countries including Australia, Japan, India and the United States and made of 400 individual firms have been narrowed down to seven finalists by the Ross Development Trust in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Malcolm Reading Consultants.

UK-based practices produced 42 per cent of submissions.

Those proceeding to the second stage of the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition will now create concept designs for the new circa £25 million Pavilion.

Each of the finalist teams is led by an architect and are listed below:

The shortlisted teams

  • Adjaye Associates (UK) with Morgan McDonnell, BuroHappold, Turley, JLL, Arup, Plan A Consultants, Charcoalblue and Sandy Brown Associates
  • BIG Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with jmarchitects, GROSS. MAX., WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Alan Baxter Associates, JLL, Speirs + Major, Charcoalblue and People Friendly Design
  • Flanagan Lawrence (UK) with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup and Alan Baxter Associates
  • Page \ Park Architects (UK) with West8, BuroHappold, Muir Smith Evans and Charcoalblue
  • Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (Norway) with GROSS. MAX., AECOM, Groves-Raines Architects and Charcoalblue
  • wHY (USA) with GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, O Street, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Yann Kersalé Studio, Lawrence Barth, Stuco, Alan Cumming, Aaron Hicklin, Alison Watson, Peter Ross, Adrian Turpin and Beatrice Colin
  • William Matthews Associates (UK) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan) with GROSS. MAX., BuroHappold, Purcell and Scott Hobbs

The news follows the appointment of writer Alexander McCall Smith CBE FRSE and architect Ada Yvars to the Trust’s design competition jury.

Councillor Richard Lewis, culture convener and festivals champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The response to the competition’s first stage affirms the worldwide interest in Edinburgh and its association with the arts. Scotland’s capital is renowned as the World’s Festival City and the home of culture – and designers clearly want to be part of its future.

“The brief at stage two asks for a serious piece of architecture but one that’s also celebratory – it will be fascinating to see what concepts the teams produce.”

Chairman of the Ross Development Trust and competition jury chair, Norman Springford, said: “We were absolutely delighted by the response of designers from around the world to the competition’s first stage. The quality of the 125 teams on the long list sent a strong signal that the international design community regards this as an inspirational project for Edinburgh that has huge potential to reinvigorate this prestigious site.

“Selecting the shortlist with our partners from City of Edinburgh Council was an intense and demanding process. We’re thrilled that our final shortlist achieved a balance of both international and UK talent, emerging and established studios. Now the teams will have 11 weeks to do their concept designs – and we’re looking forward to seeing these and sharing them with the public.”

Competition director Malcolm Reading added: “This is an exceptional project – the interest from the website audience and the number of enquiries we received was far out of the ordinary. We appreciated the care and hard work that had gone into the submissions – to those who are disappointed not to make the shortlist, take heart: overall, the standard was very strong.”

The finalists will be invited to visit the site in April and will have until June to produce their concept designs.

A public and digital exhibition will be held by the Ross Development Trust this summer to showcase their concept designs and to receive local feedback, with a winner expected to be confirmed in August 2017.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

Page\Park to assess feasibility of historic Prestwick cinema restoration

Broadway PrestwickA voluntary group dedicated to restoring the disused Broadway Cinema in Prestwick has appointed Page\Park Architects to an investigation into the project.

The Friends of the Broadway Prestwick group recently received a £15,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Activating Ideas fund, and the appointment follows a highly competitive selection process in which a number of firms submitted excellent bids.

The study will investigate the current state of the building, along with potential uses to benefit the local community.

It is expected to commence later in February, and the firm expect work on the study to be completed by the end of March.

Eilidh Henderson, project lead and depute of arts and culture at Page\Park, said: “1930’s Scotland saw an explosion of a new type of building, the Art Deco cinema. Page\Park are delighted to have been successful in the bid to lead a team on the journey with the Friends of the Broadway Prestwick to think about the future use and transformation of the cinema into an attractive community asset.”

The C-listed Broadway has a rich and interesting history. Originally opened in April 1935, the architect for the building was Alister G. MacDonald, son of Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.

The building had a variety of uses over the years – at one time it was used as a bingo hall before later being reopened as a cinema in the 1970s. The last ever film screened in the Broadway was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, on Saturday November 20th 1976.

Since that time it had a variety of uses, including as an amusement arcade and squash court. The building, however, has been unused since the early 2000s, and Friends of the Broadway Prestwick hope that ultimately the building can be brought into community ownership.

Leica Malkin, chair of Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, added: “The feasibility study is a vital component for assessing and progressing with the project, and our group are all very much looking forward to working with Page\Park. They join us in the belief that the Broadway will once again play a significant role in the Prestwick community as a key social and cultural focal point in the town centre.”

The results of the feasibility study are expected in late March, and Friends of the Broadway Prestwick will use them to guide the next stages of the campaign.