Reiach and Hall Architects

University of Aberdeen lodges £35m science hub proposals

The view of the building from Bedford Road

Plans for a new £35 million Science Teaching Hub at the University of Aberdeen have moved forward with the formal submission of a planning application.

Featuring cutting edge facilities and flexible teaching laboratory space, it is hoped the new facility will transform the learning experience for thousands of students and encourage school children to get involved in science subjects.

How the proposed hub looks from St Machar Drive

The building, which will be situated just off St Machar Drive near the Fraser Noble building, student Hub and Sir Duncan Rice Library, has been designed by Reiach and Hall Architects to encourage collaboration between students from different disciplines.

Consultations were held by the University throughout September and November after the proposals were first unveiled.

The plans have also been shown to Old Aberdeen Community Council, which covers the area where the University of Aberdeen is situated.

The view from St Machar Drive towards the library

Prior to the public consultations, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, principal and vice-chancellor of the University, said: “We are extremely excited about this new science teaching hub and the benefits it will bring to our students.”

If the proposals are accepted, the University hopes the building will be open and available for teaching in 2021.

Morrison Construction’s Nucleus project wins major architectural awards

The newly-opened £20 million Nucleus building in Wick, built by Morrison Construction, took home two awards at the inaugural Architects’ Journal Architecture of the Year Awards this month.

The building, designed by Reiach and Hall and home to the national archive for the civil nuclear industry, won Public Building of the Year and the Editor’s Choice of the Year awards.

The prestigious awards celebrate design excellence in UK architecture across 23 different categories at an event held in London.

Morrison Construction managing director for the Highland business, Donald Mclachlan, said: ”We are delighted at the recognition this wonderful facility has achieved on a national stage.

”Our highly-skilled teams work extremely hard to deliver excellent facilities to benefit the communities they are built in many years into the future.”

Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards judges commented: “This is an exceptional piece of architecture materially, aesthetically and functionally: it’s made well, looks stunning and fulfils, indeed exceeds, its brief – effectively reimagining what an archive building can be in both form and function.”

Nucleus facility was opened earlier this year and includes a large public area, reading room and community space.

More than 70 years’ worth of information and up to 30 million digital records are held in the facility, which also contains local archives dating back to the 16th century.

Architectural excellence continues for City of Glasgow College

Image: Keith Hunter Photography

Image: Keith Hunter Photography

City of Glasgow College’s new City campus on Glasgow’s Cathedral Street has scooped yet another architectural award for the super college.

The building, which is the larger of the twin site college and has already scooped five architectural titles, won Major Building Project of the Year at this year’s British Construction Industry Awards.

Paul Little, principal and chief executive for City of Glasgow College, said: “I am absolutely delighted that this extraordinary building has been recognised with this significant UK award.

“It is particularly special as it not only recognises the elegant, clever design but also the excellence of the entire team involved in the project. We are incredibly proud of our architects, construction, engineering, design and our very own ‘Team City’.

“City campus has wowed almost 15,000 visitors since opening last year and is making a significant impact in professional and technical education in the UK and beyond. It stands tall and proud at the heart of Glasgow’s learning quarter and will no doubt continue to be an architectural icon for many years to come.”

The building was one of eight shortlisted in its category winning the title over fierce competition from entries that included New Scotland Yard, Guy’s Cancer Centre and the Tate Modern Extension.

Image: Keith Hunter Photography

Image: Keith Hunter Photography

In a joint statement, Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects added: “We are delighted to have won a British Construction Industry Award for City of Glasgow College, City Campus.

“The BCI Awards recognise excellence in its broadest sense – the overall design, construction and delivery of buildings – and are highly regarded in the construction sector as among the most rigorously judged awards in the industry.

“City Campus was recognised in the Major Building Project category which was strongly represented by some of the most successful architectural practices from across the UK.

“Winning a BCI Award is fantastic and is testament to the skill and dedication of the combined project team, alongside our engaged and supportive client. We would like to thank City of Glasgow College for this opportunity and everyone who worked on this wonderful building.”

City campus was formally opened by Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex last month. The British Construction Industry Awards were presented during a gala dinner on Wednesday 11 October at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Balfour Beatty signs £55m Forth Valley College construction contract

The New Falkirk Campus is due to commence construction this year

The new Falkirk campus is due to commence construction this year

Balfour Beatty is to deliver the final phase of construction work to the new £55 million Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College.

The infrastructure group will be responsible for the construction of the 20,709 square metre Science and Engineering campus and its associated facilities in Grangemouth, which on completion will become the Forth Valley College headquarters and house over 2,000 full-time students.

The search for a contractor to build the campus began in December last year when the full business case was approved by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council. The £83m facility will be located on the college’s former Middlefield site on Grangemouth Road and will include modern, flexible and technology-enabled spaces and will boast industry standard workshops, laboratories and classrooms.

The state-of-the-art campus will also have a Learning Resource Centre, food outlets, hair and beauty salons, conference space and sports facilities. In addition, the campus will be built with sustainability in mind and is aspiring to achieve a BREEAM rating of very good or excellent.

Architectural firm Reiach and Hall, which also designed the College’s new Alloa and Stirling campuses, has been appointed to design the new campus. Other key partners include the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Futures Trust and AECOM.

falkirk-campus-signingBalfour Beatty said it has utilised a range of its in-house capabilities, including mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and specialist geotechnical knowledge to meet the project’s requirements and provide the client with an integrated, sustainable design.

Hector Macaulay, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland, said: “This is another great win for our business in Scotland, and we are delighted to be able to provide over 2,000 students in Falkirk with a stimulating and exciting study environment.

“Throughout the project lifecycle, we will work closely with a variety of key community stakeholders including the Polmont Young Offenders Institution, Forth Valley Community Focus and The Engineering Trust to drive further benefit and deliver on our added social value promises.”

Works are due to commence this Autumn, and at construction peak will employ over 250 individuals including 18 apprenticeship positions and opportunities for 10 long term unemployed people.

Design approval for revised Inverness Justice Centre

IJC2Work to build Scotland’s first purpose-built justice centre in Inverness is set to start after Highland Council gave the updated design the green light.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) submitted plans for an improved design for Inverness Justice Centre in May, with the final decision on full planning permission granted at September’s meeting of the council’s south planning committee.

With ongoing support and funding from the Scottish Government, SCTS said Reiach & Hall Architects’ updated design is more efficient in the use of accommodation and provides an attractive public space, along with improved access.

IJC1Eric McQueen, SCTS chief executive, said: “Rather than simply a replacement sheriff court building, the justice centre will play a pivotal role in changing victims’, witnesses’ and offenders’ experience of the justice system, while providing high quality secure criminal courts, and flexible accommodation for our civil courts and tribunal users.

“By bringing together the right organisations, we can all focus on problem-solving approaches to reduce reoffending and increase the opportunity for community sentencing, while providing the facilities and technology to remove the need for children to appear in court and in the longer term, digital case management for summary crime.”

The creation of the justice centre has widespread support from across the Scottish Government, the councils in the Highlands and Islands region, justice and third sector organisations, the legal profession and the general public.

IJC3In addition to the direct justice benefits, the location of the justice centre will help transform the surrounding area, with the transfer of Inverness Castle to Highland Council ownership stimulating economic growth for the city as it develops a major tourism attraction.

Construction is planned to begin in Autumn 2017 with contractor Robertson Northern to complete the main building works complete in 2019.

Frank Reid, managing director of Robertson Construction Northern, said: “Today’s decision means we can start work on what will be a significant development for the Scottish justice system and we’re looking forward to bringing this improved design to life over the months ahead.”

Glasgow’s City Campus makes 2017 Stirling Prize shortlist

Image by Keith Hunter

Image by Keith Hunter

The City Campus at the City of Glasgow College is one of six buildings to be shortlisted for the 22nd annual Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building.

Part of a project to turn the college’s 11 buildings into two, the 10-storey structure in Cathedral Street brings together six major faculties in 300 high-tech classrooms, multi-purpose lecture theatres and specialist teaching facilities.

Designed by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects, the project was delivered by contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and Arup as structural engineer.

City of Glasgow College, City Campus (2)The judges said: “While the initial impression of this building is as something of immense scale which also signals its presence as an important place of learning, its internal spaces are designed to encourage both the formal teaching processes which it contains and informal, more chance encounters. The materials palette and form of the building are deliberately restrained to generate something of skill, clarity and elegance, on the grandest scale.

“There is an astonishing scale and complexity to the brief for this project and considerable architectural skill is demonstrated in its realisation; not just in resolving the brief, but in the contribution to the city – in massing, composition and the generosity of the public route through the grand stepped atrium space. This architectural skill extends beyond the cityscape through to the detailed care taken in the organisation of student spaces, encouraging social interaction across disciplines, to the considered approach to materials and detailing.”

The college campus is one of six buildings nominated, alongside Barrett’s Grove in London, the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, Command of the Oceans at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent, Hastings Pier in Sussex and the Photography Studio for Juergen Teller in London.

RIBA president Jane Duncan said: “The City of Glasgow College’s new city campus is an immensely confident contribution to the architecture of the city, and is testament to Scotland’s commitment to invest in high-quality further education.

“Unique elements like street-front ‘shops’ for the college’s trainee hairdressers and chefs to earn and learn add to the comprehensive facilities that raise the bar for higher education buildings.

“Each of these outstanding projects has transformed their local area and delights those who are lucky enough to visit, live, study or work in them.”

Trio of Scottish projects secure RIBA National Awards

Rockvilla National Theatre of Scotland HQThree Scottish projects have today been named on a 49-strong shortlist for the UK’s best building of the year by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The City of Glasgow College’s City Campus by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects, Ann Nisbet Studio’s Newhouse of Auchengee and the National Theatre of Scotland’s Rockvilla by Hoskins Architects were all awarded a RIBA National Award 2017 for architecture which recognises the best buildings created in the last 12 months.

A shortlist for the prestigious Stirling Prize will be selected from this year’s diverse list, which showcases the breadth and scale of projects across the UK.

City of Glasgow College – City Campus

Images courtesy of Keith Hunter

The merger of Glasgow’s central, metropolitan and nautical colleges created a super college bringing together facilities and teaching previously housed in 11 separate buildings across the city within two new central campuses. City Campus, more than 60,000m2 in size, is the second of these large new buildings. It brings together six major faculties in 300 high-tech classrooms, multi-purpose lecture theatres and specialist teaching facilities.

While the initial impression of this building is as something of immense scale which also signals its presence as an important place of learning, its internal spaces are designed to encourage both the formal teaching processes which it contains and informal, more chance encounters. The materials palette and form of the building are deliberately restrained to generate something of skill, clarity and elegance, on the grandest scale.

There is an astonishing scale and complexity to the brief for this project and considerable architectural skill is demonstrated in its realisation; not just in resolving the brief, but in the contribution to the city – in massing, composition and the generosity of the public route through the grand stepped atrium space. This architectural skill extends beyond the cityscape through to the detailed care taken in the organisation of student spaces, encouraging social interaction across disciplines, to the considered approach to materials and detailing.

Newhouse of Auchengee

Images courtesy of David Barbour

This contemporary farmhouse pays homage to the aesthetic of historic farm buildings in this part of North Ayrshire. On an elevation, commanding long views over the agricultural landscape, the building is a cluster of separate spaces, reflecting the way that rural buildings were developed and extended over decades past.

On this windswept site the cluster is composed carefully to create shelter and in doing so, a captivating arrival sequence – the long drive up the hill set on axis with a pend that at first sight frames a view to the sky beyond and then leads to an entrance court. It is a composition that successfully controls the elements, captures views and mediates between the scale of the wider landscape and the intimate scale of the dwelling.

The main public spaces and bedrooms are set within a two-storey section with the master bedroom within a linear single-storey area and an annex, accessed via the courtyard, offering a further two bedrooms. The whole composition clusters around a three sided courtyard to the east and a sheltered terrace to the south-west.

The zinc external cladding reflects the light and cloud patterns of its elevated setting which plays upon a building which is contemporary, contextual and in harmony with the light and life of its locale.

Born out of careful research into the unique vernacular of North Ayrshire this is a project with a strong sense of place – truly a building of its landscape.

​Rockvilla

Images courtesy of Dapple Photography

Set within a disused industrial warehouse in a previously neglected area of Glasgow, this new facility brings together departments of Scotland’s National Theatre previously scattered across several locations. This “creative engine room” for the Company will help it fulfil its national and international mission as a focus for the best of theatre in Scotland.

The building’s elevated canalside setting at the northern edge of Glasgow city centre, enables good access while helping to restore life to an area which was once a key transport artery and bustling inner-urban port.

The existing structural frame was retained and re-clad to reinforce the industrial aesthetic. A restrained internal palette continues the theme, housing a double-height atrium/social space, rehearsal spaces, offices and meeting rooms.

The architects intervention is restrained and modest allowing the creative focus to belong to the inhabitants. There is however a mature sophistication to the architectural restraint, from strategic planning, entry sequence and hierarchy, through to choice of materials and careful detailing – everything is carefully judged. The result is embraced by its new occupants – they refer to their new ‘place of imagination, learning and play’.

The building will help to reinforce the role and standing of the National Theatre as well contributing to the regeneration of North Glasgow.

“RIBA National Awards provide insight into emerging design trends, as well as showing how well the profession responds to economic drivers. I am delighted to see such confident, innovative and ambitious architecture delivered in such challenging times,” said RIBA president Jane Duncan.

“The lack of high-quality new housing is a huge issue in the UK so I am particularly pleased to see great examples of well-designed, sustainable new homes amongst our award winners,” she added.

“We all deserve a well-designed, affordable home, wherever we live in the country. I encourage other local authorities, developers and clients to look at these projects as exemplars.”

Also among this year’s winners is the visitor attraction British Airways i360, which was designed by Marks Barfield Architects for the Brighton seafront, and the Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds.

The monumental extension to the Tate Modern on London’s Bankside, an eco straw-clad office building in Norwich and a striking new biomass power plant in Sheffield were also given a nod.

Third phase of Granton Waterfront housing plans submitted

Granton Waterfront Places for PeoplePlaces for People has submitted plans to the City of Edinburgh Council to build 89 new homes by Granton Waterfront.

The development on Waterfront Avenue forms the third phase of a larger scheme of around 600 homes.

Designed by Reiach and Hall Architects, the latest phase of homes have the advantage of extensive views and provide residents with a landscaped courtyard and amenity space.

Granton Waterfront Places for People 2Places for People group development director, Colin Rae, said: “Placemaking is at the heart of what we do as a developer which means we put people first and prioritise high quality design, taking inspiration from the surrounding area and local communities to create safe, welcoming and sustainable new neighbourhoods where people will want to live.

“Waterfront Avenue is a distinctive development that is providing much needed mixed-tenure housing for Edinburgh. Of the 89 homes in this phase, 33 are for affordable rent and 56 will be available for sale.

“Residents benefit from plenty of open space, easy access to the city centre and routes through the site leading to Granton Harbour. The regeneration of the area stalled during the recession, but with these proposals and other planned developments the outlook for Granton Waterfront is very positive.”

Places for People aims to build 2,000 new homes in Edinburgh over the next three years and already has schemes underway in the city such as Urban Eden at Meadowbank, Shrubhill on Leith Walk and The Green at Longstone, as well as 55 Degrees North at Granton Waterfront.

‘Improved’ designs unveiled for Inverness Justice Centre

IJC1The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) said it has improved the designs of its proposed Inverness Justice Centre as the plans are set to be unveiled to the public.

Designed by Reiach & Hall Architects, the two-storey justice centre is to be developed on the site of a former bus depot between Longman Road and Burnett Road to the north of Burnett Road Police Station after councillors gave the project planning permission in February.

SCTS said its confident that the new planning proposal presents an improved design in keeping with what will be a “landmark building” in the city. The new design addresses planning conditions, is more efficient in the use of accommodation and provides attractive public space, along with improved access via a drop-off area, additional parking and disabled spaces, it added.

IJC2The new plans for what will be Scotland’s first purpose-built justice centre are being made available for public consultation before being reviewed by Highland Council’s planning committee.

SCTS chief executive Eric McQueen said: “Rather than simply a replacement sheriff court building, the justice centre will play a pivotal role in changing victims’, witnesses’ and offenders’ experience of the justice system, while providing high quality secure criminal courts, and flexible accommodation for our civil courts and tribunal users.

“By bringing together the right organisations, we can all focus on problem-solving approaches to reduce reoffending and increase the opportunity for community sentencing, while providing the facilities and technology to remove the need for children to appear in court and in the longer term, digital case management for summary crime.”

Justice secretary Michael Matheson added: “We are working with SCTS to deliver a justice system that is accessible and fit-for-purpose and the new Inverness Justice Centre will give the people of the Highlands access to modern facilities and support all in the same place, making a positive impact for local communities.

“I would encourage anybody with an interest in the proposals to go to the public exhibition and make sure they have their say.”

IJC3In addition to the direct justice benefits, the location of the justice centre will help transform the surrounding area, with the transfer of Inverness Castle to the Highland Council ownership stimulating economic growth for the city as it works in partnership with the Scottish Government and other public bodies to develop a major tourism attraction.

Construction is planned to begin in late 2017 with contractor Robertson Construction to complete the main building works in 2019.

The public exhibition will take place on June 22 in the Magnus Room, Royal Highland Hotel, 18 Station Square, Academy St, Inverness IV1 1LG from 3pm – 7pm.

£23m justice centre and £5m train station approved for Inverness

Inverness Justice Centre aerialHighland councillors have approved plans to build a £23 million court and justice centre in Inverness and a new railway station near Inverness Airport.

Designed by Reiach & Hall Architects, the two-storey justice centre will be developed on the site of a former bus depot between Longman Road and Burnett Road to the north of Burnett Road Police Station.

The former bus depot site was considered after the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) withdrew a conditional offer to buy a site for the proposed hub on vacant land also on Burnett Road.

Expected to be completed next year, the new centre would allow the city’s sheriff court service to move out of Inverness Castle.

Inverness Justice Centre designsIt will also house rehabilitation facilities and offices, while the castle will be devoted to tourism.

The construction of the justice centre will be funded by the Scottish Government.

Highland Council’s south planning applications committee approved the proposals on Tuesday morning.

The same committee also considered proposals for other major developments in and around the city and approved a new railway station near Inverness Airport.

The £5m single platform stop on the Inverness to Aberdeen line and parking spaces for 150 cars have been proposed for a site at Dalcross.

Inverness airport railway plansA station close to the airport has been a long standing aspiration of the Highlands and Islands Strategic Transport Partnership, which promotes improvements to public transport in the Highlands.

Work is expected to begin on a platform later this year and it could open by the end of 2018.

Inverness Airport’s runway recently underwent a £1.4m revamp intended to extend its lifespan by 20 years.

A £1.2m taxiway extension was also constructed to link the main runway to the Inverness Airport Business Park.

Councillors were also due to consider a notification of plans for a new prison in Inverness.

The new HMP Highland jail on the outskirts of Inverness will replace the ageing HMP Inverness, also known as Porterfield Prison.

The Scottish Prison Service has submitted a document to inform Highland Council that it is preparing a planning application for the development on a site next to Inverness Retail Park on the A96.