University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow reveals new College of Arts building design team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proposals lodged for £40m research hub at University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow has applied for planning in principle for £40 million research hub at its 31-hectare Gilmorehill campus.

Designed by HOK Architects, the 17,000sq/m project will provide a state-of-the-art facility for the university’s researchers to investigate significant global challenges including energy demand and waste management.

The research hub will be the second part of what the University has described as an “inspirational and world-leading masterplan” for the West End campus.

HOK is providing design consultancy services for the project. The consultancy team is collaborating with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has secured the multidisciplinary engineering contract. Ironside Farrar is the planning consultant.

In the design statement, HOK wrote: “In response to the University’s brief of creating a vibrant, collaborative and interactive environment, the Research Hub has a colonnade on the east facade along the edge of the new University Square. The colonnade is formed from sculptural re-constituted stone structural columns with a polished finish and regular rhythm culminating in the entrance portico.

“The colonnade forms a defined, sheltered pedestrian pathway, lit at night. Along the colonnade and returning on the north and south facades the Level 2 facade is transparent revealing the internal functions of the Research Hub, including the Maker Lab and Exhibition Space and with views through to the Atrium providing an interactive showcase for the work of the research groups within the building.”

The view of the entrance from Elder Chapel Place

The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Research to map effects of climate change on Scotland’s coasts and monuments

St Andrews’ coast will be mapped as part of the project

The damage that climate change could cause to nearly one fifth of Scotland’s coastline as well as important infrastructure and monuments from and the steps that could be taken to mitigate it will be forecast in a new two year research project.

The next phase of will use the latest monitoring techniques to map and categorise the resilience of the Scottish coast and identify the links between erosion and flooding.

The research, led by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage and carried out by the University of Glasgow, launches this month and is funded by CREW (Centre for Expertise in Water). It will focus on specific study sites including Montrose Bay, St Andrews and Skara Brae to forecast future change and erosional damage and also work with stakeholders like local authorities, SEPA and Historic Environment Scotland to develop plans to mitigate these effects.

Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and land reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Rising sea levels, increased coastal erosion and flooding have caused substantial damage to our coastlines and communities over the last few decades and the pace of erosion is increasing. We need to take action now to adapt and adjust to these changes.

“This research will forecast the extent of damage that could be caused to our precious coastlines through the effects of climate change and will work with communities, local authorities, transport agencies and other planning bodies to develop plans to manage coastal change before it’s too late.”

Scottish Natural Heritage is managing Chairman Mike Cantlay said: “Scotland’s beaches and dunes play a vital role in protecting £13 billion-worth of buildings and roads. That is more than twice that currently protected by seawalls. By their dynamic nature, shifting sand dunes can replenish areas of shoreline; as such they are our natural defences. This ensures that our beaches and dunes can be a natural ally in combating the effects of climate change.

“And by working with nature at the coast, we can help ease and adapt to climate change impacts – in particular sea level rise and storms.

“We and our partners in Dynamic Coast are committed to forecasting future risks and highlight where we can help nature to help us build resilience to climate change and ensure existing and future development is secure.”

Dynamic Coast’s principal investigator, the University of Glasgow’s Professor Jim Hansom, added: “We are now facing decades of future sea level rise and increasing erosion and flooding at the coast, so we need to better understand the increased risk posed by climate change to coastal assets and communities.

“We need to know whether to adapt, defend or move those coastal assets as well as how social justice might be better incorporated into future policies. Failure to act now will lead to enhanced costs and impacts later.”

HLM helps University of Glasgow students to benefit from lessons in nature

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Design and architecture practice, HLM, has recently utilised innovative biophilic designs to transform existing teaching classrooms throughout the University of Glasgow campus, inspiring active learning, productivity and wellbeing.

With significant research indicating that levels of productivity increase in environments containing natural elements, HLM has refurbished the spaces with forward-thinking designs and aspects of nature, particularly in rooms with limited access to natural daylight.

In partnership with the University of Glasgow and its Inspiring Spaces Group, HLM has completed this second phase of the Active Learning Spaces Pilot Rooms project. Building on the success of last year’s refurbishments these new spaces will inform the design of future learning and teaching estate across the campus.

The biophilic designs include the use of natural materials, textures and patterns as well as lighting with variable temperature settings which respond to the body’s circadian rhythm. The result are teaching spaces that increase comfort levels and provide more relaxed learning environments for the students.

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

Picture credit: Rob McDougall

David Greig, associate at HLM, said: “We are working closely with the University of Glasgow to evaluate what elements and aspects contribute to the most active learning spaces, and then we plan to incorporate these designs in the broader Learning and Teaching Hub project which is due to be completed in 2019.”

Aline Browers, senior interior designer at HLM, added: “We are really excited about the project and have received positive feedback from the students already. The design truly brings the outdoors into the learning space, allowing us to move away from the traditional classroom and create inspiring environments.”

Karen Lee, director of strategy, performance & transformation at the University of Glasgow, said: “The refurbishment of the rooms to create active learning spaces is a fantastic opportunity for the university to test and understand what designs will be most successful in our new developments and buildings. We are really impressed with how HLM have transformed the spaces to enable more interactive and flexible teaching, and can see how it is having a positive effect on the student community.”

With extensive expertise in the education sector, HLM will also take part in the post occupation evaluation during the first year of use of the Piolet Rooms. The outcomes will provide invaluable insights that will enable the team to understand the full spectrum of contributing factors to improving the student experience.

Morris & Spottiswood awarded cluster contract by University of Glasgow

David Thorn

David Thorn

Fit out firm Morris & Spottiswood has been awarded five new projects through a framework agreement with the University of Glasgow.

The wide-ranging multi-million-pound refurbishment contracts include work to the university’s McCall Building, James Watt South Building, Thomson Building, terraced houses in Professor Square and Level 4 of the Boyd Orr Building.

Morris & Spottiswood operations manager, David Thorn, said the firm will be delivering a broad mix of services from Mechanical and Engineering (M&E) work to bespoke joinery, specialist flooring, fabric repairs, restoration and landscaping.

“These are all exciting projects and ones in which we can showcase the breadth and depth of our services,” said David.

“Work across the five sites will vary greatly from sensitive restorative treatment within listed buildings to intensive upgrade, refurbishment and fit-out work. For instance, the project involving the James Watt South Building requires refurbishment to levels three and six including upgrades to teaching space.

“While a further £1 million refurbishment to accommodation in Professor Square will see an overhaul to a collection of Grade B listed terraced houses. Work will consist of repointing, gutter cleaning, new slates to pitched roofs and Iocal membranes installed on flat roofs. A series of repairs will also be delivered to lead work, stone, timber and metal windows along with lighting protection alterations and internal plaster repairs.”

David said a number of new graduate trainee and apprenticeship roles are also set to be created as a result of the contract wins.

“A further upgrade will be delivered to the anatomy wing of the Thomson Building,” he added. “This will involve alterations to room layouts to improve and optimise the working space, as well as re-decoration and improvement to floor finishes. Work will also include an upgrade of the mechanical and electrical systems within the building including provision for a new air handling plant and associated infrastructure. The new ventilation system will encompass low level extract and downdraft tables.

“This broad range of projects is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will help underpin Morris & Spottiswood’s ambitious growth strategy. These contracts further re-enforce our partnership working with the University of Glasgow, a client we have now been working with for over 10 years.”

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

Multiplex confirms University of Glasgow deal with official signing ceremony

Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow (left) and John Ballantyne, executive director of Multiplex

Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow (left) and John Ballantyne, executive director of Multiplex

Global contractor Multiplex has signed the contract for the construction of the University of Glasgow’s campus development programme, one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history.

It was reported back in March that the contractor was selected to manage the £700 million first phase of the University’s estate expansion plan over the next decade.

This week, an official signing ceremony was carried out in the University’s iconic-Gilbert Scott building, attended by the principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Anton Muscatelli, Dr David Duncan, chief operating officer of the University of Glasgow, Professor Neal Juster, senior vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor, and John Ballantyne, executive director, and Fergus Shaw, construction lead, of Multiplex.

Professor Muscatelli said: “The signing of this contract is a major milestone in the delivery of the University’s campus development programme which will see the most significant investment and expansion in our estate for more than a century, comparable in many ways with the move from the High Street to Gilmorehill in the 1870s.

“These plans are about far more than investment in buildings, however. Our focus is on creating an inclusive and welcoming campus, fit for the 21st century and beyond, which will continue to attract the brightest and best students and staff from across the globe.

“We are confident that Multiplex shares this vision and will deliver buildings that will inspire world-class teaching and learning as well as internationally-excellent research. Multiplex is a truly international company but it also has a very strong Scottish division. We are delighted to be working with the team who successfully delivered the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on time and on budget.”

John Ballantyne from Multiplex said: “The University of Glasgow campus development will transform a significant area of the West End of Glasgow. Multiplex is delighted to be chosen as the university’s Programme Delivery Partner and share their goal to create an innovative, modern campus while remaining respectful to the rich heritage of Gilmorehill. In responding to the unique challenges of this development, our delivery team and supply chain partners are passionate about delivering a project legacy the university and the people of Glasgow can be proud of.”

Separate contracts for carrying out the enabling works to prepare for the construction phase have already been awarded to John Graham (Holdings) Ltd.

In February 2017, Glasgow City Council gave planning permission in principle to the University’s campus development masterplan for the former Western Infirmary site. The project will transform the West End of the city, bringing significant community, economic, environmental and cultural benefits as well as the creation of some 2,500 new jobs.

An initial £430m will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the campus programme – part of a wider £1 billion investment which includes significant spending on refurbishing and improving the existing estate.

This first phase of the development will see the construction of the following new buildings, together with clearance of the Western Infirmary Site and the new landscaping of the public realm:

  • A Learning and Teaching Hub
  • A Research Hub to facilitate new multidisciplinary cutting edge research
  • An Institute of Health and Wellbeing tackling the public health problems of Glasgow and beyond
  • The Adam Smith Business School including space to grow our postgraduate student population
  • A base for our College of Arts including new performance spaces
  • Significant upgrade of our chemistry building (the Joseph Black Building)

The second phase, expected to start in 2023, will deliver:

  • New teaching and research space for engineering
  • An Innovation Quarter on Church Street to improve engagement with local industry and promote creation of new companies
  • A building for research into chronic diseases
  • The creation of a Social Justice Hub to lead research in the elimination of global inequalities

Enabling work has already started on the Learning and Teaching Hub site on University Avenue – the first new permanent building of the development. The Learning and Teaching Hub will link into the existing Boyd Orr building on University Avenue. Planning permission for the Learning and Teaching Hub was granted in December. It will deliver a 500-seater raked lecture theatre, four flat-floored lecture theatres and 1,000-plus spaces for learning.

In the longer term, the Learning and Teaching Hub should also provide much-needed conference space and facilities for outreach and widening participation work with schools. Its construction will necessitate the demolition of the Mathematics and Statistics building whose occupants recently moved into a temporary home on the former Western Infirmary site in April.

As programme delivery partner, Multiplex is committed to delivering a range of community benefits. These will include developing positive partnerships with external agencies that have a remit to provide jobs, training, and community and development opportunities for local people. It will also create an Onsite Innovation Centre that will be a hub for exhibition, learning and educational engagement about the project.

Graham Construction wins enabling works deal at University of Glasgow

The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus

The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus

The University of Glasgow has appointed Graham Construction to carry out enabling works for a learning and technology hub.

Marking the beginning of the £700 million first phase of the University’s estate expansion plan, the work will see the existing Maths and Statistics Building demolished from next month.

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow told the Evening Times: “We can confirm that John Graham (Holdings) Ltd have been awarded the contract to carry out the enabling work to prepare for the construction of a new Learning and Teaching Hub on University Avenue.

“The construction of the learning and teaching hub will be a separate contract which we are not in a position to discuss at this stage.

“The enabling works for the hub include the demolition of the maths & statistics building as well as other elements such as strip-out, service diversions and grouting.”

Last month the University picked Multiplex to manage the £700m first phase of its estate expansion plan which will eventually include six major academic buildings.

More than 2,500 jobs will be created during construction of what ranks as the biggest education development in Scotland – higher than the public investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The client project team includes Faithful+Gould as programme and project managerWSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as multi discipline engineering contractor and Sweet Group as quantity surveyor services provider, while global architecture firm HLM and HOK Architects have also secured contracts.

£32m Imaging Centre of Excellence to be officially opened in Glasgow

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak at The University of Glasgow new £32m Imaging Centre of Excellence

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak at The University of Glasgow new £32m Imaging Centre of Excellence

The University of Glasgow will officially open its new £32 million Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE) tomorrow.

The unique medical research facility, which was built in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and with £16m funding from the Medical Research Council and Glasgow City Region City Deal, will be opened by Professor Sir Mark Walport, chief executive designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The main contractor of the project was BAM Construction with BMJ Architects providing designs.

ICE brings together world-leading research, cutting edge technology and international business investment under one roof and will act as a hub for translating science into economic and patient benefit for Glasgow, Scotland and the UK.

The project will bring 396 new high-value jobs to the city over a seven year period and has been independently assessed to contribute £88m to the local economy.

With aims to become a global centre of excellence for precision medicine, the building is already home to Scotland’s first 7 Tesla MRI scanner – the first of its kind in the UK in a clinical setting. The scanner will be a focus of research for clinical and non-clinical academic imaging specialists and clinical physics expertise.

The state of the art building will also house the Clinical Innovation Zone, a space dedicated to biomedical companies, which will facilitate industry collaborations and the development of innovative healthcare technology. There will also be a further floor of neuro operating theatres, which will be funded by the NHS GGC.

ICE is one of three projects in the Glasgow City Region City Deal’s Innovation and Growth theme, alongside MediCity and The Tontine, Centre for Business Incubation and Development in the Merchant City.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, vice principal and head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “ICE will be a world-leading example of a precision medicine centre, bringing together the key partners of the University of Glasgow, the NHS and industry together to further clinical research and ultimately bring economic and patient benefits not only for Glasgow, but to the whole of Scotland.

“The ICE isn’t about ivory tower research, it is about bringing world-leading clinical academics together with industry to collaborate and to create something that not only positively benefits patients but also brings a meaningful economic benefit as well.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s most innovative cities – with both a proud history and a bright future in life sciences and new technologies.

“This fantastic new facility is a great example of how our ground-breaking Glasgow City Region City Deal is already helping to reinforce that global reputation – while delivering jobs, infrastructure and a whole range of other economic and social benefits.”

Multiplex awarded £700m University of Glasgow contract

University of Glasgow masterplanThe University of Glasgow has picked Multiplex to manage the £700 million first phase of its estate expansion plan over the next decade, according to reports.

The Construction Enquirer has reported that Multiplex was selected ahead rival Lendlease to take the first phase of the planned Gilmorehill campus project. This will include six major academic buildings.

More than 2,500 jobs will be created during construction of what ranks as the biggest education development in Scotland – higher than the public investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Multiplex will be responsible for the management and sequencing of the delivery of the work packages.

The client project team includes Faithful+Gould as programme and project managerWSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as multi discipline engineering contractor and Sweet Group as quantity surveyor services provider, while global architecture firm HLM and HOK Architects have also secured contracts.

The first building will be the new learning and teaching hub, which will link into the existing Boyd Orr building on University Avenue.