CALA unveils plan to restore historic David Stow building

An artist's impression of how the David Stow building will look
An artist’s impression of how the David Stow building will look

On the anniversary of the death of one of Scotland’s most pioneering educational figures, plans have been revealed to restore the historic building which bears his name.

The David Stow building, an iconic building which was once at the centre of the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill campus, has fallen short of its former glory in recent years.

Constructed from Dumfries stone, the B-category listed building was the main teacher training college building at Jordanhill Campus when completed in 1917, but it is now surrounded by decaying 1960s and 1970s concrete buildings including the seven-storey Henry Wood building.

Now, more than 150 years after David Stow’s death on November 6, 1864, CALA has outlined how its plans for Jordanhill Campus would reinstate the imposing structure as the site’s dominant building.

Architect Peter McLaughlin of 7N, explained: “Set in an elevated position, the green copper spires of the David Stow building were a defining landmark on the city’s skyline, but they have been overwhelmed by the expansion of the Jordanhill Campus in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Our proposals to demolish these later buildings would reinstate the visual prominence of this historic building and maintain its heritage and identity.

“Importantly, our plans will address the growing risk of disrepair by creating a viable new life for the David Stow building.

“From the elegant neo-classical entrance lobby, reminiscent of New York residences from the same period, to the series of simple, large volume former teaching spaces, the building will convert well to high quality apartments that are imbued with the character of their former use.”

To commemorate the anniversary CALA released video footage giving a rare contemporary glimpse of the interiors of the grand building which has been vacant since 2012. The 31-acre Jordanhill Campus site is owned by the University of Strathclyde, which gained in 2013 Planning Permission in Principle for a residential development on the site.

The retention and refurbishment of the David Stow building, which would create 67 apartments, is central to CALA’s plans for Jordanhill Campus. Altogether, just over 400 properties ranging from one-bedroom flats to detached five-bedroom family homes would be made available at the proposed premium residential development.

The building as it currently stands
The building as it currently stands

Ian Conway, development manager of the Jordanhill Campus for CALA Homes (West), said their plans would provide a sustainable future for the David Stow building, which is falling into disrepair.

He said: “Working with 7N, our planning application recognises the importance of the David Stow building, which will make for an iconic focal point of our development. Our sympathetic approach would restore it as a local landmark by removing the surrounding derelict concrete buildings and retaining the unique character of the site.

“In addition to significant investment in the David Stow building, more than 40% of greenspace would be retained and there would be a net addition of 350 trees. Playing fields at the site would also be protected and made available to local schools and community groups. Our plans also contain new paths and play parks.”

CALA’s Matters Specified in Conditions planning application was lodged with Glasgow City Council in March this year.