BDP adaptive reuse design projects make retrofit awards shortlist

The BDP-designed Ayr Grammar Campus and the University of Strathclyde Learning and Teaching Project have been shortlisted in an annual awards event that celebrate the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing buildings.

BDP adaptive reuse design projects make retrofit awards shortlist

The University of Strathclyde's Learning and Teaching Project (Image by David Barbour)

The AJ Retrofit Awards ceremony will take place in London on February 24.

The 20,000sqm Learning and Teaching Building at the heart of the University of Strathclyde’s Campus in Glasgow comprises the refurbishment and adaptive re-use of two existing buildings, the Colville Building and the B-listed Architecture Building and creates a new student hub overlooking the University’s Rottenrow Gardens. The reuse of the existing structure and careful adaption of the existing buildings provides a significant reduction in embodied carbon compared to a full new build   

Martin Jarvie, architect associate, BDP, said: “There was a clear opportunity to re-use and adapt these existing buildings to improve the quality of the University’s campus and enhance the overall student experience. The decision to transform the existing buildings rather than a new-build project also has substantial sustainable benefits. Our Sustainability Team compared the embodied carbon of the adaptive re-use of the existing building structure to a notional new build equivalent and demonstrated that the project saved around 67% of CO2e.”

BDP adaptive reuse design projects make retrofit awards shortlist

Ayr Grammar Campus (Image by David Barbour)

The second of the BDP projects making the awards shortlist is Ayr Grammar Campus. The sensitively restored historic building, located on the edge of the 17th Century Citadel of Ayr, provides a multi-generational community offer, preserving the legacy of education on the site through adaptive reuse whilst delivering a learning environment for the 21st Century.  

Lindsey Mitchell, architect director in BDP’s Glasgow studio, said: “It is great to see Ayr Grammar Campus making the shortlist in this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards.  The project demonstrates well our approach to the restoration of historic buildings and how their reuse can be relevant to contemporary education, providing spaces that deliver both academic and social benefits to the wider community.”

The new education hub offers a nursery, a primary school, a Community Arts Centre, and a new home for the Ayrshire Archives and Registry which also houses the Ayrshire fine art collection.

Existing buildings comprise a large proportion of the UK’s building stock therefore retrofit or refurbishment plays a critical role in meeting climate targets. Along with environmental benefits, the commercial and social returns on reusing existing buildings are self-evident.

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