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.”

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