The re-working and upgrading of a series of multi-use gallery spaces with café and support facilities gave opportunity to undertake an archaeological ‘undoing’ of this complex grouping of buildings and linkages fronted by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s Grecian Building on Sauchiehall Street. The re-discovery of the original villa (which occupied the hill in times past and was embedded within the grouping) gave clarity and structure to the ordering of spaces and, most significantly, what are often non-spaces – the circulation zones. CCA was transformed from a cul-de-sac of a building into a series of dramatic spaces, level relationships and surprises with a focus on the elevated villa set behind the veil of Thomson’s façade to the street.
Critically, linkages were made through the building to the adjacent street (dominated by Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art) thereby achieving permeability and life throughout the building, even if only as an interesting diversion. This is a truly multi-use building with café, cultural tenancies, theatre space, galleries and artist’s flat assembled to reflect Glasgow’s eminent position in the world of contemporary art.