The new post graduate accommodation for the University of Glasgow provides space for over 100 students with dedicated research offices and open areas for undergraduate study and teaching with associated meeting rooms and break-out areas. Originally a two-storey library within the heart of the A-listed Gilbert Scott building the open balconies had been removed and a new floor fitted over the majority of the space to create a kitchen and refectory in the early 1970s.
Pressure for floor area required extending the upper floor area across the remainder of the space but retaining open wells at full height lancet windows to the south and the revealing of many of the original cast iron columns and decorative beams that had been enclosed in plasterboard provided planning gain to assuage the concerns of the planners.
The client’s requirement for a modern facility within the historic context required careful routing of services within a central core of meeting rooms that radiate out towards but short of the original fabric of external walls and feature cast ironwork.
Careful detailing of ceilings and finishes further help to emphasise the modern insertion whilst respecting the historic fabric.