Glasgow Caledonian University

A new heart of the campus, revitalised by a new entrance setting, a landscape and a colonnade of connections

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Campus Futures Project is a milestone development, and a strategic response to the 2010 Campus Masterplan by Page\Park. This substantial endeavor, totaling a £32 million investment, has been pivotal in reshaping the university’s campus and environment. Its primary objective is to bolster the university’s global competitiveness, attract a larger cohort of international students, and improve overall student retention.

At the heart of this transformative initiative stands the innovative ‘Heart of Campus’ Project, an ambitious and forward-thinking endeavor designed to rejuvenate the central social space of the university. This project integrates green courtyards, a defined and welcoming entrance, and contemporary amenities aimed at fostering social interaction, enhancing the learning experience, and promoting engagement among the student community.


The 2010 Campus Masterplan for Glasgow Caledonian University, created by Page\Park, outlined fundamental principles for the university’s evolution. These principles encompassed the establishment of a central hub, the integration of green spaces across the campus, a well-defined and inviting entrance, consolidation of teaching and research functions, the enhancement of building connectivity, and expansion outward from the central hub.

The ambitious Heart of the Campus project stands as a testament to the realization of these core principles, successfully introducing a central garden as a focal point, redefining the university entrance, and fortifying the connection between the campus and the city through the creation of an arrival concourse.

Briefing and Interiors

A cornerstone of the Campus Futures Project was the implementation of a structured and collaborative consultation process. This approach involved a diverse review group comprising representatives from various university domains, including Teaching, Learning, Schools, Central Management, Central Services, and Estates. These consultations were meticulously designed to focus on several critical aspects: university-wide vision, strategic space planning, technical services encompassing space management, catering, maintenance, and access and movement.

The heart of the university’s architectural transformation lies within the interior design concept. The new extension embodies a balance between functionality and aesthetics. White walls and ash veneered linings coupled with strategically placed glazing were chosen to create an open and airy feel, maximizing natural light and creating a sense of spaciousness within the new spaces. Furthermore, the integration of natural timber finishes serves to seamlessly merge the interior spaces with the exterior courtyards, promoting a harmonious connection between the indoor and outdoor environments.

Bespoke furniture and fittings, meticulously designed by Nomad Research & Design Consultants, were introduced to complement the garden courtyard settings, thus adding an extra layer of character and coherence to the overall design. The Heart of Campus project’s success has not only met but exceeded the expectations of the University and its stakeholders, resonating positively among the campus community and visitors alike.


The base materials in the new extension were restricted to white walls and ash veneered linings interspersed with glazing. The white walls assist the flow of space and enliven the deep plan spaces, while the natural timber finishes draw the adjacent landscaped courtyards into the interior.

A layer of bespoke furniture and fittings designed by Nomad, were overlaid, to reinforce and respond to the garden courtyard settings.

Project Info

Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA
Internal Floor Area
September 2016
RICS Awards 2017 Shortlist
GIA Awards 2017 Shortlist
Project Manager
Turner and Townsend
Structural Engineer
M&E Engineer
Harley Haddow LLP
Cost Consultant
Sweett Group
CDM Co-ordinator
Brown and Wallace
Robertson Construction Group
Devlin Photo Ltd, Andrew Lee Photography
Interior Designer
Nomad RDC