NGHA Offices

A walled garden re-imagined as a modern workplace and civic face to the Gorbals community.

The NGHA Office is the new home and workplace of the New Gorbals Housing Association. Our task was to design a building that could be adapted to provide a variety of workplace functions to future proof expansion, better connect the association with the wider Gorbals community and facilitate an environment to improve the social well-being and comfort of visitors and staff.

Formed though a rigorous briefing and design process, the building is part of the wider redevelopment of one of the last remaining sites within the Gorbals. The primary concept was to think of the building as a permeable garden wall, to create an intimate workspace with multiple views out to the surrounding urban landscape. The southern courtyard provides a focal point with a variety of soft landscaping features while the building maintains a civic presence on the northern elevation adjacent to the New Gorbals piazza with a series of brick piers. A large illuminated sign fixed to the building announces ‘Gorbals’ as a landmark within the greater urban context.


The external architecture is a wrap of brick piers, varying in widths to divide the large glazed openings from floor to ceiling. Ground floor glazing, nestled within these piers, ensures privacy for internal workspaces while providing consistent northern light, ideal for a vibrant office environment. Zinc-clad elements contrast the red brick walls, offering a unique aesthetic along the principal elevations.

The building’s southern courtyard walls, in contrast to the public-facing brick exterior, feature wall-to-wall curtain walling. These walls visually connect ground floor spaces to the external landscaped courtyard, softened by external grade vertical Scotch larch, creating a more intimate setting. Varying building heights along the east elevation ensure integration with adjacent housing developments, while the north side maintains a human scale to prevent overshadowing the public piazza.


The office layout, centered around a timber-clad atrium, offers varied spaces with different privacy levels—communal areas, private booths, and niches, all with views of the external landscape through glazed partitions.

Balancing individual rooms and open spaces, the design reflects NGHA’s working culture. The interior integrates robust yet inviting textures like timber paneling and brick, creating a tranquil setting. The reception area is bright and connected to the street, using large glazed panels, and bespoke furniture maintains a natural aesthetic.

Interview rooms with glazed sides promote visual connections among working groups while ensuring acoustic separation. Material finishes prioritize robustness and uniformity, with Heritage Red stock brick dominating the exterior and complemented by Siberian larch wall linings and Ash veneered MDF panels internally. Colored MDF panels match the warm brick tones, while darker shades break up spaces similarly to the external grey zinc cladding.

Project Info

The New Gorbals Housing Association
200 Crown Street, Gorbals, Glasgow G5 9AY
Internal Floor Area
August 2019
Scottish Design Awards - Commendation
RICS Awards - Shortlisted
GIA Awards - Commendation
Structural Engineer
M&E Engineer
Max Fordham
Fire Engineer
Cost Consultant
Keith Hunter and Page\Park Architects