Pollok Park Stables and Sawmill

A new Living Heritage Centre at the heart of Pollok Park

The conservation and refurbishment of the complex will explore the history of power, from the mighty Clydesdale Horse to the harnessing of the white cart river to create sustainable electricity. The project will tell the story of a working estate and become a centrepiece for Glasgow City Council’s net zero strategy.

The proposed redevelopment marks a return to many original functions, as well as the introduction of new uses. Proposals include the return of the Clydesdale horses, visitor exhibition and interpretation, flexible multipurpose and event spaces, a new café and enhanced WC provision. Page\Park have sought to find appropriate uses for each building that complements its original layout, ensuring a strategy of minimal change to the original buildings whilst providing functional new spaces for contemporary use. A key aspiration is to make the building fully accessible, including the introduction of a changing places toilet, and level access to all public areas.

Forensic Conservation

Pollok Park stables and sawmill are Category A and B Listed respectively. Numerous specialist surveys, research and investigations have been commissioned as part of the design process and inform a deep understanding of the existing fabric leading up to present day. The buildings are notable for their completeness and visible layers of historical development marking changes in technology and architectural styles over an extended period. The buildings are a physical embodiment of the historical narrative of the wider estate.

The stables block has always been the centre of a working estate, albeit in various forms over the centuries. We believe it is important to preserve that character and retain the space as a large flexible courtyard suitable for events, Clydesdale demonstrations other activities.

Given the deteriorated state of the south and west ranges, the most demanding uses, such as new café and vertical circulation, have been focused on this area. A new pend is proposed to the south range to maximise access and create links to a vibrant new riverside terrace.

Balancing Conservation and Sustainability

Our design approach aims to maximise the flexibility of the new facility by creating a loose-fit retrofit approach, allowing a mixed-use future for the buildings.

The approach to sustainable improvements to the heritage fabric are still evolving. At this stage, they include improving the thermal performance of the envelope through adding breathable insulation to the roof and walls and re-glazing selected windows with higher-performance glazing. A new airtightness line will be established with new underfloor heating fed from air source heat pumps and ventilation plant with heat recovery installed. New hydroelectric turbines will be at the heart of a net zero future for the stables complex (delivered as part of a separate contract of works), with the capacity to generate up to 60KW of electricity. This is further supplemented by Photovoltaic Panels proposed to the east range east roof.

A Flood Recoverable Future

There is a known flood risk at Pollok Stables with seasonal flooding occurring every few years. A significant part of the project considers active measures to enable flood recovery rather than prevention, accepting that the predicted level is set to rise with the impact of climate change. Careful consideration of measures are being taken in balance with the implications these have on the significance of the existing building fabric. Further discussions are ongoing with HES and Planning to agree an acceptable level of intervention that both respects the listed nature of the building fabric and need to adapt to a changing climate. While new design interventions, for example new gates, highlight the flood levels and projected climate change flood levels, to raise public awareness of the climate emergency.

Stables Painting 1830 Existing Stables Condition - Photograph 2022

Project Info

HubWest Scotland for Glasgow City Council
Pollok Park, Glasgow
Project Manager
Structural Engineer
M&E Engineer
Fire Engineer
Jensen Hughes
Cost Consultant
Doig + Smith
CDM Co-ordinator
Doig + Smith