The Saunders Centre Science & Technology Building

A big corner moment in the historic tenemental Glasgow’s West End.

The Glasgow Academy’s commitment to meeting the evolving demands of modern teaching in the sciences has resulted in the development of a substantial new urban block. This state-of-the-art building features a new auditorium with a capacity for 178 individuals, designed to accommodate both lectures and small performances. Emphasizing community access, the auditorium is surrounded by a spacious foyer, forming an elliptical sculptural design.


The architecture of the Saunders Centre, incorporating dedicated floors for Physics, Biology, and Chemistry, was meticulously designed to integrate with the historic Glasgow West End Conservation Area. The design of the building was inspired by the surrounding Glasgow tenement style, the grand villa architecture of the main school, and the distinctive rooflines of the West End.

Throughout the development process, close collaboration and communication with local authorities and residents were paramount. Regular community meetings were held to address concerns, fostering strong relationships and ensuring a smooth progression of the project. The layout and function of the building were determined through in-depth consultations with a steering group from The Academy, and this process was documented in a Development Framework document.

Learning Spaces

The design of the Saunders Centre was a collaborative effort, involving various stakeholders, including governors, management, teachers, and pupils from The Academy. The interior design reflects a layered approach, beginning with a foundation of permanent surfaces and fixtures comprising limestone, whitened oak, glass, and white walls.

Building upon this base, a thoughtful use of color on the teaching floors aligns with the Reggio Emilia approach to color and learning. The selection of loose and bespoke furniture was directly influenced by workshops conducted with the school, ensuring a space that promotes both independent and group work while facilitating practical use, such as the Food Technology Lab located on the ground floor to support events held in the auditorium and foyer.

Project Info

The Glasgow Academicals’ War Memorial Trust
25 Colebrooke Street, Glasgow, G12 8HE
Internal Floor Area
July 2015
RIBA Award 2016
RIAS Award 2016
GIA Award 2016 - Education Category
Project Manager
Structural Engineer
Woolgar Hunter
M&E Engineer
Atelier 10
Fire Engineer
Atelier 10
Cost Consultant
CDM Co-ordinator
Dunne Building and Civil Engineering Ltd
Andrew Lee
Interior Design
Page\Park Architects