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Collective takes wraps off library revamp

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Collective Architecture has unveiled this new women’s library in Glasgow


The 850m² scheme redeveloped a Category B-listed library to transform it into the new Glasgow Women’s Library. 

The original library building, built in 1903, was one of seven ‘Carnegie’ libraries donated to the city. 

The £850,000 refurbishment features informal reading spaces and an open plan mezzanine area, with new lift access, within the former main reading room. 

The reading room sits above a new café, kitchen and events space, while a new strong room archive is located over two levels to the rear of the gallery.This strong room houses the library’s permanent collections alongside special pieces which are required to be climatically controlled. 

A new feature lift shaft with CNC cut cladding incorporating book titles offers access to the first floor. 

Glasgow Women's Library by Collective

Glasgow Women’s Library by Collective

Project manager’s view 

The Landressy Street building makes a significant contribution to local cultural and architectural heritage within an area of extensive renewal. Clyde Gateway is delighted to have worked alongside Glasgow Women’s Library and Collective Architecture to protect the structure and revive its function in a way that reflects and refreshes the original use, simultaneously championing progress in society since that time. The design is sensitive to the delicate and well preserved historical detailing but, exemplified by the new external lift tower, is unashamedly bold in its expression of the confidence and commitment enthused by Glasgow Women’s Library. In doing so, the building and its dynamic occupier are once again intriguing and fruitfully inviting local people and visitors alike to learn, participate in cultural activity and confidently develop new skills within beautifully and flexibly reimagined internal spaces.  

The successful realisation of the highly ambitious refurbishment of this important local asset rests with the exceptional relationships developed between Glasgow Women’s Library and their design team, led by Collective Architecture, which permeated through the wider partnership team responsible for the complex delivery process. Glasgow Women’s Library is already a cherished member of the local community and the building is fast becoming a vibrant destination signalling the positive future of the unique city neighbourhood. 

Glasgow Women's Library by Collective

Glasgow Women’s Library by Collective

Project data 

Location Bridgeton, Glasgow
Type of project library
Client Glasgow Women’s Library
Architect Collective Architecture
Structural engineer Ove Arup & Partners
M&E consultant Ken Boyle Consulting Engineering
Quantity surveyor EC Harris
Project manager Clyde Gateway
CDM consultant CDM Project Safety
Main contractor Maxi Construction
Funding Scottish Futures Trust and others
Tender date February 2014
Start on site date November 2014
Completion date November 2015
Contract duration 11 months
Gross internal floor area 850m²
Total cost £850,000

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