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FIRST LOOK

MK-A completes £3 million community sports centre on outskirts of Glasgow

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The 901m² sports facility features a statement patterned precast concrete elevation designed by local primary school children

Marc Kilkenny Architects (MK-A) was selected by Clydebank Community Sports Hub to redevelop a semi-derelict facility back in 2012. Formerly the Clydebank Rugby Club and Whitecrook Sports Centre, the building sits within the area of Whitecrook in Clydebank, a West Dunbartonshire town on the fringes of Glasgow.

The rugby club, changing facilities and pitches were in very poor condition and so redevelopment was urgently required. The project received funding from the Scottish government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. 

The scheme retains and extends the existing gym hall, wrapping a new single-storey skin of brick around it. New metal cladding has been fitted to the upper part of the gym hall with a double-skinned glass clerestory for acoustic separation.

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The architect has pulled the building’s line back to create more of a link with Dean Street, while a new public space sits in front of a large glazed central section containing the reception and a community room. This transparent zone connects the front to the rear, off which the gym and changing rooms are accessed.

A social area behind opens out on to a rear terrace overlooking the sports pitches which have been upgraded significantly – with Britain’s largest synthetic pitch added.

Externally, the 75m-long building is clad in patterned precast concrete – co-designed by Whitecrook and Cunard primary school children. 

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Ground floor plan

Architect’s view

The site occupies a prominent location within the local community of Whitecrook, which is one of the 5 per cent most deprived areas in Scotland, according to SIMD data. The rugby club and changing building, pitches and redundant athletics track were in near derelict condition and redevelopment was urgently required to help regenerate the local area. The need for regeneration and this project’s potential contribution was recognised by the award of a £1 million grant from the Scottish government. 

There is a safe, direct connection from the adjacent primary schools past new allotments and through a community garden that faces on to Dean Street. We invited the adjacent Whitecrook and Cunard primary school children to help design precast concrete cladding in a prominent location to the front of the building. This helps animate the brick elevation and means the community was part of the making of the building. 

The sports hub is now recognised at a national level as a model for community sports development and we hope that the facility helps to fulfil the project’s regeneration aims. 

Marc Kilkenny, director, MK-A Architects

Diagram showing existing and before

Diagrams: existing and proposed

Project data

Start date November 2017
Completion February 2019
Site area 41,638m²
Total floor area 901m²
Construction cost £3.45 million
Client West Dunbartonshire Council (delivery stage); Clydebank Community Sport Hub
Architect Marc Kilkenny Architects
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobold
Structural and civil engineer Struer Consulting Engineers
CDM co-ordinator Gardiner & Theobold
M&E consultant Atelier Ten
Concrete artwork co-designer Freytag Anderson
Principal contractor CBC
Pitch contractor All Sports Construction & Maintenance 
Civil and groundworks contractor Deans Civil Engineering

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Sections

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A surely rather surprising choice of brick; something very similar used in the accommodation for the parents of sick children - Ronald MacDonald House - adjoining the Queen Elizabeth University hospital, on the South Side, looks pretty dreadful in any weather.

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