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University of Glasgow tenders arts and science faculty design roles

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Design teams are needed for a £150 million chemistry and engineering complex and a £31 million college of arts

The two high-profile projects are the latest part of the university’s £1 billion regeneration and expansion onto the site of the former Western Infirmary, masterplanned by Aecom and 7N Architects (pictured above).

Planned to complete in 2020 – the 17,000m² College of Arts will create a new combined home for the university’s School of Critical Studies, School of Culture and Creative Arts, School of Humanities, and School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Housing around 600 staff, 400 researchers and 6,500 students – the co-located faculty will bring together facilities currently hosted in 34 different sites across the city.

It will be constructed within the former Western Infirmary – which neighbours the university’s 31 hectare Gilmorehill campus – on a site facing Dumbarton Road.

Facilities will include teachings spaces, offices, a gallery, café, conservation area, archaeology lab and performance venue.

According to the brief: ‘A new co-located College of Arts will create a transformational building for inspiring people in the arts and humanities that will facilitate cultural change, ensuring for the College of Arts the leading place in Scotland and a position in the top 50 universities in global world rankings.’

The £150 million Chemistry and Engineering Complex will meanwhile create a new ‘single purpose built facility’ for the two faculties within the former hospital campus.

Also planned to complete in 2020, the project involves a 17,500m² reconfiguration of the existing Hughes and Waugh-designed Joseph Black Building and a 23,500m² new build.

According to the brief: ‘The Proposal is to develop a new Chemistry and Engineering Complex which includes the refurbishment of the Joseph Black Building and the construction of a new purpose built, and linked, building on the adjacent Western Infirmary Site.

‘It will provide modern, fit for purpose efficient accommodation in an optimum design solution to facilitate the College’s research and teaching activities in chemistry and engineering and will significantly address both current and anticipated accommodation shortages and issues.’

The winning multi-disciplinary design teams – set to be appointed in July – will develop the two projects from RIBA Stages 1 to 7.

Other projects planned for the 5.6 hectare former hospital – earmarked for demolition later this year – include a £4 million Health and Social Sciences Institute by Atkins, and a £40 million Research Hub which HOK won in January.

Five listed buildings on the site – The Chapel, Outpatients building, Macgregor building, Tennent Institute and Anderson College – will also be refurbished and converted for commercial uses including a hotel, restaurant, bars and cafes.

Outside the Western Infirmary site, HLM has drawn up plans for a new build Learning and Teaching Hub (pictured above) on nearby University Avenue.

Plans for the new facility – which will be connected to the Brutlaist Boyd Orr tower – will be submitted for planning next month along with the outline application for Aecom’s and 7N Architects’ campus-wide masterplan.

A search for an architect for a new £18 million home for the Adam Smith Business School within the university’s landmark Gilbert Scott Building (pictured below) was also launched in February and has yet to conclude.

The University of Glasgow relocated to Gilmorehill in 1870 from its original base close to the cathedral on the city’s historic high street. The university was handed possession of the former Western Infirmary site earlier this month.

Iconic campus structures include the towering George Gilbert Scott-designed main building and William Whitfield’s 1968 university library.

The deadline for requests to participate is 12noon on 16 May.

How to apply

View the College of Arts contract notice

View the Chemistry and Engineering Complex contract notice

Contact details

Iain Skene
University of Glasgow
Procurement Office
Tay House
G12 8QQ

Tel: +44 1413306908
Email: iain.skene@glasgow.ac.uk

Q+A with university director of estates Ann Allen

Glasgow university director of estates Ann Allen

Glasgow university director of estates Ann Allen

Ann Allen

Which projects within the £1 billion masterplan are you working on so far?

We are developing proposals for six buildings in phase one. The first being delivered is a £70m learning and teaching hub by HLM. This will be followed by a research hub by HOK, a new College of Arts and College of Science and Engineering – with design teams now being procured – and a new social justice hub and Research Institute of Health and Wellbeing by Atkins.

What sort of architects are you hoping to work with on the latest projects?

The university has a strategic vision to be a world changing institution and we wish to work with those who can support us. We are looking to appoint design teams who really understand higher education and research and can work with the users of the buildings to design something that will really work for the university, for our students and our staff.

Will there be opportunities for smaller design-led practices to get involved in the wider regeneration?

As well as our major projects we will continue to maintain and update our estate with small projects. We have recently replaced our framework for construction partners and are currently going through the procurement process for our design team framework. This will provide further opportunities for a wider group of practices to work with the university. No one is precluded from submitting for any of the work if they have demonstrable expertise. We have already welcomed specialist teams forming strategic alliance with international consultancies. For example, our masterplanner Aecom – an international consultancy working across all areas of the built environment – has joined up with 7N – a highly skilled specialist firm of masterplanners based in Scotland.

How will architects be procured to transform the infirmary’s five listed buildings into a hotel, restaurant, bars and cafés?

An objective of both the approved campus development framework and the masterplan is to open up the Church Street frontage, where these listed buildings are, and make the whole site more accessible. It is proposed that this will be a commercial element of the masterplan and will be developed by working with the private sector. We are currently developing our proposals for this.

What other campus developments are you impressed by?

In formulating the estate strategy, numerous campuses across the globe have been reviewed thus drawing on lessons from exemplars world-wide, we have also looked at great masterplanning for commercial and residential opportunities but this project is about the University of Glasgow, our individuality and our position within the city and thus the masterplan will be reflective of the past and the aspiration for the future.

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