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Collective reveals £3m Briggait revamp

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Collective Architecture has submitted its plans to transform the Category A-listed former Briggait fish market in Glasgow into an arts centre


The £3.06 million project, for the client behind NORD’s 2013 Doolan Prize winner Wasps Studios, will convert the 1873 building in Glasgow’s Merchant Quarter into a home for dance and physical performance.

The 2,110m2 revamp will provide space for 600 professional artists, physical performers and dancers and will include six dance studios and a café.

The first phase of the redevelopment was completed by Nicoll Russell Studios in 2009. This next stage will overhaul the remaining parts of the 1889 and 1904 halls, along with a gap site on Clyde Street.

The former fish market closed in 1976 before being transformed into a temporary shopping mall ten years later. The building was subsequently unused for 20 before it was bought by Wasps Studios in 2001.

The scheme is set to start on site in the summer and is due to complete in December 2017.

Collective Architecture's plans to transform Glasgow's Briggait

Collective Architecture’s plans to transform Glasgow’s Briggait

Architect’s view

The extension has an expressive form projecting dynamically over the pavement and reaching out towards the river exploiting the Clyde promenade location. The form has been expressed as stacked boxes representing the distinct spaces within and the glazing floats freely providing dramatic views while drawing light deep into the large studio volumes within and giving clues as to the dynamic activities within. A dramatic atrium brings light and social space into the heart of the development and allows the vital heritage of the site to be experienced.

Collective Architecture's plans to transform Glasgow's Briggait

Collective Architecture’s plans to transform Glasgow’s Briggait

Client’s view

This is a project of huge value to the future of the arts in Scotland. We are extremely pleased to have architects on board who have such a clear commitment to the project and a sense of excitement about what can be achieved.

We are providing professional and amateur artists and performers with an amazing new centre where they can work collaboratively, choreograph performances, rehearse, hold classes and engage local communities in new and exciting forms of physical activity..

At the same time the project will ensure that one of Glasgow’s most important historic buildings is sensitively redeveloped to give it a sustainable future and to contribute further to the regeneration of the Clyde waterfront and Merchant City.

The Briggait

The Briggait

Project data

Location Bridgegate, Glasgow
Type of project conversion of historic building with new build extension
Client Wasps Artists Studios
Architect Collective Architecture
Structural engineer Arup
Funding various grants
Tender date April 2016
Site start date August 2016
Completed December 2017
Contract duration anticipated 16 months
Gross internal floor area 2,110m2 (1,162m2 within existing buildings and 948m2 new build)
Total cost £3.06 million
M&E consultant Arup
Quantity surveyor Thomas and Adamson
Principle designer: Armour Construction Consultants
Main contractor not appointed


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Not sure about the 'stacked boxes' effect , but it's difficult to imagine any elevation that doesn't compete or suffer from neighbouring a building as wonderfully exuberant as the old Briggait fish market - and creating so much space for the creative arts, making the whole ensemble viable, is a tremendous achievement.

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