Collective Architecture

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Female, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+ owned

Glasgow, GB


Barmulloch Residents Centre, Glasgow, Scotland

The new Barmulloch Residents Centre opened in 2017 and was principally funded by The Big Lottery Growing Community Assets Fund. The centre is designed to be highly sustainable and provide flexible activity spaces to meet the needs and aspirations of local residents.

The building uses innovative glulam timber frame construction and locally sourced sandstone, providing a thermally efficient building fabric.  Air source heat pumps provide underfloor heating throughout to reduce running costs and sustain the building well into the future.

The new centre has been carefully crafted to provide a landmark hub to serve the surrounding community and its future generations.

Client Statement: Barmulloch Community Development Company (BCDC)

Client Statement: Barmulloch Community Development Company (BCDC)
In 1957 a group of local tenants built a large hall with their own hands for new residents in what was then one of Glasgow’s new housing schemes. It was the first, and for many years the only community facility in Barmulloch and was administered by volunteers serving in Barmulloch Tenant and Residents Association.

Used and loved by generations for social activities, the Tenants’ Hall, a pre-fabricated structure, suffered the passage of time and became unfit for purpose in 2005. A new company was formed to raise funds for a new multi-use premises and to provide social economic and welfare services to the local people.

Part of the original sprung floor - reportedly ideal for dancing - has been integrated into the new centre as part of the signage strategy. Its presence in this new hall allows the Barmulloch residents to continue to have a “rer flerr” for their community.

Architect’s Statement: Alan Smith of Collective Architecture

Collective Architecture was appointed in 2007 to undertake a feasibility study for the existing community centre which explored a number of refurbishment, extension and new build options. It took ten years from that initial appointment to deliver the project on site and in this time we continued to work closely with the client to help achieve the capital funding targets from over eight funding bodies.

The design maximises the site constraints within a densely populated residential street whilst retaining the scale, charm and simplicity of the original hall to provide an easily managed centre for the community group.

The building delivers two main flexible activity spaces separated by a folding partition, contained within an elegant single storey sloping roof. This allows the smaller space to act as a stage for community events by capitalising on internal level changes. Ceiling coffers formed by the structural grid of the glulam beams provide a strong identity for the building whilst also framing generous rooflights intended to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. The grid pattern is carried through into BCDC signage and building manifestation to provide continuity of architectural language.

All spaces are organised around and accessed from a central foyer and waiting area. This overlapping of functions and careful plan arrangement allows a light and generous volume to act as the vibrant heart of an exceptionally efficient floor plan.

Jim Hope, Barmulloch Residents Association'The building has become an icon of which the local community are immensely proud and the development of this project has vastly increased local interest and community spirit within Barmulloch'

Alan Smith, Project Architect for Collective Architecture 'Working collaboratively on this community project from inception to completion has been very rewarding. We are grateful to have had such a patient and courageous client who supported our design vision throughout'

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Status: Built
Location: Barmulloch, Glasgow, Scotland
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Client; Barmulloch Community Development Company
Structural engineer; Scott Bennett Associates
Mechanical Engineer; DMP Consulting Engineers
Quantity surveyor & Principal Designer; Ewing Somerville Partnership
Graphic Designer; Graphical House
Clerk of Works; Wheatley Group
Main contractor; Elmwood Projects