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Glasgow University Energy Centre

Collection: School of Architecture Collection
Object Type: Architectural Drawing
Artist/Maker: Gallagher, Patrick
Date: 2008
Media/Materials: DVD disc
Awards: RGU Architecture Purchase Award


The brief was to design an Energy Centre that serves as a hybrid building, an extended research faculty to Glasgow University and a community building where Glasgow’s people can inhabit. The building shall respond environmentally, socially and culturally, becoming a physical demonstrate and an exemplar on how buildings should be designed and built.

This project strives to achieve innovation to create not just a building, but also an opportunity to make a vibrant new public destination within the city, relating to historical context and precedent. Both schemes intentionally consist of more than one building, to encourage interconnected, flexible places, which provide an opportunity to create a public realm space within the city. It was very important that a strong sense of arrival and place was established at both sites. The projects provide educational, and conference facilities, café, restaurant, libraries and staff accommodation.

Sustainability Agenda

Being sustainable means providing for people’s current and long-term needs; improving the quality of life while ensuring a healthy and thriving natural environment. The designs of both projects embrace economic, social and environmental well being, extending beyond the site boundaries, visually and physically responding to its context and people. The creation of a public realm space in both projects provides a place in the city for people to inhabit where they can enjoy the individual qualities and culture of each distinctive city.

Environmentally the layout of the schemes consists of shallow linear floor plans to maximise natural light and flexible free flowing spaces. It was very important that the projects were site specific and responded to their climatic conditions. Natural ventilation was embedded into each design and the strategy again was very site specific and to the function of the building. The site in Stockholm was adjacent to a very busy street where noise and traffic pollution would be detrimental to the daily use of a library building. Therefore by introducing diaphragm cross-walls that provide a series of chimneystacks; fresh air is entered from the hillside through large concrete diameter rings into the building and stale air is exhausted through the walls and released at the top. This avoids the need for operable windows, improving the indoor quality of the spaces. The design of the chimneystacks was aesthetically restrained so that they would not visually obstruct the urban grain of the streetscape.

In the Glasgow project the design of the masterplan and location of the Energy Centre on the site allowed the building to take full advantage of the waterways created as a method of ventilating and cooling, while also creating a visual interest demonstrating their existence and purpose. The layout out of the plan and the façade design responds to the orientation of the sun, physically creating awareness to the user.

The existence of both projects and brief are derived from an agenda of creating a need to sustain such a building within its location on a broader spectrum. It is important to provide a resource to the city, but it also needs to be grounded to its site and surroundings.

Electronic copy of a "wall panel" presentation of work with an oral commentary and supporting electronic format Drawings.

APS Student Award 2008.

Object Number: ABDRG2010.549

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