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Architecture and Design Club

The Architecture & Design club dates from 1999 when the University ran a series of seminars, during Glasgow’s year as City of Architecture and Design.  Now in our eighteenth session, we are pleased to bring you a diverse and interesting programme of talks and visits for this coming year.

The Club membership fee is £12 per annum, and everyone must also be a member of the 3Ls Students’ Association.

The Club normally meets on a Thursday at 2.00pm at 40 George Street, unless otherwise stated.


Committee Members 2018-19

President: Clio Barr

Vice President: Gordon Michie

Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Heather Lowing

General Secretary:   Sandra Kelly

Committee Members: Wendy Clarke, Yiannakis Kyriakides, Marilyn Smellie and Clare Winsch

 Contact Details:  sandrakelly100@talktalk.net



Visit to Coats Observatory and Paisley Museum 

8 March 2018

Our March 2018 visit included a talk by Dan Couglan, Textile Curator, on the nationally significant Paisley Shawl Collection at Paisley Museum.  This was followed by a guided tour of the museum Loom Gallery, which was specially created in 2014 to house historic hand looms used in the production of the world-renowned Paisley Pattern.  Dan also demonstrated the operation of some of the looms. Paisley Museum is a stunning Victorian building with a year-round programme of changing exhibitions, talks and educational activities.

The separate Coats Observatory building, built in 1883, was accessed via the museum for a supplementary tour.  The Observatory is the oldest public observatory in the country, was constructed using ashlar and has Doric decoration around the observation drum.  In addition to astronomical work, the Observatory is used for daily weather readings and has served as a seismic recording centre, monitoring earthquakes worldwide, including the famous 1906 San Francisco quake.  The architect for both buildings was John Honeyman.

Shortly after our visit, it was announced that Renfrewshire Council has appointed the architect firm A_LA to oversee a multi-million pound transformation of Paisley Museum which will re-imagine the relationship between Paisley High Street and the museum.   Looks like we may have to have a return visit!


‘A Campus for the Future’ at the University of Glasgow

8 February 2018 

Members received an excellent illustrated talk from Ann Allen, Director of Estates at the University of Glasgow about the University’s Campus Masterplan.  The next ten years will see a major programme of investment and one of the most significant expansions and developments of a UK university city campus for over a century. The driving force behind the masterplan is the University’s strategic plan ‘Inspiring People, Changing the World University Strategy 2015-2020’.  The acquisition of the former Western Infirmary site, an area covering 14 acres of land next to the Gilmorehill campus, is also an important factor as it has increased the footprint of the University estate by 25%.  The aim of the masterplan is to create a campus for the 21st century through the provision of world-class teaching, learning and research facilities for students and staff. This will be achieved through the demolition of buildings (eg the Western, theMathematics and Statistics building on University Avenue), the construction of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings.

Construction is to take place in two phases: 2017-22 and 2023-26.  The total development is expected to cost around £1 billion over 10 years and will be funded from University income, borrowings, applications to various trusts (eg the Wellcome Foundation, the Wolfson Fund, etc) and a fundraising campaign.

Many of us have already witnessed the demolition of the Western Infirmary and we will watch with interest as the masterplan progresses and new buildings take shape.


City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus

9 November, 2017

Situated on the banks of the River Clyde, the Riverside Campus was completed in August 2015 on the site of the former College of Nautical Studies. This multi award-winning building is ‘the most modern and most technologically advanced maritime campus in the world’ and is home to over 3,000 Marine and Engineering students who come from all over the globe.

We were welcomed by Vice Principal Fares Samara who has responsibility for leading the planning and implementation of IT and Estate arrangements.  The building was designed by Michael Laird Architects and Reiach & Hall Architects and we were introduced to two architects, Andrew Stupart and Mark Lewis, from Reiach & Hall Architects

We toured this magnificent building in two groups, each accompanied by an architect and a senior member of staff, both of whom provided valuable insights to the building, its construction, design, and day-to-day uses. Our tour included the engineering and welding shops where we had the opportunity to talk to students using the facilities.  The highlight for some was the privilege to use one of the simulators to dock a ship into Aberdeen harbour.  There were a few near misses!

We very much appreciated the tour and the refreshments provided by the College.


Spring Outing

Visit to Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute

Thursday 18th May, 2017

If you would like to attend please complete the following form:

Architecture & Design Spring Outing 2017 – Booking Form


The Queensferry Crossing

10th November, 2016

The Architecture & Design Club has a wide range of interests, from domestic to the largest scale, and we were definitely at the industrial end of that spectrum for our first talk of the 2016/17 session when we welcomed Sarah Breen, a senior engineer with the Forth Replacement Crossing team, to tell us about the new bridge being erected across the Firth of Forth.

And what a talk! Within the space of an hour Sarah managed to cover every aspect of the new crossing, from the rusting support cables on the old road bridge, the remedial work undertaken, and how that had extended its lifespan; how the old bridge now could also be adapted for new transport systems such as trams; how those developments had substantially changed the design parameters of the new bridge, with consequent savings in construction and materials; through the challenges faced in planning, site clearance and construction; right up to the current phase and an explanation of the principles of balanced cantilever construction (basically, never have more sections of deck on one side of a supporting tower than the other). The talk illustrated throughout (sometimes in all too graphic, vertiginous, detail!) by photos and film clips.

For the listeners it was certainly a most interesting – and thought-provoking – insight into the myriad complexities which a major construction such as the Queensferry Crossing entails. A veritable tour de force and an outstanding start to the Club’s 2016/17 lecture programme.


Queensferry Crossing February


Queensferry Crossing July