New college sports facility has the “wow factor”

MOSAIC Architecture + Design has completed a £5 million sports building at Glasgow’s St Aloysuis’ College, which is situated between two A-Listed buildings: Mackintosh Building and St. Aloysius’ Church.

The site is located within Glasgow’s Central Conservation Area, adjacent to the main college buildings, and had used previously as additional parking and playground space.

Kathleen Sweeney, Bursar, St Aloysuis’ College, described the Sports Hall facility as having real “wow factor”. She added, “Built on a highly sensitive site opposite the Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art, it avoids pastiche or conflict with surrounding buildings and yet makes its own design statement. The glint of sun off the eagle set discretely within the cladding emphasises the College’s crest and quietly speaks that this is part of our campus and yet at the same time it is a building of distinction in its own right. It draws people up from the city to the architectural glories of Garnethill.

“The design work by the architectural team led by Iain Macrae has perfectly blended the aesthetic with the functional. The level of specification for the fixtures and fittings is well beyond the expectation of our visitors for a school facility. The very practical advice offered is much appreciated and has delivered a building of which everyone, not least the College and the City of Glasgow, can be rightly proud.”

Stephen Mallon, director of Mosaic, described the brief as being to create a flexible sports hall, along with a gym and dance studio, all with ancillary accommodation. He added, “The challenge was to provide this accommodation in a contemporary way which respected the adjacent streetscape, given that most of the accommodation, by its nature, should not have low level windows.

“The solution was to place the volume of the sports hall at first floor level, over a street level ground floor using the gym and dance studio to provide glazed frontage. The mass of the sports hall has been visually separated from the adjacent tenement by the introduction of a shadow gap and cantilevered, emphasising its form, both at Renfrew Street and over the Dalhousie Street entrance.”