Mosaic Architecture + Design has completed a £5 million sports facility at St Aloysuis’ College in Glasgow ahead of the start of the new school term.

The new building is positioned diagonally between the A-listed pair Mackintosh Building and St. Aloysius’ Church and adjacent to the Glasgow School of Art’s Reid Building and fulfils a long-standing ambition by St. Aloysius’ College to provide sports facilities as part of its Garnethill Campus in Glasgow.

The site is prominently located within Glasgow’s Central Conservation Area, adjacent to the main College buildings and, pending the development, had been in use as additional parking and playground space.

Mosaic said Urban form is characterised by application of the city’s grid iron street plan up and over the steep sided drumlin which forms the basis of the topography, with significant falls across the site creating an interesting streetscape.

Despite the considerable steep slopes on the site, the design remains completely barrier free thanks to a cantilevered steel stair on Dalhousie Street and double-sided lift access to all levels.

The changing and showering facilities are located across from the ground floor gym and dance studio, while a first floor balconied café looks north over Garnethill Park and a second floor viewing gallery wraps round the sports hall, providing facilities for spectating.

Stephen Mallon, director of Mosaic, said: “The brief was to create a circa 2450 m2 self-contained, multi-purpose, flexible use sports hall, together with a gym and dance studio, complete with all ancillary accommodation.

“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.”

Kathleen Sweeney, Bursar, St Aloysuis’ College, added: “The sports hall facility for St Aloysius College has real wow factor as well as being a fully functioning school building. 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.”

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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