Campus Development Update

Published: 16 May 2016

Engaging with the West End community...and three University architectural gems receive nominations for the 2016 Year Of Architecture.

by Darren Walker, Communications Intern

The travails of the District Heating Scheme may be a distant memory, but much work is still going on behind the scenes to prepare for the UofG’s World Changing Campus – the £1billion investment that will transform the Western Infirmary site and other parts of the Gilmrehill campus.

On Saturday 7 May, the University facilitated a chance for the contractors bidding to take the lead role on the Western Infirmary site to meet with West End community councils and other community groups. The latter included the Byres Road Business Improvement District and the West End Festival.
The event gave the community the opportunity to tell the contractors, who will be responsible for all construction on the former Western Infirmary site, what is important in this area. Open dialogue with local schools and community groups continues to be a priority for the University as we move through this project.


The former Western Infirmary site is now secure, great care is being taken to ensure buildings are secure, in particular the listed buildings. Items of value have now been catalogued and removed from the site to protect them from any damage. They will be stored until work has been completed and they can be returned.
Pedestrian access to the site is limited to access to the McGregor building and the Western Infirmary lecture theatre only and it is no longer possible to get across the site from University Place to Dumbarton Road. We apologise for the inconvenience but safety is our primary concern.


The Festival of Architecture 2016 is celebrating the top 100 buildings from the last 100 years, nominated by the Scottish public, and three University of Glasgow buildings have made the list.

One building will be named Scotland's favourite building at the Festival of Architecture Finale on 18 November 2016.

The Zoology Building, The McMillan Reading Room and the Extension on the Natural Philosophy Building are all in the running for the title.

To vote visit: Vote for your favourite Scottish building from the last hundred years

A free exhibition showcasing the buildings will be touring Scotland. For more information visit Scotstyle - Building the Century

Vote for UofG

Zoology Building

The scale of this building belies its size as the various elements are broken up and cannot be readily viewed together.

The entrance elevation is small but monumental: it has Baroque details with much use of channelled ashlar; a broken pediment surmounts the doorway. To the left of the entrance is a blank wall forming the rear of the lecture theatre with a tall, decorative louvred cupola ventilator above.

Zoology Building

The McMillan Reading Room

Very little about this building suggests its age. A concrete rotunda, faced in yellow brick, its form enabling maximum supervision with minimum staff, is set back within a generous site.

The reading stations are set on a radial layout with the central enquiries desk at the hub. Hughes and Waugh created a building of rigid symmetry. The arch within the full-height, rectangular porch straddles a curving staircase.

Vertical strip windows rise through the two-storey height of the building, regularly spaced around its circumference.

Round Reading Room

Extension, Natural Philosophy Building

The Natural Philosophy building extension was a landmark in Scottish architecture, the link between the pre-war and post-war approaches to modernism.

The basement is clad in traditionally finished Northumberland sandstone while the upper floors are clad in white Portland stone: tradition supporting the white heat of modernity.

The flat roofs were finished in copper and the windows large and aluminium framed. The interior was just as striking. The mono-beamed staircase is a particularly sculptural feature and Spence’s office designed all the details.

Natural Philosophy Building

First published: 16 May 2016

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