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University of Glasgow Wins Approval for New HOK-Designed Research Hub

The Glasgow City Council has given the green light for construction of a central Research Hub on the University of Glasgow’s Gilmorehill Campus. The building is part of a $1.28 billion campus development program.

HOK designed the 180,000-sq.-ft., $145 million facility to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among the university’s four colleges as well as the private sector. Housing 600 academic and student researchers from the colleges of Social Sciences, Arts, Science & Engineering and Medical/Veterinary & Life Sciences, the Research Hub will further the university’s mission of encouraging cross-sector research and communication by creating a flexible environment that promotes interaction and lateral thinking.

The Research Hub will support engagement among students, industries, policy makers and the public and play a key role in redefining the university’s relationships with the business community and its contributions to the city of Glasgow and the wider economy.

Construction on the Research Hub marks the start of building work on the former Western Infirmary site in the city’s West End, through the university’s $1.28 billion campus development program.

“We are thrilled that the Research Hub has achieved consent,” said Chris Yoon, a senior project designer in HOK’s London studio. “It has been a great experience working with both the University of Glasgow and our partners in designing this visionary research environment that will inspire and support the students and faculty in pursuing world-changing discoveries.”

“We are delighted to receive planning consent for the Research Hub,” said Ann Allen, director of estates & buildings at the University of Glasgow. “The Research Hub is a key part of the university’s £1-billion campus development and with this building the university is seeking to establish a new and unique facility where the focus will be on interdisciplinary collaborative research. HOK has brought all of their national and international insight to this project to help us design and operate a facility that will deliver against this ambition.”

Taking inspiration from the existing university campus, the Gilmorehill Campus Master plan and surrounding historic buildings, the Hub will form the west side of a new square within the school’s expanded campus. The design features a glass facade with varied terra-cotta panels and fins set within a cast stone frame. The color palette recalls the surrounding neighborhood while articulating a distinctive personality.

The design reinforces the university’s belief in transparency and community by incorporating a public route through the Research Hub’s entry level that physically and symbolically connects the new university square to its neighbors to the west. Glass curtain walls will display the building’s internal activities to the outside world, reiterating its openness and providing a window into the ongoing research.

The Research Hub will include a mixture of social, structured and informal meeting and write-up spaces in addition to flexible lab and research space designed to provide for a range of interdisciplinary research and collaborative activities. It will be located on land released from the expansion to Glasgow’s Western Infirmary and situated alongside a new Innovation Zone and the relocated Adam Smith Business School.

HOK is providing design consultancy services for the project with WSP providing engineering services and Ironside Farrar serving as planning consultant.

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