Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

The Saltire Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK-Scotland

Exemplary design categories: access, community use and involvement, flexible learning settings, outdoor spaces, technology rich

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
This 5-storey new learning centre provides a rich variety of opportunities for conversation and group learning as well as silent spaces for focused individual study. With wireless internet access throughout the building, flexible space and movable furniture, students are free to reorganise their environment to best suit their learning needs. The “big space” is at the heart of the project. This is a dynamic flexible space for group and individual learning, student services, social learning, events and performances. It also houses the café, and the space is adorned with a massive triptych, one of several works commissioned from young artists for the centre. Although not part of the original brief, the big space has significantly added value and created a place where students want to be. As well as the large flexible space that supports group learning, there are many other spaces including quiet study carrels for individual learning. It is fitted out with a range of furniture, including upright chairs, carrels, platforms, igloos, sofas, barstools and beanbags. Although the project relates more to the iPhone than the textbook, with wireless technology throughout, books remain an essential part of the building. Much of the existing book stock is contained within 8km of motorised compact shelving freeing up valuable space. External environments have also been designed for social interaction. An external landscaped south-facing roof terrace incorporating an aromatic herb garden provides a tranquil green “oasis” for students and staff. It is a space for outdoor reading and contemplation where students in search of peace and quiet can relax. Already proving popular with students, staff and the wider community – the general public has unrestricted access to the building.

Activity Areas: university library, resource centre, student services centre, café

Project costs: GBP 15,600,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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User perspectives (1)

“BDP have met our aspirations to provide twenty-first century facilities for our students in an imaginative way.”
Les Watson, pro-vice chancellor

Images (5)

Drawings (3)

cross section (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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site plan (Registration required)
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