Scheme for Glasgow Academy designed to encourage pupils’ physical and mental health

Hawkins\Brown’s plans for a £20m sports and wellness scheme at the oldest private school in Glasgow have been given the green light by the local council.

The 3,200sq m proposals for Glasgow Academy will include a swimming pool, sports hall, outdoor games area and facilities focused on wellbeing including a music room, learning spaces, quiet zones and a “nurture garden”.

The Glasgow Academy was founded in 1845 and counts Peter Pan writer J M Barrie, political journalist Pippa Crerar, historian Niall Ferguson and Channel 4 founder Jeremy Isaacs among its notable alumni.

The school grounds, located in the west of Glasgow, includes a category B-listed main school building, which was built in 1878.

The new building will be clad in a blond coloured masonry as a nod to the local streetscape. Images of the scheme show a flat-roofed two-storey block with a double height upper storey, a large balcony space and a small basement level.

Hawkins\Brown, which has a studio in Edinburgh, said the project aims to empower children to stay physically and mentally healthy.

Gender neutral bathrooms and changing rooms are included in the design, along with wheelchair access to sports facilities and 150 cycle storage spaces.

Practice associate director Harriet Redman said the scheme will strengthen the school’s relationship with its community and its natural environment.

“The way the new building has been designed means we’re creating a new welcoming entrance on Great Western Road to improve community access,” she said.

“The campus previously turned its back on its beautiful natural surroundings — this project opens the campus up to the River Kelvin and well-established surrounding woodland.”

Glasgow Academy rector Matthew Pearce added: “We have worked hard to create a vision for a modern sports, music and wellbeing centre which is accessible, inclusive and actively promotes health and wellbeing.”

Other Hawkins\Brown projects in the city include a 16-storey hotel which was given planning approval in 2020.