Go to World Buildings Directory homepage

Project in Detail

Multi-Storey Car Park

Glasgow, United Kingdom
Hypostyle Architects, Glasgow, United Kingdom
World Architecture Festival 2011 - Shortlisted

Mehul Ruparel - Hypostyle Architects 


Location: Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK
Cost: £5.6 million
Procurement: Traditional JCT SBCC 2005
Client: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The car park is the first of 4 multi storey units proposed to serve the New South Glasgow Hospitals campus, which is currently under construction. The five level (700 parking space) building was constructed on the site of the previous hospital boiler house, associated buildings and chimney, which were demolished as part of an enabling project.

The car park is the first new building to be erected along the new spine road, and is a significant element within the new hospital development. It is visible from both vehicle and pedestrian routes on the site, and from Moss Road, a major city traffic artery adjacent to the campus. While not physically linked to any of the existing or proposed buildings it is erected in close proximity to the
B-Listed Central Medical Block and as such it had to achieve levels of
sensitivity in design, appearance and quality commensurate with both the retained estate and the new building proposal.

In its basic form the proposed car park building is rectangular, with the footprint fully occupying the available site. The two access ramps are located at the west end of the building and their helical forms break out of the rectilinear structure, creating an ‘event’ in the streetscape. Enclosed in the
soft cladding veil of vertical ‘natural larch slats’, the twin ramps act as an identifiable and reassuring navigation marker to visitors, patients and staff.

Each of the five levels accommodate approx 140 spaces, with the majority of the disabled driver spaces located on the ground floor. Vehicles enter and
leave the building on its south elevation via a dedicated feeder road, however in the fullness of time this may be changed, when a ‘sister’ unit is constructed on the adjoining plot and a new communal feeder road constructed to the north. Provision has been made for such an adjustment of the entrance location within this unit.

The building has three stair towers with the largest ‘main’ tower, containing lifts and toilets, located at the southwest corner of the footprint. The other two stair towers frame the east façade. All stairs rise to the full height of the building, giving access/exit to all levels including the roof. The stairs are major features in the design, with their simple form and transparency contrasting with the fretted detail and texture of the louver and mesh panelled facades. Frameless ‘structural’ glazing is used to the outer walls of the stair towers allowing daylight to flood in and clear views out, contrasting with the filtered light quality of the parking decks, enclosed in lightly timbered screens. The solid walls and roof elements of the stairs are finished in smooth white render, enhancing the simple, clean lines. The stair towers are designed to act as light beacons at night.

Sandstone walls protect the ground floor levels on all elevations, and act as
a ‘plinth’ to the building composition. This use of natural sandstone responds to the adjacent retained listed buildings and provides an aesthetically pleasing but robust surface at the point of contact with the external skin. The entrance doors to the stairs are solid and finished in bright primary colours. The doors at each level are coloured, five colours, one for each floor, providing a simple but effective wayfinding strategy. The building utilises natural timber cladding as a way of ‘humanizing’ the car park experience for patients, visitors, and staff. Fire treated Siberian larch louvers are used in both vertical and horizontal formats. Vertical timbers are arranged around the curvature of both ramps and are unfinished ‘off the saw’. In contrast, smooth finished, horizontal timber blades are inserted on the other 3 elevations in a galvanised steel carrier system and are staggered and rotated to create a dynamic ‘fluttering’ effect in the sunlight. In contrast, smooth finished, horizontal timber blades are inserted on the other 3 elevations in a galvanised steel carrier system and are staggered and rotated to create a dynamic ‘fluttering’ effect in the sunlight.

The timber louvered panel sections in elevation frame large sections of woven stainless steel mesh drapes. These create enclosure while maintaining views out. The panels extend from the top floor slab edge to first floor slab edge, creating a discrete veil - their varying transparency is dependant on angle of view and level of daylight. They add another texture and dynamic to the façade.

Lead Architect »

Hypostyle Architects
United Kingdom

Professional Credits »

Hypostyle Architects
United Kingdom

Client / Developer
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
United Kingdom

Cost Consultant
Faithful and Gould
United Kingdom

Environmental Engineer
United Kingdom

M&E Engineer
Hulley and Kirkwood
United Kingdom

Main Contractor
United Kingdom

Structural Engineer
United Kingdom