An Outdoor Learning Classroom for Parkhill Secondary School
Over the past year we have had the fantastic opportunity to work with students of St Andrew’s RC Secondary School in Glasgow’s East End on a community investment project, tied to the development of our new Parkhead Hub Health and Care Centre project, being developed by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGCC) on behalf of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.
This multi-faceted community benefit project was delivered for NHSGCC by development partner hub West Scotland (hWS). All parties involved share a passion for ensuring that every project delivered has a positive impact upon the local community.
One of the core aspirations of this particular project was to provide unique training opportunities for young people in the local community who were interested in careers in construction. Along with our design team, we collaborated with NHSGGC, hWS, Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow Kelvin College, BAM construction to design and deliver a course as part of the SCQF Level 4 Foundation Apprenticeship Course at Glasgow Kelvin College.
The course aimed to provide the young people with hands-on experience in the design and construction of a building that would benefit their local community, and help them gain new skills and connections. The students had a real-life client – Parkhill Secondary School in Haghill, that caters for pupils with Additional Learning needs. Parkhill is an Eco friendly school with a strong focus on embedding outdoor learning into the curriculum for all its pupils. The brief was to design a small building that would support and allow them to increase their outdoor learning activities.
The design and construction of this building was used as a tool to introduce and teach the students about the various roles in construction, the key stages in a construction project and the collaboration that takes place along the way.
A further aim of the course was to promote an understanding of the impact the building industry has upon the climate and ecology. With the built environment being responsible for approximately 40% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, we sought to give the students a clear understanding of the impact decisions made in the construction process have, and the changes we need to make to provide sustainable environments.
The proposal nestles between mature trees located beside the school’s growing spaces and was designed to be a flexible, adaptable space to support their horticultural activities.
The design repurposes an old shipping container; lined and insulated internally and timber clad externally. It opens out onto a new paved terrace which is terminated by a long brick bench and enclosed above by an open timber framed structure. The timber framed structure forms a support for climbing plants which will eventually create shading and form an intimate, sheltered space. The design, wherever possible, used waste materials from other construction sites, and was developed to provide the students with experience in a variety of different trades: groundworks, brickwork, joinery, decoration, landscaping.
We believe that through sharing skills and promoting careers in the construction industry, projects like the Parkhill Secondary School Outdoor Classroom can have a powerful social impact and benefit to the community in a multitude of ways. We hope the students were inspired by the project and recognise how their involvement will enhance people’s lives and their environment.
Getting involved at COP26
This year, our city of Glasgow was host to the 26th
UN Climate Change Conference of Parties – COP26. The conference took place between 31st October and 12th November, with a plethora of related events, workshops and exhibitions taking place throughout the city and around the globe.
Developing the approach implemented for Climate Action Day in 2019, we actively encouraged participation by offering everyone on our team an extra day off to attend any event they felt would help change the world in a positive way. Many of our colleagues took this opportunity to get involved in the action. Here are just a few of the highlights, as viewed through the lens of the members of our team who took part.
We were delighted to be joined by Janna Laan Lomas for a talk on the use of natural and sustainable materials in architecture. Janna is not only the founding director of Grain Architecture, but also co-founded Natural Building UK, and the Natural Materials group within ACAN
(Architects Climate Action Network). Her talk inspired conversation on the opportunities, benefits and challenges involved with integrating natural materials into the work of our own studio. After the talk, several of our architects visited ACAN’s Natural Materials Market Stall at Many Studios to see some of their samples and work on show.
An important aspect of the action taking place around COP26 was amplifying voices and experiences from around the globe, driving home the urgency and immediacy of the climate crisis. Michael Pinsky’s exhibition Pollution Drift did just that, providing an immersive experience which highlighted the dangers of air pollution. One member of our team, Vas, gave his review of the exhibition:
“Air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people globally each year. Michael Pinskys installation Pollution Pods allow visitors to experience some of the worst quality air on the planet, and understand why action on air pollution is urgently needed. The Pollution Pods are a series of geodesic domes whose air quality, smell and temperature accurately recreate the pollution of five different locations on three continents: London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi and Tautra a remote peninsula in Norway. We thought that this was a powerful immersive piece which managed to convey the damage taking place in a way that statistics can fail to do”
While it is important to acknowledge and learn about the causes of the climate crisis and the impact it is having all around the world, it is crucial that we continue to explore and enact solutions. The Sustainable Glasgow Landing provided a pop-up venue for local and global organisations to showcase potential ways in which we can respond to the climate emergency. Several of our colleagues went to explore the Landing and attended Glasgow City Council’s talk on Nature Based Solutions to a Resilient City. Chloe outlined the event:
“Glasgow City council presented the Avenues project, and how they have been using the pilot project on Sauchiehall St to inform the design of the other avenues. Some interesting takeaways - there has been a 300% increase in cyclists on Sauchiehall St, the root zones allow for the trees to double in size over their lifetime, and they have been trialling different tree species and raingardens to find the best combinations for Glasgow's climate.”
In addition to this talk, the group visited IGS’s exhibition on vertical farming, and also took part in VIDI’s AR experience which offered depictions of two potential future scenarios for George Square depending on climate action or inaction.
The Fridays for Future climate strike and Saturday’s protest march in Glasgow Southside were well attended by our colleagues. Thousands of people took to the streets to call for climate action from our world leaders. The atmosphere was one of solidarity, anger and urgency and it felt powerful to be even a small part of this larger movement. Friday’s march left from Kelvingrove park and ended at George Square. The procession was led by Amazonian youth from Brazil and Ecuador, who later spoke on the main stage about their fight to protect their land and the nature within it and the imperativeness for banks to divest from Amazon destruction. Hearing these voices amplified really emphasised the fact that the climate crisis is happening now and that action can no longer be delayed.
While only time will tell if the governmental level action to come out of the Conference of Parties goes far enough, the events surrounding COP26 were of huge value to local and global communities alike. The knowledge and experiences shared are things which we will reflect upon and take into both our personal and professional lives.
We're looking for Architects and Architectural Assistants to join our Glasgow studio
Our practice is a busy and creative environment with an award-winning portfolio of projects across a whole range of sectors. We are looking for the right people to help us build on that success by joining our talented teams working on recent new project wins and our existing, varied workload.
We look for people who are articulate, curious, creative and interested in design. We want good designers, good communicators and people who want to contribute as part of a team.
Hoskins Architects are currently hiring experienced and enthusiastic architects to join us in our Glasgow studio.
Experience leading design teams and contractors to deliver a range of work packages is essential. The office uses Revit, Vectorworks and Adobe Creative Suite packages and knowledge of these is preferred but not essential. Experience in producing building warrant, tender and construction drawing packages is desirable.
Part II Graduate Architectural Assistant
Hoskins Architects currently have openings for enthusiastic Part II architecture graduates to join us in our Glasgow studio. The successful applicants will work alongside architects, associates and directors, on a wide range of projects.
The ability to sketch beautifully and produce top quality visuals is a must. The office uses Revit, Vectorworks, Sketch-up and Adobe Creative Suite packages, a knowledge of which would be preferred but is not essential. Candidates will ideally already have a minimum of six months architectural work experience.
Our studio is fast paced, friendly, focused and fun. It’s a great place to start and grow your architectural career.
Hoskins Architects is an equal opportunities employer. No agencies, please.
Please email your CV and examples of work to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful applicants will be invited for interview and required to present their portfolio.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of enquiries, we cannot respond to every application directly. We aim to respond to everyone we would like to invite to interview within 4 weeks.
Langside Halls: from Queen Street to Queen’s Park.
From commerce to community.
Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival 2021 has just kicked off, with a diverse programme of talks, tours, events and activities taking place throughout the week. The theme for the festival this year is Sustainable Communities, aptly tying in with COP26 which takes place in Glasgow in November.
We teamed up with our client, Langside Halls Trust, to deliver a digital trail which explores the unique history of the Halls and focuses on how buildings are re-used to suit the needs of the changing communities around them. Informed by the feasibility study we conducted for Langside Halls Trust earlier in the year, we also take a look at the plans put forward for the Halls, seeing them return as an accessible community focused hub for Glasgow's Southside.
Langside Halls began life on Queen Street in 1847 as the first National Bank of Scotland, and was then dismantled in 1902, moved, and re-built, stone-by-stone, to become a new public building at its current location on Langside Avenue, at the corner of Queen’s Park.
Between these two locations, we take a look at the fascinating history of some of the re-used buildings that have played a part in shaping the industrial and social landscape of Glasgow's Southside.
Langside Halls Trust was formed in 2013 and its aims are to develop and secure funding to fully refurbish Langside Halls and bring it up to modern standards. The Trust’s vision for the Halls is as a “community space for hire” and a locally programmed venue for cultural, social and wellbeing activities to enrich, entertain and attract the wider Southside community.
So, whether you walk or cycle this virtually guided tour, or simply enjoy it from the comfort of your armchair, you can look at each of the buildings in a new light the next time you encounter them.
There are plenty of Nextbikes to rent along our route, with a bike station right outside the Halls at the end. There are numerous bus services from Polockshaws Road, adjacent to the Halls, and Crossmyloof train station is within easy walking distance, all offering easy return travel to the City Centre.
This digital trail is available to enjoy on the free GuidiGo app (Google Play / App Store) or via Guidigo's web interface here.
We suggest using the app where possible and encourage you to go on to explore the many other amazing tours all around the world.
Etching of Langside Halls at its original Queen Street location
Visuals from our feasibility study for Langside Halls
Caffe Nero/former Subway ticket office, Al Khalil College/former Abbotsford School, former Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women, Langside Halls
Connecting With Nature - Mental Health Awareness Week
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week. This annual event aims to encourage conversations surrounding all aspects of mental health, as well as sharing help and advice for those struggling with their mental wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation chose Nature as this year’s theme, encouraging people to engage with their connections to the natural environment. They hope to also provide examples of the vital role that nature plays in sustaining our mental health, and thus how important it is to ensure it is accessible to everyone. This theme is especially fitting, with the country having been in varying stages of lockdown over the past year. During this difficult period, many of us have relied on nature and the restorative effect that it can have on our mental wellbeing.
To get involved, our office participated in a group mindfulness session – set to become a regular occurrence – and shared mental health resources via an office newsletter. Engaging with this year’s theme, we asked the team to share with us the ways in which they have been connecting with nature. We received a wonderful variety of responses, with people sending in photos of their favourite green spaces, new house plants and even some of their own artwork!
Glasgow is known for it’s bustling city centre, however it is also an incredibly green city, home to country parks, woodlands and great grassy hillscapes. Mark’s photos show our ‘dear green place’ in all of it’s weather-changing glory.
'Cycling has always been a great escape for me and particularly over the last year. Glasgow is great for being able to nip on to the canal or out in to the paths, lanes and fields and within 15/20 minutes you can be right out of the city and in to nature - sometimes a wee bit close for comfort!’
Hilmi shared with us his experience of planting tomatoes in Bulgaria, ‘In the countryside in Bulgaria, every year at the start of May we plant tomatoes (the left row) and cucumbers (right row). The transformation from little plants to a 2 meter green corridor never fails to amaze me.’
But if you can’t get out into nature, then why not bring the nature to you? Over the course of lockdown, many members of our team have done just that, finding a new passion for indoor gardening.
Growing and taking care of plants can have great therapeutic effects on our mental wellbeing. Elly put these potential benefits perfectly saying, ‘Plants were a big help over lockdown, having a weekly watering routine (when my usual routine went out of the window) was a good anchor for me. And watching them grow and unfurl a new leaf always brings me joy.’
Taking inspiration from the views from his Glasgow flat, our colleague Al has created a series of striking paintings which capture the changing colours of the sunsets out his window.
‘On a clear day with no clouds the sunsets can be something else, just incredible colour gradients from yellows, oranges and pinks fading to deep blues, purple and black. They inspired me to pick up watercolours again which has really helped my mental health. As a medium it is quite forgiving but also demands patience and mindfulness which I really enjoy.’
And who could forget the important job that our animal companions have played in bringing smiles to our faces?
Chloe invested in a bird feeder which brought a wonderful array of wildlife to her window, ‘Five minutes after we stuck it to the window, we started getting visits from starlings, blue tits and robins who return daily, especially at breakfast. They're so wonderful to watch, plus excellent entertainment for the cat!’
Our thanks go out to all the staff who took part in sharing their images and experiences. We hope you take as much joy from them as we did!
Hoskins Architects Win Big at Civic Trust Awards
With two of our projects among just 32 winners from around the globe, Hoskins Architects is thrilled to have won the National Panel Special Award, for our transformational project at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Our project at Strawberry Field, a visitor and training centre for young people with learning disabilities, for the Salvation Army, was also a winner in the Selwyn Goldsmith award.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Established in 1959 the Civic Trust Awards is the longest standing built environment awards scheme in Europe, and one of the only remaining independent built environment awards schemes, not linked to any organisation, institution, or publication. The scheme recognises and champions projects which offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to the public and their community, often focusing on: design, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility. The scheme encourages the very best in architecture and design.
These principles sit at the very heart of our design process; at Aberdeen Art Gallery, the redevelopment was focussed heavily on accessibility and inclusivity, as well as improving its educational facilities and cultural offering, leading to greater public participation and a sense of ownership. The redevelopment also provided a fresh new approach to displaying the collection, creating a rich variety of experiences for visitors of all ages and abilities.
“An absolute triumph. This is an exemplar project, meticulously carried out and benefits generations to come” - Civic Trust Awards National Judging Panel
In addition to winning a Civic Trust Award, the project scooped the top prize, the National Panel Special Award. Panel members select their favourite scheme from this year’s award winning projects and we are delighted that Aberdeen Art Gallery was voted for unanimously by the judges.
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson said –
“Aberdeen Art Gallery will be a vital building block in Aberdeen’s social and economic recovery post-pandemic. The revitalised building offers us a safe space to meet friends and family, or to take time out by ourselves to be inspired by the collections in uplifting surroundings. As well as supporting our wellbeing, the redeveloped Art Gallery is a beacon for Aberdeen as a vibrant cultural destination, something we can all take a huge amount of civic pride in. We’re grateful to the Civic Trust Award judges for recognising the landmark redevelopment with their top award.”
Strawberry Field Liverpool
Our project at Strawberry Field also won, taking the Selwyn Goldsmith award for Universal Design. Delivered in parallel with the Civic Trust Awards application process, all CTA entries are automatically considered for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award with the winner selected by a specially convened panel of universal design experts.
Civic Trust Award assessor David Simister commented –
“Frankly fabulous! Simple, always good in my mind, well detailed, robust materials, and a great use of the sloping site”
Universal Design is about ensuring that places work for all people, no matter your age, ethnicity, gender or ability; environments or buildings are responsive, flexible, welcoming, easy to use and occupy; allowing all to use with dignity and equality. The Selwyn Goldsmith Awards (SGA) seek to promote and applaud those schemes which achieve this and exceed regulation.
Strawberry Field is a new 1,360m2, training and visitors centre for The Salvation Army, on the site in Liverpool made famous by John Lennon. It provides a specialist educational hub for young adults with learning disabilities, alongside a visitor destination. The exhibition, cafe and shop support the training programme and generate opportunities for young people to overcome barriers to employment. The building and grounds weave together educational, cultural, heritage and spiritual exploration.
“The brief given to Hoskins Architects, to design a new centre for the world famous ‘Strawberry Field’ was a tall order. We wanted a world-class visitor centre that would deliver the ‘wow’ factor to visitors from around the world, but it also needed to be flexible enough to cater for the diverse needs of the local community, providing a place of refuge and inspiration to all. Hoskins Architects responded with a design that is beautiful but practical, creating a space that is a pleasure to work in, to learn in and to dream in. Well done on a fine achievement!”
- Major Kathy Versfeld, Mission Director of Strawberry Field
Entrance elevation showing new rooftop extension of Aberdeen Art Gallery
Entrance leading to Strawberry Fields Visitors Centre
New extention and rooflight at Aberdeen Art Gallery
Center sculpture court below
Strawberry Fields 'Imagine More' Cafe
Exterior leading to the iconic Strawberry Fields gardens