Archial Architects’ striking design for the new £10.5 million pioneering world-class centre for veterinary medicine has picked up the Supreme Award from the Glasgow Institute of Architects.  It has also been short-listed for the prestigious RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, which will be announced in the Scottish Parliament building tonight (20th November).

Part of the University of Glasgow’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the new Small Animal Hospital, situated at the entrance to the grounds of the Garscube Estate, provides state of the art services for animal owners and referring practitioners throughout Scotland and Northern England, including the most advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical techniques.

Russell Baxter of Archial Architects said, “One of our chief concerns when conceiving the design for this facility was how to create a large hospital building without ruining the beautiful green space for which the Garscube Estate is renowned. Essentially, our solution involved lifting up the ground, peeling off the grass and placing the new building underneath.

“Since various aspects of the new facility did not require natural light – much of its 4500 sq m involves internal spaces such as the treatment area, oncology and diagnostics – this design solution was able to meet the needs of the hospital whilst maintaining the integrity of the location. In order to let daylight in to public areas, an innovative ‘crystal’ glass cupola, lit with different colours at night, sits within the building’s sloping grass roof.”

Whilst the innovative design affords medical staff unrestricted views out over the grassy bank, the building’s public space comprises a waiting area, reception island and café beneath the glass cupola where staff and visitors can see out onto the roof. Behind this public space is a social space with access out onto the grass roof, which anyone can walk across.

The natural look of the new Small Animal Hospital is completed with a stone-filled gabion baskets, lending the building a deliberately solid and heavy base, emphasising the driving idea of roof and ground.


For further information please contact:

Russell Baxter T: 0141 248 1700

Issued on behalf of Archial Group Plc by Liquorice Media tel 0141 564 8058

Date 20th November 2009


Notes to Editors


  • In addition to Archial Architects, The Archial Group Plc incorporates: Sparch (providing architectural solutions that match the energy and growth of fast-moving emerging markets in Asia); Alsop (creating challenging solutions that push the limits of conventional ideas about architecture in a provocative and colourful style); Archial Services (with a portfolio of specialist services in Planning, Facilities Management and Sustainable Futures, a dedicated team of category experts deliver creative solutions to add value to all architectural projects) and Archial Special Projects (operating worldwide, this is a vehicle for collaborative commissions that draw upon the strength of the Archial Group, combined with the skills and expertise of other external consultants.
  • The Archial Group Plc has created a system it calls Intelligent Architectural Design which incorporates the five dimensions required to achieve the optimum design solution: creative integrity; economic performance; environmental responsibility; social contribution and personal experience.


Contact: Susan Christie
Phone: 0141 564 8058