Royston Spire Competition, Glasgow Building Contest, Project, GIA News

Royston Spire Architecture Competition

GIA Design Contest: Strathclyde Architecture Competition

post updated 12 August 2023

7 Apr 2015

Royston Spire Competition

Royston Spire Competition Launch

In association with Rosemount Development Trust, the Glasgow Institute of Architects is pleased to announce its latest competition for a design for Royston Spire.

Royston Spire

Royston Spire Competition

The spire has long been overlooked as a Glasgow city landmark despite its prominent location. To celebrate the year of its 150th anniversary, GIA and the Trust invite architects and students to consider a scheme to highlight the spire, focussing on lighting and interpretation along with other concepts.

Full details of the competition brief can be found on the competition page at

The aim is to complete the installation of the project late 2015 so designers are asked to consider the technical and budgetary constraints of the listed structure and the available funding.

An open day will be held on 18th April 2015. Rosemount Development Trust invite entrants and local residents to join them for a tour of the spire and the opportunity to take part in the Trust’s Oral History Project.

Key Dates

25.03.2015 Launch

18.04.2015 Community event to be held at Rainbow Hall adjacent to spire.

11.05.2015 Competition submission deadline

18.05.2015 Shortlist judging (closed event)

04.06.2015 Shortlisted entrants invited to present, winners announced

Further Information

For any further information, please contact Glasgow Institute of Architects at [email protected]

Glasgow Institute of Architects: @gia_tweet
Competition entry page:
Rosemount Development Trust: @rosemounttrust

About the Partners

Rosemount Development Trust
Rosemount Development Trust Limited was formed in 1989 by a group of local residents who were concerned about the high level of unemployment and poverty in Royston. Since its formation, the Trust has developed an important range of services for the residents of the area. These have been centred within the Millburn Centre. Rosemount Development Trust is a company limited by guarantee, with charitable status.

Roystonhill Spire
Roystonhill Spire & Park Ltd is a subsidiary of Rosemount Development Trust Ltd, formed to restore, preserve and maintain for public benefit the A listed structure forming Roystonhill Spire, in recognition of its outstanding architectural merit.

Glasgow Institute of Architects
The Glasgow Institute of Architects is run by an elected group of individuals from the wider GIA membership. The GIA is a chapter of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), from which it gets its funding. The GIA has committees: Architecture, People and Places; Communications; Conservation/ Sustainability; Education; Practice/CPD and Festival of Architecture 2016. The Architecture People and Places Committee is generally responsible for the promotion of Architecture to the wider public, through the running of design competitions, exhibitions and lectures. More information can be obtained from the GIA website:

Architecture, People and Places Committee
The A,P&P committee has as its main focus the promotion of Architecture to the wider public. Through this committee, the GIA has promoted several initiatives that have helped inform wider debate on Architecture and how that affects people and communities. The GIA geographical spread is west central Scotland therefore we aim to address these matters in contexts that range from large urban areas to local rural communities.

The A,P&P committee work on a programme of activities based on the theme of ‘cities, towns and neighborhoods’. It has previously worked with local Community Councils in the South-side of Glasgow to promote a design competition for a new bandstand in Queens Park. The winner went onto to work with the Community Councils to secure funding and move the project forward. They have also recently completed a competition for Springburn Winter Gardens and been instrumental in the forming of Springburn Winter Gardens Trust.

The A,P&P have welcomed the opportunity to work with Rosemount Development Trust and the local community in Royston to develop a design competition for architects and students themed around the spire.

Lightworks Scotland
Lightworks have offered their support in assessing the feasibility of the design and in developing project costs. GIA are grateful for this specialist advice.


Royston Spire Background
The Royston Spire is the only remaining part of the Townhead – Blochairn Parish Church which first opened in 1865 in Roystonhill (then known as Garngadhill). When the church was still in use it was adorned with carved stone heads sculpted by Mossman and decorative stained glass windows designed by William Morris and Co. Some of the stone heads now lie within Spire Park next to Royston Spire and the stained glass windows are now in the care of Glasgow Museums.

Location and Ownership
The Spire is owned by Rosemount Development Trust and is all that remains of the original church building, the Trust own all the land highlighted by the black line in the map below. The hall building and the remainder of the land is owned by the Church of Scotland.

The Spire is situated on Roystonhill opposite new build two storey Spire View Housing Association houses, with low rise new build private housing surrounding the site to the east. The site commands excellent vies across the city of Glasgow and beyond.

Oral Histories
Rosemount Development Trust have been granted the opportunity to run an Oral Histories project for the duration of the competition, which will allow them to gather memories from the number of residents who remember the church, interior, notable events etc. The Trust will organise to carry out an oral history of local residents and former ministers, worshippers etc to create an oral history that will safeguard knowledge of the building and help celebrate the 150th year anniversary.

This project will engage all residents of Royston (pop 5,000) and enable individuals and voluntary group members to spend time together. This will provide opportunities for people to take a greater role in community life and to develop new confidence and skills covering community work, digital media and sound engineering. This will benefit the regeneration of Royston which is one of the most deprived parts of Glasgow and enable a creative and innovative approach to involving local people which it is hoped with culminate with the full restoration of the Spire and ongoing community development programmes.

Project Information
Files will be available to download via the GIA website competition page.

Glasgow Architecture Competitions

Glasgow Architecture Competitions

Queens Park Arena Competition in Glasgow:
Queens Park Arena design
GIA Queens Park Design Competition

Springburn Winter Gardens Competition
Springburn Winter Gardens Glasgow
GIA Springburn Winter Gardens Competition – 5 Oct 2014

Glasgow Hotels

Glasgow Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

New Chryston community hub building
Chryston Community Hub in North Lanarkshire
image courtesy of architects practice
Chryston Community Hub in North Lanarkshire

Historic Gorbals Building
166 Gorbals Street Community space + gallery Glasgow
photograph courtesy of Urban Union
166 Gorbals Street Glasgow Building News

Queens Cross Church

Queens Park Church

Peoples Palace Glasgow

Burrell Museum


St Enoch Centre

Comments / photos for the Royston Spire Competition Architecture page welcome