The Printworks Building, Architect, Project, Photo, Design, Award, Otago St, Info

The Printworks Glasgow : Otago Street Building

Otago Street Development – design by cameronwebsterarchitects, Scotland

21 May 2009

The Printworks

Otago Street, Glasgow

The Printworks
photos © Martin Phillimore

The Printworks Building in Glasgow

It was designed and supervised by cameronwebsterarchitects for Otago Developments.The Printworks The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow
photos © Martin Phillimore

The Brief
Hidden away in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, the Printworks is at the end of an unsurfaced lane behind an urban block. The original little brick building was a glue factory attached to a neighbouring abattoir, which ceased to function a long time ago. The building was subsequently used as a printworks until around the turn of the century, when it became derelict, while the lane turned into a dumping ground for rubbish.

The clients required an office of about 800 square feet for themselves, with the possibility of additional space that they could let. They approached cameronwebsterarchitects, who were interested in the uses and opportunities for Glasgow’s back lanes, and had spotted the potential of the printworks building while carrying out the renovation of a nearby house. While the old building appeared to be very small, it concealed a large basement below the tenement back court.

The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow
photos © Martin Phillimore

The Solution
The building is in a conservation area, although the back lane was unloved and a focus for fly-tippers. The planners were concerned that any new development should not be significantly higher than the existing structure, and specified that the materials should be traditional slate and render. The existing brick structure was on the point of collapse and had to be demolished, but the potential of the building’s section was developed with a steel frame to increase the amount of light and useable space, while the cast iron columns and concrete structure supporting the back court were retained and refurbished. A glazed and planted courtyard was introduced to bring in natural light and create a spacious office at the lower level. The building was raised a little, so that the entrance from the lane could provide access to a further office level above, with frameless gazed rooflights and windows looking onto the lane and the back court. The resulting section provides lots of light and interesting views between the different levels, and a total of 2,500 square feet gross space created for a total cost of £200,000.

The new building is very highly insulated, and natural light is maximised to reduce the energy load. Externally it is finished with a resin render and black painted timber, while internally the stair and floor are finished in oak, and the full length of the rear basement wall is shelved. A partly glazed floor at entrance level allows daylight to the kitchen below.

The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow The Printworks Glasgow
The Printworks Glasgow images : cameronwebsterarchitects

The tenement courtyard was re-paved, and it gives access to the new upper floor through the existing tenement in Otago Street. The lane is no longer an unsightly rubbish dump, and future developments are proposed there to further develop its potential. The building was completed and occupied in nine months, (with some finishes and fittings being introduced and finalised over a further six months).
The clients are delighted with the result, and have found that the design perfectly suits their requirements and the building is universally admired. The architects have also moved their offices into it, renting part of the open plan space in the basement for themselves.

The Printworks Glasgow images / information from cameronwebsterarchitects

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