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Notre Dame Primary welcomes first pupils

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August 23 2013

Notre Dame Primary welcomes first pupils
The new £15m Notre Dame Primary has opened its doors to pupils following a decant of teachers and students from the old school, now being converted into housing.

Situated within the former Dowanhill Primary the new building combines Notre Dame with St Peter’s Primary and houses a total of 15 classrooms, games hall, library and relocated Anderson Street Nursery.

These are incorporated in a new build block within the grounds of the existing C listed school, which has itself been extensively upgraded.

Works included the installation of new perimeter railings and gates, landscaped playgrounds and a new raised deck connection to the adjacent Dowanhill Park.

Designed by Glasgow City Council the new school is finished in a terracotta rain screen cladding system designed to gel with the red sandstone of the historic school.

In their design statement GCC observed: "Teaching methods and social attitudes have changed beyond recognition since 1896, with ample evidence embodied in the fabric of Dowanhill School.

"The design team, the client team and the stakeholder groups are confident that the solution achieves the highest design standards and offer the best balance between the multiplicity of conflicting interests as well as value for money."
A glazed link conjoins old and new elements
A glazed link conjoins old and new elements
Four single storey entrance porches and toilets were removed from the historic schools gables as part of the work
Four single storey entrance porches and toilets were removed from the historic schools gables as part of the work

The new extension has been designed to be subservient to the existing building
The new extension has been designed to be subservient to the existing building
The new Notre Dame Primary occupies a prime city block in the heart of Glasgow's west end
The new Notre Dame Primary occupies a prime city block in the heart of Glasgow's west end

9 Comments

Tom Manley
#1 Posted by Tom Manley on 23 Aug 2013 at 12:30 PM
A bold and striking addition to this building... some nice work coming out of GCC! Old and new elements complementing each other well!
Paul Sweeney
#2 Posted by Paul Sweeney on 24 Aug 2013 at 00:20 AM
This should be the gold standard for Glasgow school development. The old School Board buildings are an amazing asset but if it isn't in Dowanhill they are deemed expendable. The most notable example of this is the city's only B-listed one, London Road, situated outside Celtic Park.
Bill
#3 Posted by Bill on 24 Aug 2013 at 07:30 AM
Looks interesting but i wonder with such small windows how much light penetrates into the classrooms.
Graeme
#4 Posted by Graeme on 26 Aug 2013 at 13:15 PM
Bill,
There are no classrooms in the new part with small windows- these are onto larger rooms such as gym, dining room, library, etc.
Bill
#5 Posted by Bill on 26 Aug 2013 at 19:19 PM
Thats a relief, so only the gym, dining hall and library will be dark and gloomy. Natural light is overated anyway.
Graeme
#6 Posted by Graeme on 27 Aug 2013 at 10:24 AM
Bill,
The dining room has large sections of curtain wall, the gym is top lit by rooflights, and the library has a 'bay window', so they are actually pretty well lit....sorry to disappoint!
Jonathan
#7 Posted by Jonathan on 27 Aug 2013 at 10:31 AM
I like it. It wont be everyone's cup of tea but I find the new addition a sensitive modern addition to an old building. Especially like the glass detailing to separate the old from new (an old trick but carried off well here), and the colours carefully chosen for the new cladding to mimic the stonework. Too easy for us priv. practice architects to knock the councils these days - well done here though.
Graham Boyle
#8 Posted by Graham Boyle on 30 Aug 2013 at 15:21 PM
Can we get some internal pictures please?

I have to say i really like this project. Its truly refreshing to see our great historic built environment being enhanced in such a sensitive yet thoroughly contemporary manner.

On another note I agree with Jonathan, The council seams to be producing some excellent projects at the moment (see links below). Why this sudden uplift in quality? The schools built over the last decade in Glasgow, Hillhead and Hazelwood apart, have been appalling.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/work-starts-on-new-10m-glasgow-primary-school-124196n.21071071

http://www.urbanrealm.com/news/4281/Pollokshields_shared_campus_considered_by_planners.html
Isabel Rogerson
#9 Posted by Isabel Rogerson on 12 Nov 2013 at 21:40 PM
I attended Dowanhill Primary in the 1940's and am sorry to see it change but time has moved on and it looks like they did a good job converting instead of demolishing. I taught at Barmulloch Primary in the early 60's, a fairly new school at that time. A couple of years ago it was demolished - a pile of rubble but memories from both schools remain.

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