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Holmlea Primary School

Holmlea Primary School

A much-loved community landmark on the southside of Glasgow has been fully restored and repurposed by a leading Scottish architectural firm.

The Grade B listed, Andrew Balfour designed former Holmlea Primary School in Cathcart, has been sympathetically brought back to life by Glasgow-based firm, Anderson Bell + Christie (AB+C).

The stunning example of the architect’s work of the early 1900s retains its magnificent baroque style façade, original internal features and dominating presence - and has been converted and extended to create 49 unique homes for the affordable rental market. AB+C’s design centred around creating a series of one and two bedroom flats and maisonettes within the original building, whilst an extension and two new blocks were added to the north of the site, comprising 18 two bedroom flats.

This deliberate approach ensured the outlook from the south facing façade remained uninterrupted. Internal restoration focused heavily on retaining the original look and feel of the building, most notably within the atrium. Here, aspects such as the balustrade, picture rails, trusses, roof lights and even door proportions, were carefully replicated to ensure that the character and structural integrity of the building were immediately recognisable. Synonymous with the infamous tenement blocks of Glasgow, AB+C utilised textured red brick to complement the original tones of the building for the extension.

The new blocks were created in a similarly textured brick, in a different tone, in a move which created a coherent juxtaposition between the old and the new, the past and the present. Seasonal landscaping created a seamless extension of the building, through the utilisation of red sandstone taken from the demolished sports hall, to create a feature walls and pathways around the outside. This connection was further enhanced using ‘Green Peggy’ slates salvaged from the school roof, which were crushed and used as pathway borders.

A final nod to the past was realised in a statue, made from one of the pillars from the building, with the old Scots playground song, ‘Ally Bally Bee’ engraved on the side.

PROJECT: Holmlea Primary School
LOCATION: Holmlea Road, Cathcart
CLIENT: Home Group
ARCHITECT: Anderson Bell + Christie
Holmlea Primary School
Holmlea Primary School
Holmlea Primary School

Holmlea Primary School
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Photographer:  Keith Hunter

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