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Glasgow University library tower to be reclad

July 7 2011

Glasgow University library tower to be reclad
Nimmo + Partners have drawn up plans for a full reclad of Glasgow University’s library building amidst mounting concern for public safety.

The brooding hilltop structure was built in 1965-68 by William Whitfield & Partners, but has in recent years been subject to severe deterioration of its concrete cladding panels owing to galvanised clamps rather than the specified bronze clamps being used at the time of construction.

Though cheaper these have a much shorter shelf life and heavy corrosion could lead to a ‘domino effect’ of panels cascading off the tower’s facades - acording to the architects.

To prevent such an eventuality the University has employed Nimmo and Partners to overclad the existing structure with aluminium rainscreen cladding and replacement windows at a cost of £2.5m.
Page\Park have recently completed the refurbishment of the adjacent Hub building
Page\Park have recently completed the refurbishment of the adjacent Hub building
The library building isn't listed
The library building isn't listed


#1 Posted by RBR on 7 Jul 2011 at 17:47 PM
If it's the clamps that are failing replace the clamps, not the panels- unless 'concern for public safety' is actually disguising an ingrained prejudice against concrete materiality.

The precast panels of the library towers are a shadow of the in-situ corrugations of the Hunterian gallery annex which, following the partial demolition of Paisley Civic Centre and imminent demolition of the Newbery Tower at the Glasgow School of Art, will be the last complete Scottish manifestation of 'concrete corduroy', made famous by Paul Rudolph.

So hands off the Hunterian.
#2 Posted by A on 8 Jul 2011 at 22:19 PM
berba hooki
#3 Posted by berba hooki on 14 Jul 2011 at 14:04 PM
I suspect you'll find that the concern for public safety is actually disguising an ingrained prejudice against people getting creamed by massive concrete panels falling on them.

The clamps are more than likely cast in to the panels, and located at slab edge junctions, making their separate replacement unfeasible.

Paul Rudolph never built in the Scottish climate, so mention of him is just a distraction here.

None of the buildings mentioned above are good examples of anything except bloody minded pennypinching. We've got enough reminders of that in Glasgow to last until the next millennium.

I just hope N&P are up to the job of making the outside of this stump look attractive, and that the new cladding lasts longer than the original (or am I the only one deeeply disturbed by high rise buildings that start falling apart after less than fifty years?)
berba lolface
#4 Posted by berba lolface on 15 Jul 2011 at 09:55 AM
Buildings in need of maintenance have bits falling off them shocker.
#5 Posted by Miranda on 3 Nov 2012 at 22:43 PM
Hi, I'm doing a dissertation on this at the moment. The comments above are very interesting and I'd love to hear more if anyone wouldn't mind sharing their professional opinions here. Are there other ways of fixing the building without changing the architecture too much? What do Architects think about buildings like this one being changed so dramatically?

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