Revitalised Govan Old Church to terminate new ‘cultural circuit’
February 5 2020
Govan Heritage Trust is seeking to adapt and extend the A-listed Govan Old Church with the submission of plans prepared by jmarchitects for both the church itself and the Govan Stones, regarded as one of the finest collections of Medieval sculpture in Europe.
Under the plans, a new build extension envisioned as a contemporary cloister will be formed to provide office space, toilets and lift access which will enable the church to be utilised as an events venue and public space.
Building on unrealised plans drawn up by Robert Rowand Anderson the modern cloisters formed from hewn stone are designed to complement without competing with the historic building.
Explaining this approach the architects wrote: “To ensure a ‘light-touch’ to the existing building, the extension is intentionally pulled back from the west-facing elevation to create a triple-height top-lit space with an external quality, thus allowing the facade to be viewed from the adjacent office/cafe space.
“Taking cues from the existing church building and its exposed ribbed timber roof structure, a skeletal timber frame is inserted within the solid masonry walls of the extension to create a vertical, ecclesiastical quality to the space.”
Intended to serve as the terminus of a ‘cultural circuit’ stretching north to the Transport Museum via a planned Govan/Partick footbridge and on to the University of Glasgow, the project will capitalise on moves to extend the Kelvin Walkway by drawing prosperity to the south bank of the Clyde.
Longer-term plans envision the creation of a creative campus incorporating riverfront studios and workshops as part of a landscaped precinct connecting with the river.