Small Animal Hospital
Project Description Small Animals Hospital Located at the entrance to the grounds of the Garscube Estate, Glasgow, the new Small Animal Hospital, part of the University of Glasgow’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, provides state of the art services for animal owners and referring practitioners throughout Scotland and Northern England, including the most advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical techniques. The primary driver in the design for this facility was how to create a large hospital building without ruining the beautiful green space for which the Garscube Estate is justly renowned. Essentially, the solution was to use the topography of the site, lift up the ground, peeling off the grass and place the new building underneath. The location of a mature oak tree was also key to the placing of the building and this becomes a constant reference point from within the hospital. As various aspects of the new facility did not require natural light – much of its 4500 sq m involves internal spaces such as the treatment area, oncology and diagnostics – this design solution was able to meet the complex needs of the hospital whilst maintaining the integrity of the location. In order to let daylight in to public areas, an innovative ‘crystal’ glass cupola, sits within the building’s sloping grass roof. This creates a presence to the street and an iconic public image to the local and wider community. The delineation of roof and ground is further emphasised through the introduction of a heavy gabion base that holds the private hospital use and highlights the light, glass public entrance and foyer space. Internally the building is simply organised both horizontally and vertically with a clear division of public and private hospital space. The working hospital held within the gabion wall pinwheels around a central treatment hub that acts as the heart of the building offering clear and unrestricted views towards, daycare, intensive care, operating suites, diagnostics and oncology. The teaching and office spaces occupy the upper level with views over the estate and access onto the grass roof. Archial (Davis Duncan Architects) were initially approached by Glasgow University Estates Department to enter a limited competition to carry out a feasibility study for a new small animal hospital for the Vet Faculty in 2004. This feasibility was won and carried out by the design team working closely with the client/ user to establish the site, brief, massing and diagram for the building. Following a further competitive tender for the full project Archial progressed the design from 2005 until 2007 with a site start toward the end of the year. The construction period was 20 months with completion of the building in May 2009 and building occupation by August 2009. The project was traditionally procured with the tender price over the cost plan; this resulted in prolonged cost savings that ultimately had an impact on the resultant building. The overall build cost was £10.5m with a square metre rate of approximately £2300 per square metre. The finished building has superseded the users’ expectation and is now regarded as Europe’s most advanced animal hospital: ‘The new Small Animal Hospital is world class, complementing the skills and commitment of all those who work and study here. It was a pleasure to work with the Archial group who have designed a stunning building, paying attention not only to functionality but also to the finer details which make this building so unique. Set within the University’s beautiful Garscube Campus, the hospital presents a welcoming face to the public and a calming ambience to pet owners, surpassing all of our expectations. Our interaction with the Archial design team was an empowering experience as we worked together to produce a facility that is fit for purpose and enriches the lives of those who work there on a daily basis. Combining sensitivity to the parkland surroundings with the demands of an efficient and sustainable clinical environment, Archial have delivered quite possibly the best of its kind worldwide. The patients we treat have always received the best care available, but this is now in superb surroundings with ample accommodation for cutting-edge facilities including a rehabilitation centre and oncology wing. With capacity for training vets at all stages of their career, the Vet School will be using the building as a flagship for its clinical provision. The new facility allows for expansion as we look to double the number of animals that we see over the course of the next ten years. We are immensely proud of our Small Animal Hospital and are looking forward to providing an optimal service within our inspiring surroundings to the pet owners of the UK.’: Professor Stuart Reid, Dean


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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via
  • added a digital reference
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