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The City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus

The Riverside Campus for the City of Glasgow College is the first completed section of one of the largest property developments in the European education sector. When the entire project is finished it will feature two campuses hosting over 40,000 students and 1,200 members of staff and will offer a wider range of courses than any other university in Great Britain. The Riverside Campus is home to the Maritime College, a centre of educational excellence in the maritime engineering, science and technology sectors.

Jointly designed by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects, the buildings in the Riverside Campus are the result of a combination of ideas regarding the city, the student experience and the local community.

Located on the banks of the river Clyde, the City of Glasgow College is a new landmark on the Glasgow skyline. The complex, which consists of two towers and a connecting cloister, stands out on account of the gold-coloured metal grids that decorate the facades. The regular rhythm of the cloister colonnade also creates an ideal backdrop to the garden within. This area's rational geometric design is enhanced by the discreet upward lighting installed in a line along the colonnade walkway. These Light Up Walk recessed luminaires have been fitted with adjustable optics that illuminate the portico while also creating an elegant geometrical light play on the ceilings of the corridors that surround the cloister.

This alternation of formal and social spaces comes together in the entrance hall where the decision to use coloured light makes this exciting space even more dynamic. The structure's vast multi-storey glass frontage also emphasises the important message of welcome and openness the college seeks to communicate to the outside world.

For the lighting system, the architects specified a desire for an easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain product with a minimalist design that would blend in with the architecture and could be installed in a continuous line to obtain an even line of light. The Led Tube product satisfies all these requirements, and an RGB version has been used to create a grazing light on the walls of each floor. The bands of colour created are dynamic and managed by a control system that allows different light scenarios to be set to mark out different events and experiences during the day.

To guarantee the lighting levels required by current standards, the environment's general lighting is created by iPro floodlights, positioned in pairs on the laminated ceiling cladding on both the steel beams and the wooden panelling. The overall effect from the outside, is that of a huge lantern that becomes even more dynamic thanks to its reflection in the river. This distinctive combination of lighting and architecture has succeeded in making  the campus an exciting new feature in the Glasgow nightscape.

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  • Year
  • Client
    City of Glasgow College
  • Architectural project:
    Reiach and Hall & Michael Laird Architects
  • Lighting project:
    Gordon McNeil of FES and iGuzzini UK
  • Photographer
    James Newton

Project Quote

"We are delighted with Riverside. Our students are enjoying the spaces and it is having a positive impression on our industry partners across the globe. "

Paul Little - City of Glasgow College Principal

Products Used: