Wolfson Medical School Building


The Wolfson Medical School Building was designed by Reiach and Hall in 1999 and was officially opened in 2003. It was named the Wolfson Medical School to mark the major gift from the Wolfson Foundation towards the £17.5m cost of the project.

The University had long planned on bringing together various parts of the Medical School to establish a hub for medical/biomedical teaching and research. In 1997 the University began the phased purchase of the Western Court site, which formed a triangle between Byres Road, University Avenue and University Place, for this purpose. Reiach & Hall were appointed to design the Medical School in 1999. This included the designs of the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre and the Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre Sir Graeme Davies Building which are also located within the Western Court site. Landscape architects, Gross Maz, designed the associated Hortus Medicus garden and Medics’ Corner plaza.

The Wolfson Medical School Building was the first major addition to the Gilmorehill campus in more than fifteen years. The building raised the bar of architectural quality. It is contemporary in style and respects the scale and grain of the surrounding townscape. The prominent gushet between University Place and University Avenue is defined by a virtuoso arc of glass while the previously ragged street frontage situated along University Avenue has been replaced with Northumberland Copp Cragg sandstone.

The building comprises four main elements: the prominent curvilinear glazed block houses the Study Landscape and administrative offices; a large L-plan block of teaching spaces; a smaller L-plan block of service accommodation; and a triangular atrium serving as circulation space at the core of the complex. The Study Landscape is unique in that it can operate independently from the rest of the building in order to allow 24-hour opening. Lighting is an important element of the design – natural daylight during the day is used wherever possible while at night a variety of artificial light sources are used to animate the building. The glazing on the south-east elevation floods the Study Landscape with light, while the double skin reduces glare, reflection and noise. The core of the building is lit naturally through a pioneering glazed roof over the atrium. The roof was designed by Arup Façade Engineering and constructed using 16m-long structural laminated glass beams – believed to be the first use of glass engineering on this scale.

The Princess Royal opened the building formally on 3 April 2003 and in the same year the building won a Royal Institute of British Architects’ Award.


Wolfson Medical School Building
University Avenue
G12 8QQ
Record last updated: 25th Jun 2015

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