Belfast-based architects, Hall Black Douglas (HBD), have been appointed to lead the design team to take forward the next phase of the refurbishment of the Govanhill historic Edwardian bath-house in Glasgow into a well-being Centre.
Known for its work in re-using historic buildings, the practice has won awards for its work on the Verbal Arts Centre, Derry and the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. It is currently working on the restoration of the Tropical Ravine in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
Following a rigorous tendering process, Hall Black Douglas was selected from a shortlist of candidates for the prestigious contract.
Stephen Douglas, HBD Design Director, said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Govanhill Baths Community Trust and the community in re-imagining this valuable community resource for the needs of a new generation.”
This phase of the refurbishment will see the whole building repaired and the reinstatement of two of the three swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths and fitness suite. Funding has allowed the Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) to move ahead with their plans after a 15 year fight against the council’s decision to close the building in 2001.
Hall Black Douglas will be working with Alastair Coey Architects as conservation specialists, drawing up a Conservation Management Plan and co-ordinating the specification of the restoration works. Arup will work closely with Hall Black Douglas to engineer the building’s restoration, providing Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health (SMEP) engineering services. Arup has a strong track record of working with heritage and listed buildings. Its current historic buildings work includes the award-winning restoration of Birmingham’s Grand Hotel.
Paul Johnston, Arup Project Director and Structural Lead, said, “Our building engineering team is thrilled to have been appointed to this project and look forward to contributing our technical expertise to such a significant building restoration initiative for the city of Glasgow – and to working once again with Hall Black Douglas.”
Alan Walsh, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, added, “Hall Black Douglas is recognised across the country and beyond for their work converting heritage projects into modern use. We are delighted to be working with their team in the next exciting stage of our project to swim again in Govanhill.
“After 15 years of campaigning Govanhill Baths Community Trust are delighted that the community of Govanhill will be swimming again in the historic Govanhill Baths. The refurbishment of the 100 year old Edwardian building into a Wellbeing Centre will help address the many health statistics in the area which are some of the worst in the country.”
Susan O’Connor, Scotland and Northern Ireland Projects Adviser for The Princes Regeneration Trust – the project managers of the refurbishment – concluded, ““It’s marvellous to see the project reach this stage. We’re at a very exciting time – on the cusp of seeing all the Trust and local community’s hard work realised. We weren’t always sure we’d make it this far so this is very much a time to celebrate.
“I’m so glad we found Hall Black Douglas – a really safe pair of hands that will do a sterling job. It’s going to be so rewarding to see all the plans taking shape, and very much worth the wait.”
The work should begin early next year and completed in 2018.