The City of Glasgow College, City Campus is a multi-award-winning scheme based in the heart of Glasgow. Completed in 2017, the City Campus was one part of a dual site development, the other being the Riverside Campus on the Clyde. Today, however, we focus on the City Campus site, looking at the brief of the scheme and what it was that allowed to win a staggering five different awards in 2017.

The Brief:

To support Sir Robert McAlpine’s development of the City of Glasgow College (City Campus), Rankinfraser was appointed to design the landscape architecture throughout the campus. Hardscape supported the landscape architects in realising their design to complement the new £162m campus. As part of the college’s wider ‘super campus’ project, the scheme was developed to create an open and inspiring learning space for more than 40,000 students. Together, there were a number of design aspects that needed to be overcome for the scheme to prove to be a success.

One of these aspects was to overcome a seemingly difficult yet natural problem – City Campus is on the edge of the city centre straddling a steep site between Cathedral Street and St Mungo Avenue to the north with a 10 metre fall between St Mungo Avenue and Cathedral Street. To overcome the shift in level between St Mungo Avenue and Cathedral Street, the landscape architects created a terraced public area, characterised by straight, linear steps that not only provide access to the main entrance but also offer opportunities to sit and socialise.

Standout Feature:

Given the striking style of the college building, the surrounding landscape had to hold its own under the towering facade. Hardscape supplied an architectural blend of Kellen materials in a selection of colours, sizes and finishes. The use of Breccia and Liscio in varying lengths, together with their subtle tonal changes, results in a truly unique outdoor space. The landscaping scheme successfully echoes the building’s architectural design.

Awards Won:

RIBA – Award for Scotland 2017

RIBA – National Award 2017

RIAS – 2017 Award

AJ100 – Building of the Year 2017Award

Scottish Design Awards – Education Building of the Year

Materials Used:

Hardscape supplied Kellen Breccia Paving in the colours Bianco, Tagenta B and Tagenta E in a series of sizes, these included: 165x110x80mm, 220x110x80mm, 300x110x80mm and 330x110x80mm. As well as Breccia paving, there was also Liscio in a Bianco colour, sized 165x110x80mm and a permeable Lavaro in Wit, sized 210x105x80mm. There are also some larger Kellen Aesthetic slabs, sized at 600x600x60mm, as well as some Wit 701 Lavaro kerbs and flushed kerbs.


It’s easy to see why this scheme has won so many awards in the last year. Rankinfraser was tasked with making a seamless transition of landscape through the college, with the difficulty of steep drops between streets. This was overcome with a good use of steps to link the levels, as well as using a welcoming yet architectural blend of Kellen in between to entice students to sit and socialise whilst also giving them a truly educational ‘we’re here to learn’ style of atmosphere.

Client Team:

Client: Sir Robert McAlpine. Landscape Architect: Rankinfraser. Architects: Reiach and Hall, Michael Laird Architects. Principal Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine. Landscape Contractor: Land Engineering. Stone Supplier: Hardscape.