Purcell has transformed a derelict Glasgow school into workplace facilities for local use


Purcell has completed the refurbishment and conversion of the former Parkhead School building for the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust. It now serves as a community building with flexible office space for local businesses and meeting rooms for community use, bringing it back into public use for the first time since 1990. As a result, Parkhead School has been removed from Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register.


The original, B-listed school building was constructed in two phases between 1978 and 1887, closing as a school in 1963. Purcell performed the role of lead architect for all stages of the project’s delivery, and was also the Heritage Consultant, producing the conservation statement at the project outset.

The work was carried out as part of a Townscape Heritage Initiative and has acted as a catalyst for change in the Parkhead Cross area of the city. It includes a new glazed link to unite the two phases of the school, forming a lightweight connection as the new entrance to the building. Non-original additions that negatively impacted the significance of the building were removed, along with internal finishes suffering dry rot and fire damage, although decorative cornices and mouldings were retained where possible.


Parkhead Housing Association will manage the building on behalf of the community and any profit is being reinvested into the community in line with its charitable aims. One of the tenants will be Skills Development Scotland. There will also be a public IT suite to allow locals to work on their CVs and upskill to increase their employability and thirteen independent accessible office spaces with shared facilities.


The Parkhead School project is helping to tackle unemployment, both through apprenticeships that were created during the building contract and the new facilities provided by the centre which will allow members of the community to develop their skills.


Scott Lindsay, Senior Architect at Purcell said:
“Purcell has given (the building) a new life as an enterprise centre, reaffirming its position at the heart of the community, announced by its restored bell tower clearly visible again across Parkhead.”

John Entwistle, Chair of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust said:
“the project at Parkhead School is an exemplar of heritage-led regeneration and inter-agency cooperation in Glasgow. A significant building at risk has been rescued and sensitively restored as a focal point and asset for the local community.”.

Additional Images


Structural engineer
Will Rudd
Services engineer
Davie + McCulloch
Cost consultant
Gardiner & Theobald

Community engagement
Building Learning
Main contractor
Central Building Contractors
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust