Kelvin Hall architectural extension in Glasgow city

Exterior design with Rimex metals

Rimex metals at The Kelvin Hall

Exterior design with Rimex metals at The Kelvin Hall

Exterior design with Rimex metals

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Located in the heart of Glasgow's West End, Kelvin Hall is one of the area's most distinguished and recognisable structures.

The Category B listed building was originally designed as an exhibition and entertainment venue in the 1920s by city engineer Thomas Somers. Since then, it has played host to various enterprises, including the Glasgow carnival and circus, Glasgow's International Sports Arena, and the Museum of Transport.

When the building became empty following the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow City Council was tasked with finding a sustainable long-term use for it. Glasgow Life, which manages all of the city's cultural and sporting events, brought together the National Library of Scotland, the Hunterian Museum, the University of Glasgow, and Glasgow Sport to discuss the plans.

Following the review, Page\Park was appointed as the lead architect, and work began in August 2014 to transform Kelvin Hall into one of the UK's biggest museums and research centres with a £35m refurbishment. Given the history of the building, it was essential to keep certain key features the same while ensuring that it was suitably adapted for modern use, and the new entrance foyer extension was a prominent aspect of these plans. Its design picks up on the vertical rhythm of the existing Argyle Street façade to create an iconic structure that sits on the junction of Argyle Street and Bunhouse Road.


Gray & Dick worked with Rimex Metals to clad the external faces in an eye-catching spectrum of bronze, gold, and rosy gold stainless steel*, complementing the striking tones and colours of the existing building's iconic red sandstone, red brick and orange glazed bricks. Four different sizes were used to create the envelope of the building: 2000x1250 / 2500x1250 / 2750x1250 / 3000x1250. A total of 6.318 tonnes of material were used in the cladding, and the decision to use pre-cut sections meant that very little waste was created as a result.

The large glass windows bring a contemporary feel to the building and allow much more natural light to spread throughout the new reception and café. Reopened to the public in 2016, Kelvin Hall has been transformed into an exciting new centre of cultural excellence that attracts around 25,000 visitors each week. It has been accredited by VisitScotland as a five-star visitor attraction and provides access to collections, temporary displays, teaching and research, alongside a state-of-the-art Glasgow Club health and fitness centre.

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Gray & Dick is the market leader in the design, supply and installation of high-end structural glazing. With more than 40 years' experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.

To find out more about structural glazing from Gray & Dick, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.

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