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Originally constructed as a tobacco warehouse in the late 1800s, the Alexander Turnbull Building had most recently been used as offices by the University of Strathclyde. The building was to be redeveloped, removing the roof and chimneys, and adding two levels, to provide high quality student accommodation. This included 87 self-contained studios and a two-bedroom apartment, together with a gym, cinema, games room, common room, meeting rooms and laundry.


Due to compromised internal space planning, the poor condition of the existing roof and to maximise the usable space, the decision was made to remove the roof structure and replace it with a modern, lightweight roof extension.

This saw a profiled metal panel extension inserted at roof level. By continuing the pilasters from levels four to six and the rhythm of the structural bays, a roofscape was created by introducing ‘dormer’ frames. This provides a positive attitude to the roof which reflects the proportions of the existing bays.

We kept the traditional sandstone frontage and used a dark grey frame and panels for the roof extension and windows. This provided a unity between new and old elements, creating the effect of a layer behind the existing façade.


The George Street apartments have it all. The individual stylish studios combine modern and cosy, making them the perfect retreat. All have ensuite bathrooms and their own private kitchen.

There are plenty of shared spaces where residents come together: an onsite gym for working out, cinema to catch a film, and TV room for that box set binge.

Key to the refurbishment was meeting the expectations of students pursuing premium living accommodation. This required not only quality fixtures and fittings, but a high-speed Wi-Fi and internet connection – this was recognised as being one of the key priorities for students when considering where to live during the academic year.

Completed ready for the start of 2017-18 academic year, the building was 100% occupied.