The Briggait

Assist Architects, Glasgow, 1986


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1873 market hall, north-west stair 

Architectural Review     Download Original

  • 1873 market hall, north-west stair    
  • 1873 Merchants    
  • Merchants    
  • The new staircases echo some of the Victorian details while remaining uncompromisingly modern    
  • Refurbished Bridgegate elevation    
  • Corner of the Briggait    
  • Shop units    
  • Staircase to upper level of the Merchants    
  • Food court    
  • 1873 hall    
  • Shop units keep to the original structural module    
  • Location plan - city scale    
  • Locaton plan - local area    
  • Floor plans    
  • Cross section    
  • Isometric view    
  • Existing floor plans    
  • Existing cross section    
  • Sketch of mobile market stall    
  • Typical bay of 1873 hall detail    
  • Construction details    

Redevelopment of a Grade A-listed building into a commercial retail centre

Once a fish market, the Briggait occupies a wedge shaped site overlooking the river Clyde. The building consists of three adjoining halls, built over as many decades, which have been redeveloped to accommodate 43 shop units, 18 stalls, a food court and future workspaces.

The neo-classical facade on Clyde Street is permeated by way of two arches allowing public access to Merchants' Hall and the shops within. A further two entrances along Bridgegate serve the same purpose. Roof level glazing brings daylight down into the double-height atrium, where the Victorian market atmosphere has been conserved.

The retail outlets conform to the geometric grid of the original structure, recessed within the bays between the cast iron columns. New elements and materials, such as the exposed service ducts and steel staircases, are juxtaposed with the original Victorian features in order to avoid pastiche.

In 2010 the Briggait underwent further refurbishment and is now home to 80 studios occupied by artists, designers and cultural organisations.


  • Begun: Jan 1985
  • Completed: Mar 1986
  • Floor area: 4,836m2
  • Total cost: £1.6M
  • Funding: Glasgow District Council, Strathclyde Regional Council, Scottish Historic Buildings Council, Scottish Development Agency, Prudential Assurance Company
  • Tender date: May 1984
  • Procurement: JCT 80 firm price (with Scottish supplement)
  • Address: 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow, G1 5HZ, United Kingdom

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