Doolan Award 2014 - Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village

The winners of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Awards 2014 were announced on 18 June. The award-winning projects represent some of the very best of current Scottish architecture and each will go forward to the shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, which will be presented on 5 November 2014 at the National Museum of Scotland. The RIAS Doolan Award is supported by the Doolan family and the Scottish Government. Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting each of these projects in our “featured project” section. The twelfth of these is: Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Glasgow by RMJM Architecture Ltd.


The Athletes’ Village will be an enduring asset of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. As well as providing an outstanding contribution to the sustainable regeneration of the area, the Village provides a model which offers an alternative to standard housing estate patterns, and aims to raise the bar for future residential development in the city.  The development has transformed a run-down 38 hectare site in the East End of Glasgow into a much sought-after riverside residential area in which people aspire to live, and which engenders pride and community ownership.  This project will welcome a new community to Dalmarnock and is an excellent example of what can be achieved when vision, planning, and design come together.


The housing comprises a broadly 50/50 mix of private and social properties and a care home, interwoven in order that tenures become indistinguishable.  The houses were designed and constructed tenure blind. The 700 homes and related accommodation, initially housing athletes and officials during the Games, now provide a range of dwelling types to encourage a rich mix of occupancy types within the neighbourhood.  All two-storey terraced house types are very easily adapted to three storeys, with only the addition of a staircase, allowing the creation of one or two additional bedrooms in the roofspace for minimal cost.  The masterplan is divided into character zones, each of which has a different look and feel differentiated by factors such as street forms, the spacing between buildings, the pedestrian experience and materials. Homezone surfaces reduce speeds, discourage car use and encourage walking, cycling and community interaction.


Work on the Athletes' Village site began in 2010. The development has a site-wide Energy Centre which provides power, heating and hot water to all of the properties, ensuring much lower fuel bills for tenants and owners. Central to the design solution was the legacy of how the site would develop after the Commonwealth Games.


Images © City Legacy

Aerial view of Athetes Village and view of houses from rooftop