Gartnavel Chapel- Calman Cancer Support Centre

The Building

Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel was designed by Sir JJ Burnet and constructed in 1904-6. This Category B Listed chapel is a modest yet graceful building in the Arts and Crafts style of the period. Constructed in good quality, warm materials – timber, red brick, render and slate – it is a charming and unassuming building with well detailed entrances, bell tower, swept roof with deep eaves and projecting porch and intact stained glass windows, two of which are by Robert Anning Bell. The chapel fell out of use and became boarded up and derelict and was finally added to the Building at Risk Register in 2007.

The Project

This project involved the repair and conversion of the former chapel into a cancer support centre for Cancer Support Scotland, a charity which provides free complementary therapies and counselling to those affected by cancer and their close friends and families. Following completion of an options appraisal study in 2008 and a three year fundraising effort to secure the £1.5million required, work began on site in August 2011.

Work included repair and conservation, wherever possible, of the original features of the chapel including the stained glass, wood panelling and choir stalls, construction of a sympathetic new build extension and a light-touch contemporary fit-out to create the calm, tranquil atmosphere required by the end user. The project also created a number of new opportunities for people to learn about and participate in the building’s heritage including the development of children’s activity packs, heritage trails, interpretation panels and an apprenticeship in stone masonry.

The Calman Cancer Support Centre, which features contemporary therapy suites, counselling rooms, information centre with internet access and library facility, hairdressing and wig fitting salon, offices and a peaceful sensory garden, was officially opened in October 2012.


Architect: Austin-Smith:Lord
Cost Consultant: Morham and Brotchie
Structural Engineer: Addison Conservation + Design
Services Engineer: FLN Consulting
CDM Coordinator: CDM Scotland
Heritage Education Specialist: Building Learning/Icosse
Stained and Plain Glass Conservation: Rainbow Glass Studio
Interior Furnishings Concept Design: Helen McNamara


Cancer Support Scotland

Main Contractor

Stewart and Shields

Project Costs

Total Project Cost – £1.5million


The Architectural Heritage Fund, Barcapel Foundation, Commonweal Fund (Trades House of Glasgow), Glasgow City Council (Better Glasgow Fund and Landfill Communities Fund), Glasgow Dean of Guild Court Trust (Merchants House of Glasgow), Glaziers Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Endowments, Robertson Trust, William Grant and Sons, Wolfson Foundation and contributions raised by Cancer Support Scotland.

Date Completed

October 2012


Friends of Glasgow West Gold Award – sensitive conversion and restoration
RICS Award – Commendation Building Conservation Category
National Lottery Awards Good Causes Best Heritage Project Winner