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James Ashworth

A New Boat House for Galgael

GalGael is a charitable trust and social enterprise that promotes ways of living with more humanity. The organisation achieves these aims through a tradition of boat building with volunteers and community members from their workshops in the southside Glasgow neighbourhood of Govan.

On the edge of Govan Graving Docks, adjacent to the River Clyde, is a pumping house that was once used to pump water in and out of the docks. Built in the 1880s and abandoned for decades, the building has become dilapidated and at risk of collapse. As part of a wider urban plan for the listed graving docks, this project imagines a new river crossing from Zaha Hadid’s landmark Riverside Museum, restoring and expanding the Pump House. The scheme brings a visitor centre and café to the existing structure and adds a new standalone building beside it to expand the education and boat building facilities of the GalGael Trust.

GalGael promotes sustainability in all its activities, and the new boathouse is designed to be self-sustaining, generating electricity from several bladeless wind turbines designed to harvest the strong winds along the River Clyde. Rainwater harvesting will feed the building’s brown water supply as well as a new nature reserve around the fringes of the docks.

Stephen Johnson