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This week reporter Caren McPate talks to architect Paul Stallan, a former Springburn boy and Thomas Muir High School pupil who has played a major role in the design of the new North Glasgow College campus, which is due to open in 2007.

IN just over a year's time North Glasgow College will have a new £35million campus, and former Springburn boy Paul Stallan will have played a major part in creating it.

As the design director of one of the UK's top architectural firms, RMJM, Paul has helped to spearhead a number of national and international projects, including the Scottish Parliament building.

Earlier this year his expanding portfolio was recognised when he received the prestigious Architect of the Year award - a title that he is extremely modest about, claiming it was a "team effort".

All of this may have seemed like a dream come true for Paul (37), who grew up in a working class family, on a street that no longer exists, and at a time when you had to put 10p in the TV to make it work.

DRAWING

He said: "A career in architecture was always something that appealed to me. My dad was a draftsman and I was always drawing from an early age.

"We lived in a small house and my parents were not well off at the time, but they wanted the best for their children and encouraged me to pursue something that I was good at."

From Springburn, Paul and his family moved to Kelvindale, and then Maryhill, before settling in Bishopbriggs. He attended Thomas Muir High School before studying architecture at Strathclyde University.

After graduating in his early twenties, Paul worked in community architecture for eight years under Peter McGurn, who he describes as "a godfather of community housing".

Based in estates around the east end of Glasgow, the work gave Paul a good grounding to help establish RMJM's Glasgow office, where he is in charge of up to 40 staff.

DELIGHTED

When the firm was appointed to design the new North Glasgow College building, Paul was delighted.

He said: "I was over the moon that we were given the opportunity to create the new development.

"The idea is to have something that is fun and up-beat for the students and to get away from old and dark buildings. It will hopefully create a positive feel that young people can enjoy.

"When I went to see the principal early on in the design process, he never let me forget that I was a Springburn boy.

"I still have clear memories of when I lived there, such as going to pre-school, playing in the street and riding my bright red bike.

"I've seen the area change a lot over the years and it's good to now be part of that."

Paul lives with his wife Seonaid and two children in Shawlands, on the south side of Glasgow.

As well as working in a range of projects of varying scale in Glasgow and across the UK, he has been a part-time tutor at Strathclyde University for eight years, a lecturer on design methodology and an invited design critic at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle Universities.

He said: "I am firmly Glaswegian and really enjoy living in the city as well as working on its designs."

Getting to know you

First car: A Saab

First record: - Teenage Kicks by The Undertones

Book currently reading: Harry Potter

Favourite TV programme:

I watch Dick and Dom on a Saturday morning with my children

Famous person most like to meet: Bob Dylan

 
 
 

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