West Ward Works

  • Client:

    West Ward Works

  • Location: Dundee
  • Status: Masterplan - RIBA Stage 0 - 1
  • Contract value: Undisclosed

McGinlay Bell were appointed by West Ward Works Ltd (DC Thomson) and asked to consider a 10 year vision that intends to set out a future scene and a focused ambition for Dundee’s West Ward Works buildings by defining vibrant multifaceted spaces for creativity across the Tay cities region.

We were asked to consider a strategic design and programmatic plan that supports the long term vision of creating a new place in the city; a place that supports, nurtures and helps grow the scale of creative Dundee’s community while equally developing a place of energy and incubator of business, innovation and experimentation.


Our masterplan represents a long-term vision for the West Ward Works site. The programme for West Ward is principally organised within the footprint and across the volume of the former factory structures. Our intention for the new pieces of architecture is to allow for a balance between both new temporary and permanent configurations and operations. The new infrastructure will support the needs for continuing ‘generative’ cultural and creative activities whilst retaining degrees of flexibility for change.

The masterplan considers a phasing development over three planned stages. Fundamentally we believe that the evolution and making of West Ward Works should develop in tandem with the exploits of a strong variety of creative and cultural programme. Our intention for the project is not to focus solely on individual building parts and their associated programme in its reassembly but, to take a more considered and holistic approach to the development plan across the entire West Ward Works site and in parallel with the development phases.

The design ambition is to animate the West Ward Works buildings through a mix of public, programmed and creative industry activities. The process of consolidation, repair and re-use of West Ward warehouses is conceived as a phased, incremental process.