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Glasgow Metro Area Architecture, Design and Urban Issues in Glasgow



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Old February 9th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #21
gweilo
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Ironic really. This scheme sits on the site of one of Glasgow's prototypical skyscrapers: the Glasgow style Neptune House, a model working man's lodging house by the architect Peter McGregor Chambers that dated from 1906. It was on the corner of Pitt and Argyle Streets and was demolished as part of the CDA clearances to construct the Anderston centre. Shame as it was a satisfying piece of design and a credit to the city.

What's proposed isn't quite of that calibre and in particular what concerns me about the new proposals is, judging from Gleegie's photos of the planning drawings (good on you! the staff in there always get shirty about taking copies but it is allowed for purposes of criticism) the distinct lack of an active frontage on Argyle Street. With the exception of the full height glazing to the office and residential entrance lobbies, cladding the base storey of the building in 'Portland stone effect precast concrete' is distinctly anti urban and is begging for both trouble and graffitti. Doubtless this will be because the developers are presuming there are no, or few, pedestrians in this area, so why bother with retail units or restaurants, bars, etc, but unless you encourage them there won't be any pedestrians period and this area will stay dead. This on one of Glasgow's main throughfares! Given that this sits on a prominent site next to one of Glasgow's premier hotels (however bad it maybe), and not far from a train station that is in the throws of being refurbished, I would have thought the city would be looking for something a bit more sensitive than that.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #22
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Hmmm its just as bland as whats there already- a coat of clading of whatever that surfaces it wont make a diff untill there is a unique building shape..there seems to be no creative building design in the development IMO, we need more curves and shine to inspire the human eye.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #23
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Cadogan Square is a good example of a project where no effort has gone into image. A computer graphic/montage or drawing is the best way of illustrating a development and its impact, without it I am having serious difficulty in visualising this.

The diagrams and floorplans, the pish ones, are all that was contained within the planning app and so are presumably all that the council have to go on in formulating an informed decision. Clearly they are much better at projecting a mental image, or maybe they just rubber stamp them regardless.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #24
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Really appreciate you going into the Council Gleegieboy and getting what information you could.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
This scheme sits on the site of one of Glasgow's prototypical skyscrapers: the Glasgow style Neptune House
This?






Quote:
distinct lack of an active frontage on Argyle Street
CMM's "The Bridge" retail frontage hasn't been a roaring success. Commercially sustainable retail on this stretch of Argyle Street is 10 years off at best. Don't know what's worse, blank wall or dereliction.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 04:49 AM   #26
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The bridge (I refuse to capatalise on it!) is a total shambles!!!! WTF is it sposed to be? Who da fook in thier right mind would want to let a space under that? Anyone on here daft enough to buy into it?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #27
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The bridge is a bit different at least (I quite like the window arrangements, for some strange reason), but on the whole I'm more against it than for it.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 11:54 PM   #28
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That's my home you're talking about!

The double height space and suspended upper floor doubtless count against small letsmiserly glazing panels aren't going to attract large tenants either.

You've got Venezia opened up across the street though and the council are investing heavily in public realm, paving, fancy traffic lights and white street lighting.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 01:02 AM   #29
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I've absolutely no idea what the Bridge is like as a whole - again, I'm judging purely on external aesthetics and a dodgy memory!

What's the build quality, spec and spaciousness like inside?
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Old February 15th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #30
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Lots of interesting opinions - I thought it would be helpful if you had some more legible images.




http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...chitects/2.jpg




http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...chitects/1.jpg
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #31
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Welcome to the Forum Susan and thanks for the images of Cadogan Sq, gives us all a decent insight to what the Anderston site will look like.

I take it you are a promoter of the project from Aedas ?



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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #32
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now where have I seen that office block before?
http://www.murraydunloparchitects.co...trum/index.htm
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #33
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Thanks for those Susan I'll say this for the scheme, it certainly follows precedents set in the area in terms of aesthetic and lack of active street frontage. I do wonder though, considering the retail units under the Bridge are still lying vacant, what incentive is there to make provision for such space in any new development in this area? There is also no scope for a major increase in the residential population (please correct me if I'm wrong- do any of the other proposals for the IFSD/Anderston include a res component?) given it's designated usage so would, if included, a retail component be a success? It's also a bit of a paradox that the area feels very much urbane yet is so anti-urban, and as a result dead, at the same time.

Overall I don't think it's that bad, it kind of reminds me of Lancefield Quay without the render and with echoes of Spectrum in the glass section. A little more thought could have gone into the detailing ofthe east elevation of the tower component though... hardly going to make u want to wander down there is it? I can't say i have feelings towards it either way, but then (to quote Lisa Simpson) I am a child of the MTV generation and feel neither emotional highs nor low... how does it feel? ...hmmmmm.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #34
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Now now Aland! I suspect the argument is that they are responding to the architectural language of the area?

The office looks quite promising but the relationship to the residential is just awful. The street frontage. needs to be addressed in amore positive and engaging manner.

Another discussion is Argyle street - it has the potential to be a key route to the new harbour developments - it can have activity that the riverfront will not - just need to stick the expressway underground and form a grand street to the SECC and Glasgow harbour - easy!

On a previous point - Tesco Metro and a Job Centre Plus are the proposed tenants for the Bridge retail. I think the streetscape for this area may be some time off.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #35
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ach you're probably right baltacha, the Cuprum building further east has a large curved patinated copper front I believe.

Obviously that's just a response too, you know....... rather than just a complete and utter fucking rip off.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #36
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Hi. I got directed to this forum today. Usually I ramble on on designcommunity.com.
I'll come clean and say that I work for the firm of architects concerned, 'though I'm not involved in this design and hardly know more about it than you guys except for a brief in-office presentation recently. I trust that Susan's links give you a better pivot to discuss the scheme. To be honest, I was getting depressed about things looking at the first grainy image myself which, by the way, is not to say that it wasn't perfectly commendable to put it up in the first place, before I get shot down for being the image police.

The one extra bit of info. I can add is that the masonry on the lowest floor as it currently appears is not the whole story. The idea is to make it more perforated than that and to incorporate some sort of light feature.

But if we're restricting ourselves to the tall residential box, you'll accept that efforts have been made to go with a notion of verticality in breaking it up into taller, proportionally, elements, rather than just extrude a plan into a lump, and the thing isn't *that* tall: not tall enough for zing just by height.
It's solid with openings, which places it in comparison with the earlier skyscrapers rather than with the Miesian type.
Given that there's a fairly articulated plan going on inside (as opposed to open office floor plates) it can't so easily wave around expressively. One could stick out a great cantilevered chunk for the sake of wildness but maybe the developer's not willing to go there?

I must dash off to a CPD session so my ruminations must be cut short. Which is a fitting metaphor perhaps...
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:23 PM   #37
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What is it they say about imitation and flattery.....



Now of course i have the untrained builders eye, but i would say that both buildings were about similar in height, similar window fenstration, similar mid floor panels, similar column arrangement at street and similar step back of upper floors



What happened Alan d, did you leave the drawings on the bus again?

Saying that, i doubt the Aedas office block is anything like Spectrum, just some similarities in terms of shape and scale.

I like the colours of the tower - quite nice and i like aspects of the tower where it is slender at the top also, the cream tiles on the west elevation could do with being broken up?

And now since we have got all these Aedas folk on the forums. Who is going to own up about all these fuckin PPP schools
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #38
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Once again, great quality renders. I'm blown away by how real they look - closer to reality than (almost) anything else I've seen. Great job.

I think it's to be commended that those involved/remotely involved care enough to get themselves involved (even just a little) in the debate, and to give us something better to go on. So thanks.

Usual disclaimer - my opinion is very uneducated and highly impulsive! I just say what I see by looking at the renders, on face value. I don't have the insight to look any deeper (and I'd argue that the general public don't, either - a factor that I believe has to be considered in urban dsign).

I like the office block - though I agree that some improvement is needed at street level (the proposed lighting sounds interesting - are any night time renders available?). However, it is a big mass and I wonder if perhaps the facade on to Argyle Street is a little bland?

My feelings on the tower block are pretty similar to what I've said before. I just think it all looks a little bland, and is crying out for some detailing or a bit of pizzazz to liven it up. The small windows rising up the 'middle column' look a bit out of place in a development that, to me, has the potential to be more exciting. Perhaps some detailing on the surrounding cladding would make a difference? I dunno. I do like the overall massing of the residential element, however, as it adds a bit of extra interest.

On the whole, I'm glad this is being proposed and do hope it goes ahead. The area could do with some extra life being injected in to it.

Thanks again for posting the extra info.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #39
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Look I tell you it's amazing who tunes in to this website. Would'nt be surprised if Rem's chewing on a chicken leg with a glass of wolf blass in hand and following the thread.

Anyway socceroo I would be delighted seriously if an idea was taken and improved upon, you know .....made better. Whether it's curtain walling or copper or led's or stainless steel or whatever, we have been influenced by other architects work, everyone is.

It's taking an idea an sucking all the life out of it , making it worse that's the problem I have.

Also, PPP indeed socceroo , PPP indeed.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #40
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Yep welcome to all you new folks - glad you've joined in on whats become a surprisingly lively debate.

As I said before, I'm quite happy with the residential part of the development. It certainly isn't ground-breaking, but it's perfectly ok to look at. A wee bit more detail would be nice, but on the whole it works well with it's surroundings. I like the scale and form of the tower - makes it look taller than it actually is.

And the office part is not bad too - can see the similarities Alan, but I'm sure there are countless buildings in Britain alone that have roughly the same profile as Spectrum. But only we got da' bling-bling silver padded walls



The major, almost overwhelming failing of this scheme is it's base/street level interaction. It's pretty dire. Cold, sterile and uninviting. Just because most of Argyle street is like that already, doesn't make it acceptable to continue the trend. Something has to be done about it. Granted, Argyle street is by no means a pedestrian thoroughfare, but this will certainly not encourage the street life around it to grow. The street has so much potential given it's position, size and importance, but it's been blighted with 40 years worth of shite planning and terrible architecture. If something has to be done, it has to be done now, and Cadogan Square has to help kick start it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltacha
just need to stick the expressway underground and form a grand street to the SECC and Glasgow harbour - easy!
Fantastic idea mate - if only, eh?


-----------------------------------


Yeah Gleegie whats the Bridge like inside - it's a peculiar design from the outside - not too sure about it, but it would be magic to have a pad there
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