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Been round the houses lately quite literally and metaphorically!
I attended the recent first round of public consultations on Sauchiehall St and Garnethill area.
A number of keynote speakers preceded a round table discussion of the areas in question. Each table was presented with a map of the area under scrutiny upon which you could scribble ideas , thoughts-both negative and positive and anything else that you thought was relevant. The maps had a green boundary which included most of S'hall St , Bath St , Charing X and Garnethill but was careful to exclude the part of S'Hall St terminating at the recently condemned concert hall steps.

This is very typical of the kind of design charettes which the Scottish Government are sponsoring at the moment ( I think this is Glasgow led and procured). The difference with this one is that the lead consultant is the august Jan Gehl Architects : a company I have been following for the last 20 odd years or so. If you are familiar with them you will know what I mean-if not -you are in for a treat finding out. Part of my being there was trying to establish their MO as well as to try to contribute something to the emerging masterplan. The headline issues in the area have been well ventilated down the years with at least half a dozen urban masterplans that have not been enacted , so it was fairly easy to postulate solutions for a great many of the concerns.

The over arching concern for me is that this consultation and ultimate plan is shelved too. The estimable Gehl architects however, have an enviable reputation for not only synthesising the issues into a comprehensive masterplan but also implementing those recommendations. Lets hope the council will back this with hard cash.

The 2nd round of public consultation is on 23rd April for those wishing to attend.
sauchiehall.net for the website.
 

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Gordon Mathieson better like the design of it's a no hoper ;)
Ironically Gordon Mathieson was the first of the keynote speakers on the day
*cue much gnashing of teeth*.The usual party line was blurted out , he disappeared and the consultation proper got underway. I got the distinct feeling from most in the room that they were happy to see the back of him.

Gehl's main guy for this is a Scot by the name of Ricardo Marini, one of the practice's directors . I have to say I liked the cut of his gib. The tenor of his profile on Gehls website is quite interesting too, it reads:
" Riccardo is an Architect and Chartered Town Planner with a deep knowledge of developing people-centred solutions. He is considered to be an inspirational speaker and regularly gives keynote lectures on place-making and governance. He is challenged by how the bureaucratic systems we have created, in the name of efficiency, destroy the kind of places that bring joy to our hearts. He is certain that the path to health, happiness, wealth and wellbeing is one that puts people, their culture and art central to our planning process."

I like that too
 

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A fairly disappointing array of streets / streetscapes /space between buildings in relation to some of the recently completed stuff . Unimaginative and lacking the ambition of a truly world class city- which despite all this I still believe we are.











 

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This has the potential to be one of the most amazing spaces in the city : it has everything.

• Top of a key route , discovered upon reaching the apex of the High St or John Knox St
• Adjacent another fantastic public space, Cathedral Precinct, with the possibility of linking to it in some way
• Notwithstanding the Drygate flats , fronted by some astonishing buildings.
• Some very fine statuary , an old police box and on old public convenience which could be converted
• Astonishing panorama of the Necropolis , and views of the Cathedral
• Some decent mature trees
• History wherever you point a camera . Drygate martyrs etc
• A phenomenal potential place of assembly for public marches/ meetings / protests , great place to have lunch if you are a nurse / doc at the Royal and a good photo op for graduating students at the Barony, to say nothing of the enhanced tourist offering this could be.


Wow....The list is endless.

Don't get me wrong, the atmosphere on a pleasant day is just that-it's just that it could be so much more....

Shamefully ignored for such a long time.
















 

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A fascinating and inspirational couple of paragraphs from Graham Morrison of Allies + Morrison architects....

http://www.alliesandmorrison.com/

Would love to see some of their work in Glasgow.

The Art of Place-Making
Graham Morrison 1999
Originally published : “Brindleyplace -a model for Urban Regeneration’ ( Right Angle Publishing)

The essential business of cities is trade. If through design the successful exchange of ideas, business and culture is made difficult, a city will usually fail and it is with the design of buildings and the spaces they form that so much can be contributed to help us to take advantage of these essential opportunities which the coming together in cities can give us. To make places that support this healthy activity in a city, architecture must be grounded in how things are and in an understanding of how cities work.
While much of what we do necessarily happens inside buildings because we can both modify the environment and make things safe, the spaces between our buildings (its streets, lanes, squares and avenues) must make clear our understanding of where we are and encourage our participation in what the city has to offer. A good building, therefore, is a building which will not only meet the needs of its carefully defined internal brief, but will also acknowledge its inevitable effect on the world outside. The complete urban matrix of a successful city is both shaped and constantly reinvigorated by its buildings, and our consequent enjoyment of the places we inhabit as a community, will depend as much on the depth of consideration given to the design of its buildings as it does on the planning of the places themselves.
All places have a visual order and it is important that each building finds its place in its context. Not every building needs to be extraordinary and very often, the success of places depends on the calm (and reassuring) enjoyment of the straightforward. Convention is easily understood and makes our cities helpfully predictable and without the conventional, the extraordinary could not exist. Equally, uniformity can be relentless and disorientating and spaces need surprise to test and extend our expectations. There is always a fine line, however, between the provocative and the tasteless and between the outrageous and the dull, and for cities to survive generations the making of places must be an art which is circumspect of fashion.
Places also have an economic and social order and it is also important in the design of buildings that the city becomes safe and secure and available and accessible. In successful places, the public realm flows easily between the inside and outside, and buildings designed solely in response to the cautious single use requirements of an institutional investor will often fail to provide the richness of interaction (particularly at street level) which contributes so much to why people want to be there. Buildings that accommodate more than one use have a greater possibility of such a healthy interaction with the city, and places where people work, live and meet in the same location, are less likely to disappoint and fail. A creative legal and financial structure which allows buildings to be designed with such a rich mix of uses can therefore, usefully contribute as much to place making as design itself.
Successful place making depends therefore on an understanding of context, history, scale and proportion as well as on the meeting of needs of the intricate mercantile pressures which caused its being. If there is an art in place making, it should be based as the understanding of the complexities of both the economic as well as the visual order of the city and the confident control of its inherent ambiguities and contradictions. With this in mind, the place makers' skill could be similar to that of a Japanese calligrapher who, as each bold brush stroke is placed on the page, is in fact considering the white space it defines.
__
 

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7N Architects look to have been engaged to lead the charge with the City's avenues public realm project .

http://www.7narchitects.com/news/2015/sauchiehall-street-avenues/

Should be interesting to see how this dovetails with the Sauchiehall project headed up by Gehl Architects, the second public workshop of which is scheduled for 23rd April.

Should you wish to contribute to the on-going debate with your ideas and thoughts you can do so here..

http://www.sauchiehall.net/#section-interactive-map
 

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The stairway next to St Vincent Plaza is coming along nicely :)
https://www.facebook.com/stvincentplaza/posts/426635007512331
This is about the best aspect of this particular build.. Not sure how well used it will be as most folk staying at the Hilton arrive by hack but new connections where there were previously none are always to be welcomed.

Now if we could only get rid of this horrible little space

Dial house has the look and feel of something coming to the end of it's natural life , so hope springs eternal. If we could have something that attracts folk to use the new street all the better. The city council , as part of the Sauchiehall Project are looking into the possibility of re-activating and re-occupying the adjacent lanes. A similar approach would work well in these pockets between buildings and motorway ramps.

For the life of me I cannot get the noodle bar from Blade runner out of my head or the opening scenes from Akira for this part of town or indeed for this part
 

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How to get out of Royston ...

A walk , mid afternoon in the blazing sunshine.

Gawd only knows what this is like after dark.

Astonishing .... for all the wrong reasons.

 

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The second part of the Sauchiehall consultation took place on Thursday afternoon, It made for a fascinating few hours. ( orig post #1082)

This part of the consultation was entitled : "From Ideas to Action". Pretty much self explanatory. It meant taking the themes, ideas and suggestions made at the first one and trying to find ways of implementing them. The large and grandiose ideas that had been suggested in the earlier meeting( roofs over the M8 etc) are all still very much relevant but the focus for this one was looking at the easy wins , the low hanging fruit, so to speak, that could form the basis of a larger masterplan of public spaces, avenues and networks.

I was surprised and delighted to discover that one of the main documents outlining the various suggestions for the area contained quite a few of mine- views that I had posted on the wee map on their website and were re-published as a fold out map. The ones that are ringed are mine (see below) - they are not acknowledged on the document but you can check them out here and add some of your own.

The main easy win / main idea that I have been promoting and which seemed to go down well with the group of folk I was with is outlined in number 22 on the map below. The idea advocates a small 'pocket' public square on Cambridge St. from Sauchiehall St. to Renfrew St. as it is a cul-de-sac at the moment. Re-provide the wheelchair user parking spaces within a shared surface, with new trees and an illuminated totem at the junction of S'Hall to punctuate, inform and direct people to it. There is already a new Costa , a Gregg's which has been around for a while as well as a disused unit which housed the old Littlewoods and even Dunnes could alter their shopfront to address a new plaza. As I say - a relatively cheap and easy win that could post notice for the redevelopment of the rest of the adjacent main pedestrian artery.

Watch this space.


 

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Cheers Milton - I appreciate the support.

I have to say this public consultation has been run in an exemplary manner and in actual fact has been really enjoyable not only to to take part in but also to observe the MO of Gehl Architects. at work.

Couple of concerns -the timings of the 2 public meetings were mid-late afternoon to early evenings , so many folk would not have been able to attend and a real shame that there appeared to be no one from the Chinese community in Garnethill in either meeting.

I happen to think as appears here that a new Chinese and Oriental quarter along New City Road would be a wonderful addition to the City's cultural life and something which would begin to heal the physical rift between that part of the city and N Woodside.
 

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More cool pics btw
Thanks for the shout Charlie-much appreciated.

Interesting to consider that occupation of large swathes of Buchanan St have not raised any real objections( in this forum anyway) in the manner of GCC's feuing off of George Sq at Christmas and through the year.
Supporters of the events in the square would argue that they do precisely the same as those tables and chairs in Buchanan St namely that they encourage interaction, exchange and street life.

Do folk object to activities in the square because Glasgow's formal public spaces are at a premium or is it a matter of taste?

Just a thought.
 

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Tried this around Finnieston, deleting the yellow lines. Didn't work well as people kept parking there for the SECC and getting towed! If you look now they've put down yellow lines.

It had to have these signs up to remind folk.
https://goo.gl/maps/2Txmh
I think you've missed the point of my post. The introduction of Home Zones in the area would restrict access and parking even more than currently.
 

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An interesting look at how Melbourne reinvented the core of its city. Quite a few similarities with Glasgow- the grid following the same block-lane-block paradigm.

The work to re-activate the lanes there is a big influence on current thinking with respect to the Sauchiehall project with Gehl and the City Council promoting their re-occupation here.

Look fabulous there. Can we get it to work here?
I hope so.

https://vimeo.com/131396094
 

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Dead right SZJ about the scale and configuration of the lanes. This has always been a worry in terms of translating the designs.

Clearing the lanes of dumpsters requires solutions either in terms of refuse uplift or of some kind of storage solution for waste or waste receptacles- no mean feat.
Given how heavily serviced some of the lanes are I don’t think all can be re-occupied it’s about identifying opportunities where the lanes could be re-invented. This requires a fair degree of faith, imagination, not to mention cash on the part of the owners /tenants and council.

Punching through from lane to street again could be limited but it does not mean to say that buildings with blocked up windows / doorways/ forgotten service entrances / old vents could not be re-opened. For example some nice things happening on S’hall lane with Malones but if Watt Bros could be persuaded to look at this https://goo.gl/maps/qaKWy .. You can even see where the original lintels are…- that could become a coffee shop window / bar or whatever. There are loads of opportunities. A bit further we have this, https://goo.gl/maps/d0aGL and this is a problem.

Occupying the lanes around S’hall St could be great but if we get S’hall St right first that will be an enabler for getting the hinterland regenerated.
 

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north court and north court lanes are prime candidates for enlivening, connecting st vincent pl with royal exchange sq and buchanan st. could be shweet, but for the bins, n junk, n stuff
Yep-a couple of cracking spots there Crusty which really ought to be like your 'after' images.
Unfortunately these are spaces which are just outside of the terms of reference of the Sauchiehall project and likely not to get the attention which other places will. A real shame because they've got so much going for them.
It'd be interesting to see how Melbourne coped with the refuse/ dumpster issue- I'll pursue this line of enquiry and get back to you all.
 
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