At 2,500.000sq/ft Glasgow had the third highest rate of projected office completions up to 2009 within the UK, behind London and Manchester with 3,500,000sq/ft, (source GVA Grimley). This represents a rate of activity not seen since the boom years of the late 1980's except this time grounded in a stronger economy and greater diversity of active sectors indicating entry to a more sustained period of growth. The bulk of new development is centred on Glasgow's emerging banking quarter, the International Financial Services District (IFSD) in an attempt to lure business from historic banking centres.
Materials - Embedded and external gold coloured aluminium mesh with clear glass, translucent okalux panels and dark grey aluminium cladding
Height - 11, 13 and 15 floors
Floor space - 389,000 sq/ft
Cost - £150 million
Status - Cancelled
Location - 220-226 Broomielaw/7-9 Carrick Street
Start date -
Completion date - August 2013
Three office buildings rise in height and width from the river to provide open aspects and depth of field, together they physically break a large urban block by establishing east/west pedestrian through routes focussed on a new public space which will taper back from the river terminated by building 3 and framed by an avenue of uplit trees down McAlpine St providing wind cover. Southern and western aspects are treated with feature glazing shaded by a veil of vertical louvre blades arranged in varying density, remaining facades are finished in a mix of solid and glazed panels. Retail, cafes and restaurants will occupy the corner of each building facing landscaped porphry stone paving coordinated with GCC's public realm, vehicle access to the 130 space basement car park will be via a ramp covered by a lightweight illuminated sculptural canopy. A Fastlink stop will open nearby.
220 Broomielaw presently stands as the tallest proposed commercial premises in the city and marks a significant upscaling in ambition by developer, evidenced by the employment of Make a practice known for pushing architectural boundaries, although on subdued form here. The design's depth sets it apart from previous schemes and the effort gone into creating an active streetfront avoiding sterile flood defence is noble as is expanded investment and scale from Elder and Cannons £60 million, 220,000sq/ft 2006 scheme.
Castlemore (now bust) have unveiled one of the larger speculative schemes outwith the capital, 301 St Vincent Street. Comprising 2 dramatic offset wedges sandwiching a glossy and transparent perimeter atrium with emphasis placed on opposing SW & NE aspects to maximise impact upon Bothwell and St Vincent St's. Each wing will slope in proportion to site gradient with hints of projecting and indented balconies at intervals across the facade. Environmental consideration is evidenced by vertical gardens and high level roof terraces whilst coils placed in the roofspace cool adjacent air thus stirring a process of convection as temperature differentials excite air movement, eliminating the need for wasteful air conditioning. All being as it should both this and Elphinstone Place will be rising simultaneously in 2008. Quite the prospect.
A newly configured internal vehicle access ramp to the Abbey building and demolition of a single storey health club extension will facilitate construction of twin basement levels accommodating 200 spaces. A terrace garden will be created between St Vincent and William St on the eastern site boundary creating a pedestrian connection with ramps and steps bridging a high gradient. Outdoor spaces will be dressed with planting to mitigate an elevated slip road and activated by a cafe/restaurant overlooking the area. The western site boundary will consist of a pedestrian through way hard landscaped with large rocks to create a sculptural juxtaposition of rough and smooth lending impression of being anchored to the bedrock.
Apocalyptic scenes from the 1970's have been tempered through intervening decades by successive investment, notably the Britoil building in 1984 and 1992's Hilton. A continued removal program of barren post war development should finally integrate the one true asset of the era, the M8.
Crystaline facets of glass help nudge Glasgow's skyline void with the City Council pushing for height, the resultant ambition demonstrating flair not evident in Hugh Martin's lumpen Franborough House. Irregular aspect generates dynamic views as height and mass change with perspective, piercing the curvature of Elphinstone with a prominent jagged shard on the important St Vincent St corridor in so doing projecting a contemporary commercial pairing to frame the pious twins of a past generation.
Demolition of George House is proposed by the owners in order that superior office provision can be brought to market, winning an ensuing design competition is a split level proposal combining a podium element conforming to the building datum around George Square prior to stepping up toward the College of Building and Printing in tower form. These portions are fused within a crystaline cloud element that sits over the lower roof working its way into a central atrium and expressed in elevation down to ground level, leaving a crystalline glass slot between lower and upper portions.
The George Street frontage is dressed in heavy limestone clad fin-like features which switch to slender anodised aluminium equivalents to the sides. A central atrium facing onto George Sq bridges three office blocks with a grand public arcade leading to roof gardens and restaurant/bar facilities in an elevated pavilion space. In broad terms the design is inspired by a "geode", an unprposessing lump of rock that reveals crystaline veins of glass when shattered.
An austere and regimented George Square facade does not radically improve upon the unremarkable George House, hampered further by a continued absence of street interaction. Instead the schemes high point, an organic lattice of glazing, is hidden from majority view on upper floors. Greater emphasis of this stand out feature from the street would be to the schemes benefit.
The development maximises an under-developed site with a pleasing stepping stone symmetry of height in relation to the College of Building and Printing, in an idealised world the railway cutting bisecting both would be decked over as a public plaza.
Two storeys have been lopped off the glazed penthouse levels of 110 Queen St along with a slight reduction in bulk with a stepped indent toward the neighbouring Olympic House. Smooth sandstone punched through with deep set windows. The building line will be brought out to align with the prevailing line of Ingram Street to properly frame the setting of GOMA. Mass of the Ingram Street façade is split by a vertical line of glazing, to reflect the width of neighbouring properties. Capless fritted glazing is sculpted to avoid a monolithic outline against the sky and enlarged vehicular access to the basement will accommodate two way traffic. Approval clears the way for demolition of the unloved former HBOS offices, present decay a sad metaphor for the banking giants waning fortunes as staff decamp to 110 St Vincent St.
Weighty masonry along the southern flank of George Square is soon to be augmented by the accruence of organic steel banding on g1 and an iridescent terrace above 110 Queen St, ushering in an invogorating new vista to arrivals at Queen St. An irregular profile of glazing at 110 Queen St will be strongly lit above stone shoulder reflecting a changing scheme of colours currently under investigation. Lacking inherent beauty of symmetry the effect is enhanced by stairwell division exposing internal motion although some external elevators would have added greater dynamism to the view of hi tech protrudences.
Redevelopment presents a trebling in floorspace from existing premises with the introduction of 12,000sq/ft of retail and 7m main reception space. A steel lattice structure constructed within the stone facade supports open plan U shaped floor plates around 2 central light wells. Deep soffits and ingoes give a sense of solidity echoing Victorian masonry whilst cornices and key building lines are extrapolated through horizontal signatures.
Clam shell innovation of 3DReid's competition entry has been superceded by conservative stone and glass from Holmes Partnership. Doubtless oiled by projected rental income Holmes demonstrate confidence of scale in refusing to be cowed by historic limitations, netting a new landmark at George Square by dint of mass and quality. Although this daring do houses a by the numbers corporate solution largely indistinguishable from the likes of Cornerstone, albeit on a grander scale. A fussier design loses symmetrical consistency and set back upper floors dilute the crown, a more brazen celebration of height would have eaten bulk and contributed soar. Representing a new breed of streetscraper rising to prominence in a buoyant commercial marketplace hopes are high that an innovative translucent turquoise sheath will further illuminate an already spectacular Exchange Square.
Location - 45 Finnieston St (SP5), 110 Finnieston St (SP7) & 125 Houldsworth St (SP9)
Status - Masterplan Approval submitted
Completion date -
Early proposals for plots in the Skypark locality have been superceded following Kenmore's purchase of the Skypark office scheme in a £90 million joint venture with Paradigm and Moncrieff Minerva. Kenmore aim to pursue a policy of densification across their Skypark estates, furthering rental yields by activating the economic potential of unproductive lands.
SP5: 45 Finnieston St (Refurbishment)
A 3 level rooftop extension of SP5 has been cancelled. Originally overcladding with an undulating ribbon of glass across the front facade, bookended by an aqua glass layer detached from existing gables such that new build and refurbishment could not be distinguished. Pastel hued gables and dramatic red cross bracing injected much needed colour to a presently drab Finnieston. The combination of height and width impress Finnieston st, particularly when read within context of future proposals. Night lighting would have been a key feature of the design. Infiniti is has completed further down Finnieston St.
SP7: AMEC site, twin 7 storey hotel development
SP7 previously saw a an £18 million, 185 home, 15 floor tower from Elder and Cannon Comprising two rectangular blocks of Aluminium cladding panels (silver/grey), masonry cladding and render (portland colour) with curtain wall glazing above one and two storey parking decks, the adjoining block fronts West Greenhill Place. The scheme is situated adjacent to Exhibition Centre station and over the road from Mizu. It succeeded the Icon.
SP8: AMEF site, 11 storey office development
SP8 had been anticipated to contain a 17 storey residential from Quality Street, it will now contain a phased office block with ground floor retail around an expanded Finnieston Square. Previous design (right) by Curious Group.
SP9: Houldsworth Street site
A stepped profile concedes to adjacent gable elevations to defer to a listed building and allow daylight penetration to street level. A corporate blue fin will be uplit in LED lights adorned by the Skypark brand. Unfortunately the grey dressing of SP9 is more liable to deaden than sparkle in low light blending with the drab SP5, not cogniscant or consciously abandoning its scrapped revamp.
SP10: MSCP site. 17 floors (potentially)
The existing MSCP and main entrance ramp is both accessible and visible with a high rise development on the site considered to be beneficial. Note large tower left is an early massing for SP8, SP10 lies centre.
Materials - Double glazed curtain walling, natural stone ceramic rainscreen and render
Usage - Commercial
Height - 10 floors
Floor space - 80,000 sq/ft
Cost - £12 million
Location - 2 West Regent Street
Status - Proposed
Start date - 26 April 2008
Completion date -
A basement level accommodating 24 parking spaces has been removed from a revised application. The build incorporates 8,500 sq/ft of ground floor retail and completes the redevelopment of the West Nile Street intersection following rebuilds of the Odeon and General Accident building.
A stepped cut back on West Nile St constitutes the strongest design element of the winning competition entry athough this would have achieved greater drama if repositioned to the West Nile St corner and extended further in height. Loss of a basement level isn't acceptable for what ought be a required feature of all city centre builds. Horizontal indents distinguish second floor intervals and ceramic rainscreen cladding breaks the monotony of glass, a welcome addition to the city.
Materials - Unitised structural sealant, glazing and natural stone
Height - 10 floors (39.3m)
Floor space - 89,340sq/ft gross, 75,000sqft net approx
Cost - £10 million
Location - 29 Wellington Street
Status - Site Clearance
Start date - July 2007
Completion date - July 2009
HBG have taken a novel approach to the Glasgow demolition scene. Not content with merely demolishing the physical Apsley House, dubbed col-apsley House, a virtual model has been created for ordinary glaswegians to knock lumps out of, and if the inestimable satisfaction of erasing another city eyesore isn't persuasion enough they will even send a case of champagne to the most efficient rubble master. We love our tower cranes here at futureglasgow and so fresh sightings of these potent totems to urban virility are always cause for celebration.
Revised images depict the reborn Apsley House with a dramatic geological fissure zig zagging to the schemes full height, breaking the potential sterility of glass and simple geometry with a layer of limestone, this references Alhambra House and in so doing draws the eye to a central recessed balcony. With the spread of cut away facade elements eliminated the build has now aquired a strong focal point with this central balcony area which exposes inner office floors to the pedestrian. Terracing to the rear brings the scheme into rooftop alignment with less ambitious neighbours whilst furthering available balcony space and mitigating the cubic impact of a build generously proportioned to take full advantage of site. The dramatic recessed foyer has been carefully aligned with the atrium of adjacent offices. Clarion will hopefully meet with greater success than 3D's earlier Infiniti project, which is being taken to completion by gm+ad. The scheme neighbours 82 Wellington St.
A previous finish of pink granite has been amended to a lighter golden hue lending a more conservative appearance. An all round first floor overhang has been limited to Wellington St only, eliminating the top heavy appearance of early designs. The scheme to the far right is a failed competition design from gm+ad.
Materials - Limestone, slate, curtain walling, metal panels and render
Usage - Commercial
Floor Space - 71,000sq/ft, 5,500sq/ft retail
Height - 9 floors
Cost - £17 million
Status - On hold
Location - 80 Oswald St
Start date - Jan 2008
Completion date -
Clearance of Inter City House has commenced in preperation for a speculative build. The prominent city centre eyesore is set to be transformed into contemporary commercial premises centred on a landscaped external terrace above a curved seven storey facade of natural stone. The design takes full advantage of city views from a prominent position terminating the axis of Hope St. A basement level accessed from Oswald st provides 18 parking spaces. Situated opposite 43 Oswald St.
A varied treatment of stone and slate breaks the monotony of curtain walling and successfully details the curved and angular sections of build elements particularly the graceful retail curve connecting through to Oswald St making for an interesting anchor piece at Hope St. The neon accentuated floor levels are visually impressive and furthers the trend set by Sentinel for all such schemes to consider after hours impact. Height is dictated by the prevailing standard in the neighbouring vicinity, disappointing in such a landmark site where opportunity existed to punch above this datum particularly with the Argyle International further down Argyle St. Building out the available footprint has maximised floorplates but represents lapsed opportunity to punch through to Midland St.
Works on site at Copenhagen House will interlink two Edwardian office blocks creating open plan Grade A floor space. An all glass facade with set back colour panels is designed to complement and not compete with ornate adjoining facades with uppermost floors set back in line with the neighbouring roofscape. The reception area will incorporate a 3 storey high void space for vertical circulation. The Shaftesbury House redevelopment neighbours.
An enlightened planning approach elsewhere is not carried through to the central conservation area which suffers draconian limitations on height and flair. Maintenance of existing status falls at price of failure to enhance, evidenced by a stereotypical glass box archetype which manages to seamlessly meld adjoining Edwardian elements to a greater whole whilst contributing little on its own terms, a truncated Staybridge. The site offered sufficient depth to continue height via a further series of set backs in a manner not dissimilar to Manhattan zoning ordinance. As is interest is limited to coloured panels but not being intrinsic to the curtain walling these lack authenticity, considered feature blonde and red glazing could have brought about a stained glass effect not inappropriate to Edwardian character.
Clashash sandstone has been specially sourced from Morayshire for this redevelopment of Shaftesbury House, predominantly blonde it features darker buff and red tones to complement the Daily Record building, the gable end of which is kept exposed by setting back the roof line. This itself will be redeveloped with new infill. Basement parking and ground floor retail are provided. The design succeeds Keppie's prior Clydesdale Bank Exchange.
Materials - Polished granite base with decorative detailing, natural ashlar stone and metal cladding panels
Height - 9 floors
Floor space - 179,000sq/ft
Cost - £30 million
Location - 141 Bothwell street
Start date - Oct 2006
Completion date - Oct 2008
Speculative office replacement for Franborough House by David Murray (of Rangers fame). Note massing of a then to be realised Aurora. The adjacent Douglas House is being redeveloped by the same architects and Crowne Plaza will have significant impact upon the area.
Materials - Natural stone, curtain wall glazing and ground level granite with render to rear
Height - 9 floors
Floor space - 63,232sq/ft
Cost - £11.6 million
Location - 9-11 Wellington St, 119 Holm St
Status - On hold
Start date - Sep 2005 (Demolition)
Completion date -
A revised 9 Wellington St is presently being marketed, the proposed office block now features a projecting glazed prow to enliven the primary frontage. Stone complements Victorian solidity on Wellington St whilst curtain wall glazing brings light into Holm St, the basement accommodates space for 19 vehicles. Ian Simpson's Argyle International will rise on the adjacent Argyle St intersection and Apsley House is scheduled one block north. The site is vacated by a Grade B listed Thomson inspired warehouse, image provided courtesy Crusty Bint.
A quality finish cannot mask a disappointingly dull design which falls back on height and weight to awe the pedestrian. Nonetheless the cumulative effect of the present office rush on Wellington Street should see it emerge as one of the city's most urban throughfares, although the drought of residential, retail and leisure is cause for concern. Something only 82 Wellington St addresses.
NOTE: Requires Flash 7 or higher to view
With thanks to HFD for kindly submitting their visualisation of g1 and George Square as they will be. Offering a unique window to the future for tourists, shoppers and office workers along St Vincent Street, we are pleased now to present the full presentation in high resolution exclusively here at futureglasgow.
g1 commands the scene with a sympathetic reflection of the domed City Chambers, bringing height equilibrium to St Vincent St. By night the cumulative impact of 110 Queen Street transforms George Sq to a radiant spectacle of light. A four storey glass extension is to be incorporated to the grade A listed General Post Office building along with rooftop terraces and ground level cafe/bar. Originally proposed to provide boutique hotel accommodation for Stefan King's G1 Group, ownership has since passed to HF Developments who are taking the scheme forward as Headquarter's office space. Olympia House neighbours.
A regal crown of glass dramatises the superior nature of this office redevelopment reflecting primary position on both Glasgow's premier office address, St Vincent Street, and civic centre. The potent combination of old world glamour, elegant engineering and streetside cafe should lend a touch of Parisian chic to the Merchant City and is a textbook example of how to revitalise historic building stock without compromising contemporary aesthetics. The dramatic rooftop will play an important role in revitalising an increasingly forlorn George Square reinforcing just what a missed opportunity 110 St Vincent St represents.
The former Our Lady and St Margaret's School has been sympathetically refurbished to a high standard with retained period features fusing with copper panels, oak, brushed stainless steel and coloured lighting. Unfortunately a later new build phase will involve demolition of an eclectic Victorian annexe, with only the ground floor wall being retained.
The Park in conjunction with Strathclyde University's Faculty of Education and College Business Park should create an urban business quarter for science and technology, fittingly on the same site as Glasgow's medieval University. The Herald and Headline buildings occupy Albion Street whilst G1 is present at the junction of High Street and Ingram Street. The Park will incorporate underground parking, 128 flats, retail, leisure and a new public square served by Crossrail through High Street Station.
CZWG's original plans even accommodated a tram link running through the buildings!
Cleaning of the limestone façade, replacement of some black granite cladding and new glazing will transform this dated office block. An additional glazed penthouse floor has been designed as a play on the horizontal and vertical glass box with a random vertical language that contrasts with the strong horizontal lines of the existing build. By night this contrast will be further enhanced by illumination, transforming the rooftop space into a glowing lantern atop Blythswood Hill.
Materials - Red Locharbriggs sandstone, blue/black granite and facing brick
Location - 27-31 Waterloo Street/82 Wellington Street
Status - u/c
Start date - 26th November 2007
Completion date - 2009
Replacement office provision funded entirely by insurers on a like for like floor area basis reinstates retail provision across its frontage combined with the cities newest watering hole. The build contributes to a marked pace of redevelopment in the vicinity with Central Exchange, Shaftesbury House and Apsley House all in close proximity.
Unfortunately financial limitations deny opportunity to maximise full potential of a desireable corner position. Nevertheless a higher specification build should bring the site closer to the prevailing parapet line and a rich palette of fine materials successfully dress a conservative design to produce an elegant piece of infill and brings to happy conclusion a long neglected corner of city.
HFD has agreed to buy the Westergate building with a view to add value by site redevelopment when present leases expire in 2011. This could bring about the possibility of opening up low level platforms at Central Station should they be required.
Central Quay & Hotel La Tour : Published : 22/11/06 Official site
Materials - STO Render, ribbon windows and standing seam metal profile cladding. Pale cream & grey ceramic tile rainscreen (Hotel)
Location - Warroch Street/Whitehall Street and Anderston Quay
Status - Outline planning permission
Start date - Late 2008
Completion date - Late 2009
Spearheading the next phase of Central Quay development comes the 4* Hotel La Tour. This follows the NHS's merciful decision not to proceed with the horrific office blocks originally penned to the immediate north. Natural stone is not an option on budget grounds leaving a moderately dismal edge of town solution, albeit embarrassingly central. Top floors will nudge the road deck of the Kingston Bridge, blotted by City Wharf in any event. By nightfall pencil spots of light will rise from the riverfront terrace across the face of the building, the terrace concealing flood defence for a basement level accommodating 100 space parking. A sculptural canopy delineates entrance. Daily Record HQ image provided courtesy of Stuart Neville @ Glasgow Pictures, refurbishment proposal put forward by Wylie Shanks Architects.
The final phase of Central Quay will entail construction of two office blocks and a hotel built atop landscaped podium with undercroft parking. The first office block will house redeployed and consolidated NHS staff, the 2nd is to be built speculatively with the 4/5 star hotel subject to a further application. Proposed public realm improvements include landscaping of the Clyde walkway, new footbridge across Clydeside Expressway, upgrade to Anderston station and lighting, hard landscaping of the M8. Site adjacent to Cheapside and just south of the Anderston estate regeneration.
A public walkway will run the spine of Central Quay, landscaped with high quality concrete and aggregate stone paving with granite banding while a pavilion area around the hotel will provide cafe facilities.
Akeler have set a new low in commercial architecture with a sequence of bottom grade blocks finished to the cheapest standards. The hotel design has not been settled but (predictably) the original oval (the sole point of interest) appears to have been dropped for a cost effective block. The one bright spot is a new linear park connecting Anderston to the river. The designers apparently met with gm+ad for allegedly "constructive" talks on their neighbouring visions, gm+ad/Dandara must have been spitting tacks.
Materials - Clashach sandstone, kemnay granite base, profiled metal louvres and curtain wall glazing
Height - 6 floors
Floor space - 20,500sq/ft
Cost - £8.5 million
Location - 107 West Regent St
Status - Approved
Start date - Dec 2007
Completion date - Jan 2009
A plain frontage of traditionally built stone punctured by de rigeur irregular fenestration facades glass box office space, topography compromises the integrity of Wellington street through parking ventilation. Occupying a site of some history as the former home of an awkward Alexander Thomson amended Georgian townhouse the portico and railings of which are to be incorporated, overt contemporary acknowledgement of this pedigree through adoption of stylised egyptian motif in addition to cannibalisation could have referenced the master and excused greater flamboyance.
Nord intend to rejuvenate the ailing structure and incorporate a new dark grey granite roof extension. The B listed premises were designed in a classical manner by the architects Baird and Thomson in 1867.
This existing 1960’s office block within the Park Conservation area will see addition of an external glazed entrance block for an improved access and circulation strategy. This will allow the building to remain functional during redevelopments. Most strikingly the structure will see the addition of a single storey glazed extension.
Commercial space - 30,000sq/m
2,703sq/m (Digital Media Studio)
73,500sq/ft (The Hub)
Materials - Metal panels, translucent cladding, timber and glass
Cost - £12.75 million (The Hub)
Location - Pacific Drive
Status - u/c
Start date - 2008 (Medius), Dec 2008 (The Hub)
Completion date - Feb 2009 (The Hub) 2015 (Completion)
The larger of the DMQ builds (The Hub) will feature a cafe, bar and retail around a central square.
The original masterplan envisaged buildings occupying linear plots reminiscent of traditional warehousing oriented to allow through views from Pacific Drive to the Science centre. Each block elevated on stilts to mitigate flood risk and provide ground level parking with a finish of translucency, supergraphics and lighting mirroring the creativity of the industry. Unfortunately accountants seem to have won at expense of media enterprises as visions of psychedelic caterpillars crawling out of the Canting Basin are superceded by conventional buildings ill equipped to engage with the creative industries it is hoped to attract. Suburban in ambition and commercial in character, only a dramatic overhang on Aedas's Digital Media Studio stimulates.
Scottish TV and the BBC have both decamped to new premises at Pacific Quay, recently connected to North bank via the Finnieston bridge. It is now proposed to build a landcaped business park with complimentary residential and hotel on vacant ground adjacent to Festival Park and the Science Centre.
Pacific Quay is still largely swamped by the Science Centre's needless surface car park, not helped by BBC cost cutting which saw schemes of greater flair by Mecanoo and Allan Murray excised. The result is a glass box shrouded by access yards, sheds and plant, a background building on a foreground site saved only by an expansive Escher-esque internal break out space.
When the Chunghwa Picture Tubes factory at Eurocentral went down the tubes the Lanarkshire site did not paint a pretty picture, fortunately Tritax have followed a build and they will come Maxim. Uniquely the entire estate is being built in one fell swoop to take advantage of economies of scale and ensure zero disruption for early tenants. It is hoped that the privately funded park will attract both British and international firms.
The Venture Building, awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, is the latest addition to the West of Scotland Science Park. Situated amongst a clutch of science and technology related companies the premises are designed to appeal to hi tech occupiers in a nothing ventured, nothing gained philosophy.