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Royal Exchange Hotel plans submitted

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February 20 2013

Royal Exchange Hotel plans submitted
Nord Architecture has submitted plans on behalf of Lynnet Leisure Group for the redevelopment of 5-19 Royal Exchange Square, 1-3 Royal Exchange Court and Springfield Court to form a £25m retail, leisure and hotel scheme.

Broken down into three key elements this incorporates a street level arcade, a four storey retail and leisure ‘plinth’ and eight storey ‘slab’ hotel block containing 96 rooms. This latter element will be crowned by a two storey spa and restaurant complete with a 360 degree external terrace.

New build facades will be finished in white polished precast concrete panels with exposed stone aggregate to reflect the A-listed Royal Exchange Court which will receive a new set of dormer windows.

The aggregate skin is actually load bearing and sits in front of floor to ceiling glazing to provide enhanced weather protection. External horizontal precast concrete beams carry the loads of all internal floor beams and in turn these will rest on piers of precast concrete made from white cement, white sand and marble, and polished to a terrazzo-like finish - a reference to the ceramic brick used in many Glaswegian backcourts.

In their design statement Nord state that the proposal is an opportunity to create a ‘complimentary urban block’ which would ‘enhance the position of the Gallery of Modern Art’, by bringing increased ‘balance’ to its urban environment.

The scheme aims to enhance the quality of public realm around Royal Exchange Court and Springfield Court by banishing by banishing an array of odourful wheelie bins presently strewn around the streetscape into a centralised basement storage and compaction facility.

Nearby plans from Aedas are currently in train to remodel Charlotte House to form a 171 bed Travelodge and BAM are currently on site at Cooper Cromar's 110 Queen Street.
A basement brick vaulted chamber will be retained for leisure use
A basement brick vaulted chamber will be retained for leisure use
A multi level arcade will interlink old and new elements
A multi level arcade will interlink old and new elements

A sandstone terrace at South Exchange Court (right) will be demolished but its barrel vaulted basement will be retained
A sandstone terrace at South Exchange Court (right) will be demolished but its barrel vaulted basement will be retained
Historic elements will be interlinked with the new on ground, first and second floor levels courtesy of a number of bridges, improving connectivity and delineating old from new
Historic elements will be interlinked with the new on ground, first and second floor levels courtesy of a number of bridges, improving connectivity and delineating old from new

Nord state that the scheme will restore balance to the square by respecting the datums of surrounding blocks
Nord state that the scheme will restore balance to the square by respecting the datums of surrounding blocks
Plans to progress a more expensive 44.3m tower element were scrapped in pre-planning after being savaged by the Glasgow Urban Design Panel
Plans to progress a more expensive 44.3m tower element were scrapped in pre-planning after being savaged by the Glasgow Urban Design Panel

The hotel will be clad with white polished precast concrete panels with exposed stone aggregate
The hotel will be clad with white polished precast concrete panels with exposed stone aggregate

10 Comments

Neil C
#1 Posted by Neil C on 20 Feb 2013 at 16:14 PM
Dear God, please, someone make this scheme go away! As a way to spoil the skyline in RXSq, it's brilliant. As an accompaniment to what's already there, it's ghastly. Send it down to the six empty blocks at the Broomielaw, where it belongs, and where it won't befoul one of Glasgow's few unmolested squares.
Ross
#2 Posted by Ross on 21 Feb 2013 at 09:27 AM
I agree with Neil C. As much as I think a new multi-facility scheme would be beneficial for Glasgow, the area is already over-congested with shops/bars/hotels. It would be for the scheme to be sited elsewhere for boost regeneration for many other empty, vacant sites throughout city centre and breath life into there.
Egbert
#3 Posted by Egbert on 21 Feb 2013 at 09:33 AM
Can't help but agree with #1. The claim that this scheme will 'restore balance' to the square seems spurious to say the least - as far as I'm aware the square already *is* balanced, and something of this scale looming up behind one side can only detract.

While Broomielaw might not have quite the cachet for a scheme of this sort there are a shameful number of vacant sites in the Merchant City two minutes' walk away - one wonders if this wouldn't be better shunted a few hundred metres east...
is this it?
#4 Posted by is this it? on 21 Feb 2013 at 09:38 AM
seems a litle crazy to demolish the sandstone terrace...is there no refurbishment value here? There are plenty of empty sites crying out for development in Glasgow...
David
#5 Posted by David on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:57 AM
I'd like to echo Egbert's comment about the spuriosness of the 'balance' statement. I'd go further though and say it's complete nonsense. Royal Exchange square, the last time I looked, is pretty much the most symmetrical, balanced urban space in the whole of Glasgow, equalled only probably by Park Circus, so who on earth are Nord trying to kid with this rubbish?

The Merchant City is the perfect location for this type of development, which would instantly repair a large chunk of its damaged urban grain. But sadly, this venture, being purely a private commercial gain, means someone wants it there. So it gets left to our trusted planners to decide............
wonky
#6 Posted by wonky on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:58 AM
I can't understand why they want to demolish a fine sandstone terrace- I mean I really like the idea of an arcade ( we need more in Glasgow)- but why not incorporate it into the arcade? The many fine arcades in Leeds are streets with roofs on them, just like this, and I believe the juxtaposition, the incongruity of the street style architecture inside an arcade works really well. ts quirky and unusual. The above scheme looks a tad sterile, with too much glass and too many square lines- personally I prefer the dichotomy of clean glass against aged sandstone...this concept would definitely have been better with the retention of the terrace.
It makes you wonder how porous and precarious is the notion of listed structures or even the duty for preservation around a listed site (which unquestionably Royal Exchange Sq is) in Glasgow...particularly when a developer comes calling with fists full of the green stuff.
Barry Hughes
#7 Posted by Barry Hughes on 21 Feb 2013 at 13:19 PM
I think its great - the mair bling the better 'an at
Robert
#8 Posted by Robert on 21 Feb 2013 at 21:59 PM
It's fine. Just not there, please.
John Smith
#9 Posted by John Smith on 21 Feb 2013 at 23:33 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhAdFoEge1c
John Cowie
#10 Posted by John Cowie on 22 Feb 2013 at 14:16 PM
Oh great, another 60's/70's style concrete block looming over a set piece square...and an elegant sandstone terrace demolished in the process. Does Glasgow ever learn?
How about a wee bit more imagination and make a lovely run of arcades and high end shops and bistros along the lines of the arcades found just north of the Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris. You know...just for ONCE, some class, some style. Not, once again-boring and derivative...and VERY ugly.

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