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Landsec open up on Buchanan Galleries plan

January 24 2023

Landsec open up on Buchanan Galleries plan

Dramatic new visualisations have been produced illustrating how a new Buchanan Galleries could transform Glasgow's city centre.

A range of options has been prepared for new open and green spaces as part of a mammoth redevelopment effort by owners Landsec to open up the area north of George Square with a grid of new streets.

The third round of consultations emphasises the creation of a new public park or pavilion above an existing railway cutting at Cathedral Street as well as a new accessible entrance to the Royal Concert Hall. Another key element of the plan will be the removal of an outsize multistorey car park to provide additional development land and public space.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, commented: “These new images illustrate the sheer scale of the transformation involved in the proposals for Buchanan Street. Glaswegians care about their built environment and want to have quality public spaces that respect and build on shared history, so it’s important they take the opportunity to help shape the change our city centre demands.”

The third and final round of consultations is now open to view. 

The design team is led by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Michael Laird Architects, Atelier Ten, Arup and New Practice.

A new network of gridded streets is planned, focused on Sauchiehall Street
A new network of gridded streets is planned, focused on Sauchiehall Street
A range of options are being considered for a possible new gathering space
A range of options are being considered for a possible new gathering space

Big changes are in store for rear and service areas surrounding Queen Street Station
Big changes are in store for rear and service areas surrounding Queen Street Station
Improved subway access from Dundas Square also forms part of the plans
Improved subway access from Dundas Square also forms part of the plans

Options under appraisal include the formation of a possible public park
Options under appraisal include the formation of a possible public park
Removal of the Buchanan Street steps is one of the more contentious elements of the plan
Removal of the Buchanan Street steps is one of the more contentious elements of the plan


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 24 Jan 2023 at 09:01 AM
"Glaswegians care about their built environment" -- just a pity then that the council can't be ersed to even try and deliver that aspiration.

Plenty of money for middle class welfare through the "Avenues" project while the potholes grow ever larger -- there is one in the Gallowgate would swallow a Smart car -- and the litter remains untouched.

Glesga is becoming a s*it-hole -- just what Auld Reekie / Holyrood ordered.
G Man
#2 Posted by G Man on 24 Jan 2023 at 09:25 AM
@1 Glasgow's been that way for years, since its original identity was ripped to shreds many moons ago, largely due to class snobbery, it's spent billions ever since trying to find that new identity and nobody knows what that is, just made up as it goes along, much like the identity it was chasing when this hulk of a structure in this part of town was built - 24 hour city, up there with New York etc etc.

Cities across Europe were rebuilt where they had been reduced to dust, made to look as if there had never been any war, not the case when it comes Glasgow.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 24 Jan 2023 at 10:26 AM
Have to agree that Glesga has not had its problems to seek -- they have been trowelled on by external forces with a not so hidden agenda.

New Towns were abused to reduce the city's influence and try to build Tory constituencies out in East Dumbartonshire -- back in the day you needed an interview to get a house in Cumbernauld ...

Then you have devolution and the Auld Reekie establishment wring the cloth dry to build up their city at the expense of everywhere else but especially Glesga.

Just a case that since 2017 the "cooncil" has given up even trying. The city in the eyes of its new leaders is second to the cause. This lack of care on top of 13 years of ConDemNation inspired austerity / Brexit / shopping habit transformation / CoViD19 means that we are circling the drain regarding a functioning municipal government.

Stuff is happening -- the yoonies as our growth export industry plus city centre housing and stuff on at the Hydro -- but GCC can't be bothered to get the basics right and focus on the self applause of consultations / masterplans / conferences / brochures / arty farty CGI.

Consequently SA spouting technobabble soundbites to ordfer as we drown in litter is not good.
Tammy Scoosh
#4 Posted by Tammy Scoosh on 24 Jan 2023 at 10:33 AM
Struggling to see what this achieves other than spending silly amounts of money. Some simple and effective interventions around here would really benefit the area rather than this blazzay stuff. A bit of a let-down for some of the architect's involved whom I previously thought produced high quality.
#5 Posted by pooka on 24 Jan 2023 at 10:38 AM
canna make the massive overbearing height and floorspace work with the steps... chuck in a grassy ramp instead of street frontage and call it a park
#6 Posted by Gordon on 24 Jan 2023 at 10:39 AM
Modelled on Croyden...farewell Glasgow!
#7 Posted by Sven on 24 Jan 2023 at 10:41 AM
If we look at Birmingham, the redevelopment of New Street station, the area around Chamberlain Square, Century Square and others is a great mix of old and new.
town planner
#8 Posted by town planner on 24 Jan 2023 at 11:11 AM
Looks like an improvement on what is currently there which is good. Expands the grid system, a USP for Glasgow in the context of UK cities (that I'm aware of) also good.
Additional height/density - good. (bit more would be no bad thing either!)
As ever, sadly the design isn't massively exciting, but I do like the green space/ entrance.
#9 Posted by Roddy_ on 24 Jan 2023 at 12:58 PM
I'm rather hoping that anyone with a breath of understanding of the city, urban design, urbanism - call it what you will- is horrified by the corporate sterility of it all.

PPP it may only be, but all the strategic moves are there; removal of the steps and concert hall front and with it all that legibility and public use and introduction of the strange psuedo-modernist- new-town-centre pavilion/park over the railway. Artless, joyless and comparisons with Haymarket seem to have been borne out.

According to quotes on the BEEB, Susan Aitken seems to be impressed by the scale of it - no mention of her previous opposition.
Neil Paterson
#10 Posted by Neil Paterson on 24 Jan 2023 at 12:59 PM
If i were planning, i would insist on reinstatement of the previous street plan in that area (inc re-establishing Parliamentary Road) to seek to repair the damage done to a once busy area of the city. Glasgow has so much going for it, but some of the recent additions to the skyline are a disgrace.
A Local Pleb
#11 Posted by A Local Pleb on 24 Jan 2023 at 13:45 PM
Is this really a sustainable solution, surely we should be promoting the challenge of reuse and adaptation of what already exists rather than wholesale demolition? Do you think people want to live in a bland sterile modern block or something with character? This is not the solution Glasgow City Council!
#12 Posted by Matt on 24 Jan 2023 at 15:19 PM
My recent experiences of Foster + Partners' dire, cut and paste Haymarket scheme has certainly dampened by enthusiasm for this.
The approach lack any sense of place or consideration of context/ culture.

Agree with the Pleb (#11) regards sustainability also...we need to try harder to recycle and be more creative. Otherwise what's the point...
#13 Posted by Billy on 24 Jan 2023 at 17:16 PM
I have never been that keen on the Galleries or the stairs.We have lost far better buildings in the past. I quite like the proposals and it is far better use of prime location land. The shops inside relocated to street level with street access could help fill all those vacant premises in the z zone whilst bring new residents into the area at higher levels to help the night time economy too. For years Glasgow unlike other European cities did not populate its city centre. The result was a ghost town after the commuters had gone home after work. My only concerns are the weather and carparking.Covered walkways under the new builds with shop fronts inset would help provide shelter and a multi storey car park should still be part of the plan. People should have the choice if they want to park in town to shop or work. Like the the Dundas Square proposal and the use of dead space above the station. They do need to look at that Bhs building. Eyesore. Needs demolished. Even if they made it into a green space. Never liked it when it was occupied but it is even worse now it is empty. Not a good impression for tourists.
Brian Sewell
#14 Posted by Brian Sewell on 24 Jan 2023 at 20:27 PM
Would tend to agree with most, if not all of the points made by commentators here. It really shouldn't be that difficult, given the talent available, to improve on what is there, but the trouble with big outside names is they tend to design everything in their own image. Where is Glasgow in this? Where's the genius loci? That is the real challenge perhaps. What constitutes architectural Glaswegian identity? All I know is, it's not this. Looks more like anywhereglobalistville to me.
Maybe, Glasgow is long gone. Well, they've been trying their damnest for a long time now. Anyway, can I just have my Sauchiehall Street Amphora bar c.1976 reinstated, please?
Ghetto King
#15 Posted by Ghetto King on 25 Jan 2023 at 09:38 AM
How does this connect to local transport? How will it provide access to Queen Street station and buses and the Subway? In other cities in Europe , this would be seen as a chance to incorporate the local transport systems. However , I doubt this will happen.
No Regret
#16 Posted by No Regret on 25 Jan 2023 at 13:55 PM
This is a disgrace! Development to bring more housing to the city centre. Yes housing is needed, but Glasgow is falling on its arese due to the ignorance and stupidity of our Holyrood Government. Yes it would be ideal to have parks and fresh air everywhere, but people need houses...houses with people need shops....shops need people....having bus lanes, one way systems, massive hikes in carparking charges with piss poor services leading into the city is killing Glasgow! Glasgow was the second best shopping area beaten only by London for so long. It has now dissolved due to lack of ability to sensibly negotiate the city centre by car and the chance to stop and go into a shop. Its easy to dress this up as a result of covid or as a result of internet shopping, but do these Cretans not realise that not everyone wants to shop online and would prefer to see items in the flesh before they buy??? There is no continuity in product sizing, so for clothing your going to spend a lot of time returning goods because they are not fitting and the only winners are warehouses and delivery drivers! I don't know about you , but to remove traffic from the city to then send lines of white van drivers charging about semi rural areas with deliveries is counter productive. Isn't it great to have cities to focus on, to be proud of to have a place to visit that accommodates for all and isn't a dying ember of its former self? The place is like a ghost town of late and this is being driven by home working (most of which are not working, they are in my local morrisons shopping for food during the day or out polluting the roads) The council and government are a shambles and should be held to account before its too late!!!
Jimbob Tanktop
#17 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 25 Jan 2023 at 15:23 PM
The most worrying thing about this is that this is as good as they can move it look in a drawing. By the time it's value-engineered down, God knows what it'll look like.
#18 Posted by modernish on 25 Jan 2023 at 17:12 PM
The Buchanan Galleries are a mess from an urban and aesthetic perspective. Re-establishing the grid is an important and welcome move. Creating meaningful east west permeability is worth the price of ditching donald's the steps that do little more than afford a view of Mr Dewars posterior. Support for these is simply political posturing/opportunism.
More residential opportunity in the city centre is also to be welcomed.
Is it a thing of great beauty, not especially, but it replaces a carbuncle and should be welcomed/encouraged.
Lillian Nish
#19 Posted by Lillian Nish on 25 Jan 2023 at 18:48 PM
#16 is the council's fault clothes are the wrong size or did that get caught up in your waffling rant too?
Bill Cunningham
#20 Posted by Bill Cunningham on 25 Jan 2023 at 20:24 PM
Re-establishing what grid Tam? The grid never went east of West Nile Street.
#21 Posted by DJ on 26 Jan 2023 at 11:31 AM
So bland. So beige. I think the loss of the steps could be palatable if they were being replaced by something of civic value and merit. The new fa├žade proposed for the Concert Hall appears not to dissimilar to the Silverburn Tesco. This is a concert hall that terminates Glasgow's premier street. A major missed opportunity.

Where's the Joy?
#22 Posted by CS on 26 Jan 2023 at 11:44 AM
#16 take a breath, have a cuppa and just get a train/bus into town mate.
#23 Posted by modernish on 26 Jan 2023 at 11:52 AM
@20 - i was talking about re-establishing the principle of the grid to replace megastructures/superblocks. I happen to think that's a good idea.
Thanks for your input Yefim, always appreciated. Now you get away back to the Wyndford barricades and continue stoking those grievances.
Bill Cunningham
#24 Posted by Bill Cunningham on 26 Jan 2023 at 12:12 PM
Ach, Tam, no backtracking now. It's obvious you know nothing about Glasgow and its architecture and history
Not Impressed
#25 Posted by Not Impressed on 1 Feb 2023 at 17:52 PM
Wow, some of these comments are not even in English. I like the plans, good on Landsec for ploughing on re-inventing what is a dead use (i.e bricks and mortar retail). I would rather have buildings which have a purpose than a tomb to an out of date use.

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