MAST Architects come out in favour of Wyndford demolition
February 16 2023
A new study of Glasgow's Wyndford estate commissioned by Wheatley Homes has seen MAST Architects throw their weight behind voices arguing that demolition is necessary.
The latest report found that the 600 properties targeted for demolition are not fit for purpose, as they fail to meet minimum space standards. Comprising 200 bedsits and 400 small one-bed apartments the homes are considered unsuitable for retrofitting owing to the use of thick concrete walls.
MAST Architects director Michael Jarvis wrote: "The space standards of the apartments are very poor, with the bedsit apartments only 38m². The one-bedroom apartments are 47m², which is approximately 5-8m² smaller than the average new-build one-bedroom apartment.
“Living space is also very limited with the combined living and kitchen area of the one-bedroom apartment 4m² smaller than the minimum required.”
Jarvis also takes issue with comparisons to the recently renovated Cedar Court in Woodside, arguing that structural differences make them a poor template to follow. He adds: "You need to compare apples with apples, which these two are not. Cedar Court is made up of family-style housing called maisonettes. They are all two-bedroom properties, with their own private balcony, compared to the cramped one-bedroom and sub-standard studio properties at Wyndford.
"The properties at Cedar Court were not structurally modified and the units are far more generous and spacious to meet the space standards."
Arriving hot on the heels of a Historic Environment Scotland report rejecting a listing request the report also highlights issues around lack of light from overshadowing, a lack of privacy from shared balconies and poor wifi and mobile reception.
Wheatley is progressing with a £73m regeneration of the Wyndford that will include the delivery of 300 family-friendly homes, although the precise amount which will be affordable is still in question. In addition, Urban Realm understands no architect has yet been engaged on the replacement homes, despite demolition being scheduled for April.
If yes -- then that would be a very civic minded thing to do. Although you might ask what other charity work is out there and maybe they could lend a hand if they are at a loose end at the moment.
If no -- then whoever pays the piper calls the tune and the report isn't worth a bucket of warm spit.
Main issue is the opportunity cost and the reduction of the social housing stock in the city by at least 300 and possibly 420 units if this plan goes ahead.
Very self indulgent project at a time of great housing shortages in the city and a plethora of ghost streets in the north and east of the city waiting to be developed.
Surely it would be better to re-populate these areas with new homes and revitalise the Wyndford towers with new thinking and active management rather than a few ego tripping hobby horsers desperate to spend a lot of other people's money in the wrong place so they can cut a ribbon.
Not good -- tick box management at its worst.
Everything else is just post rationalisation of a decision already made.
This positive turn of events could be monetised in a more productive, more environmental and fairer way to other areas as many commenters have astutely pointed out.
The entire site needs reworked. Starting with the removal of the vast majority of the old barrack wall (who even cares that it was a barracks for a bit, like, really, who gives a toss?) just leave the main gates and a the plaque and maybe the odd useful wee stretch here and there. The street and block plans then need to be restructured to integrate with the rest with the urban fabric of Maryhill and wider city, forming clearly delineated routes through the estate fronted by tenemental scale architecture.
Is that really to obvious a thing to suggest? Some perimeter blocks and main street or two with some commercial units for anybody trying to bring services and job to the area, some clear walking and cycling routes that aren't so at odds with everything round about it. The site has so much potential but it was utterly squandered with construction of the ghastly mess that is Wyndford Island...