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St Enoch student housing to spur repopulation efforts

February 20 2023

St Enoch student housing to spur repopulation efforts

Ambassador Group has shared indicative plans for student housing on 0.3 acres of vacant land bounded by Osborne Street and Old Wynd in Glasgow.

Promoted as part of efforts to repopulate central the city centre Nova would slot in alongside plans for the St Enoch Quarter, including a proposed hotel on neighbouring land, which will dramatically alter the character of the area.

Initial concepts by Mosaic Architecture + Design have been developed for the rectangular plot, which includes a setback tower element, topping out at 11 storeys, above a 'shoulder' following the line of Granite House.

Outlining their favoured approach Mosaic wrote: "A distinctive a ‘shoulder’ is set by established datum lines creating a recessed area on the southern facade. The scale of the eastern facade is articulated to maximise the available daylight to the Old Wynd."

An upgraded streetscape is included as part of the package, including an active frontage to Old Wynd


Nairn's Bairn
#1 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 20 Feb 2023 at 15:53 PM
I’m not sure if student housing is really repopulation is it?

While good in term-time for cafes, bars and convenience shops, these flats are generally empty during the lengthy holidays, use up land that could be homes (and therefore raising property prices), contribute to antisocial behaviour, and do not contribute to primary schools, doctors surgeries and other community assets. While it could be argued that superficial part-time residents don’t need such services therefore its easier to insert them into areas without that infrastructure, it’s not the same.

We need full-time residents in city centres in order to create a vibrant community support-system.

#2 Posted by Al on 20 Feb 2023 at 16:37 PM
Post 1 - but do student flat complexes not mean that students are not using normal homes thereby freeing up normal homes up for non-students? Where you going to put students then?
#3 Posted by MV on 20 Feb 2023 at 16:57 PM
I can see a lot of thought has went into this. Fantastic work. Well done Mosiac.
Nairn's Bairn
#4 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 20 Feb 2023 at 17:14 PM
@#2 As I understand it, the prolific building of student accommodation in recent years is catering for a massive increase in the number of students (up 40% in 4 years in Glasgow Uni alone), rather than moving students from one place to another to free up homes.

That said, they still need to go somewhere - it's big business these days.

Outwith term-times, what land is better to occupy with empty ghettoes - the town centre or further afield? It all depends if you're looking at it from the students or full-time residents point of view.
Student Grant
#5 Posted by Student Grant on 20 Feb 2023 at 18:49 PM
#4 nothing is stopping you building for full-time residents.
#6 Posted by David on 20 Feb 2023 at 19:38 PM
Actually many of these commercial student blocks, certainly in Glasgow, are rented by overseas students who come to undertake a 12 or 24 month masters degree. So whilst it is still a transient population, it is something of a myth that they are empty from July-September. And these students still require services like a doctor, dentist, albeit I understand the point they won't be using the local primary school. Other ones that are used by undergraduate students are often occupied during the summer months by students coming for a 2 or 3 month programme to improve their English or who come to undertake access courses.
#7 Posted by Roddy_ on 20 Feb 2023 at 20:49 PM
I'd be very surprised if the street is activated beyond 'glazed and occupied'-pretty much the lowest rung of the ladder in terms of active frontage . Expect a single point of institutional access as well.

If it helps to make Old Wynd better traversed and reduces the stench of stale urine emanating from the alley, then all good but I suspect and expect little of architectural quality or innovation if their Trongate proposal is anything to go by. Horrible and clunky.

It is getting to the point in Glasgow that if we built a 4 storey tenement pastiche with ground floor commercial units on most city centre sites, it would be better than 90 odd percent of stuff proposals that emerge in the planning system or get built.

Sad times indeed for the city centre - I don't even recall there being such a dearth of quality for such a long time. Even in the 80's - like the pop music of the time - there was innovation and experimentation and no small amount of quality.
Adrian McConnaughy
#8 Posted by Adrian McConnaughy on 21 Feb 2023 at 08:13 AM
What’ll happen to the Billy Connolly mural?
#9 Posted by OssianLore on 21 Feb 2023 at 12:42 PM
#7 Agree, and well said.

#8 It (and all these murals) is temporary, and always was.

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