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Trongate tower transitions from apart-hotel to students

March 15 2023

Trongate tower transitions from apart-hotel to students

Caledon Property Group have revisited consented plans for an apart-hotel on Glasgow’s Trongate, switching out short stay spaces for purpose built student accommodation (PBSA).

Revised plans by Mosaic Architecture + Design, based on the original submission, show a new internal layout to accommodate the change in use with the outward massing remaining as before.

This would permit 173 student flats to be built on the site of a former bank and the Oriental Bar. Rising through 11 storeys the tower would house a café, amenities and reception at its base with external amenity also provided on upper floors. A baasement meanwhile will house music rooms, a games area and places for private study.

In a design statement Mosaic wrote: “…the new PBSA proposal will show new pertinent materials to re-define its character and presence: the facing brick will be applied to the main massing components to provide strong edges and a prominent urban marker and the basecourse of the building will be treated with pink granite to match with the adjacent listed building and to provide a robust hard wearing finish at street level.”

Brass coloured aluminium cladding panels will be used as a secondary facing material to the primary oatmeal brick.

An upper floor will be formed from brass aluminium curtain wall glazing
An upper floor will be formed from brass aluminium curtain wall glazing
The tower seeks to complement an adjoining A-listed building
The tower seeks to complement an adjoining A-listed building


#1 Posted by pooka on 15 Mar 2023 at 11:05 AM
looks like somebody accidentally stacked the sketchup model on top of itself
Fat Bloke on Tour
#2 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 15 Mar 2023 at 11:25 AM
Glesga economy angle:

What brings more to the city -- Student flats vs hotels?

My money would be on hotels so overall a loss to the city.

Must be good money in students at the moment
#3 Posted by Steppish on 15 Mar 2023 at 11:28 AM
That's just not good enough and they should be told to piss off with it. I quite liked the previous hotel proposal but that's been cheapened to the nth degree
Howard Roark
#4 Posted by Howard Roark on 15 Mar 2023 at 13:45 PM
Reminds me of the scene in 'The Fountainhead', where Gary Cooper's modernism is passed over by his client in favour of some naff historicist pastiche design.
#5 Posted by Roddy_ on 15 Mar 2023 at 13:46 PM
Mosaic? ....Prosaic more like.

The blank panels are a particularly nice way of celebrating turning the corner.
Formally trying to play the same game as the Love Loan Hotel and it's big brother at Candleriggs, but this is lop-sided, mis-scaled and over-wrought and destroys the elegant scale, massing and detailing of Marwick's A-listed former National Bank.

Consent was given for the previous horrible scheme and I can't see why this won't pass the low bar of quality at the City Design/Planning/Neighbourhoods or whatever they're called these days. If this is the price we pay for 'repopulating' the city centre then it is obvious that we need better supplementary guidance and better design governance.
#6 Posted by Roddy_ on 15 Mar 2023 at 13:58 PM
PS Renders straight out of Revit are really,really horrible -they have a kind of anemic, washed-out quality, but there is a raw honesty about them. I suspect what you see is what you will be really getting.
#7 Posted by MV on 15 Mar 2023 at 16:46 PM
I love the Revit comment, well said #6.

UR, can you add some ability to like or dislike comments? Or can you introduce some emojis, which could help describe the tone of comments?
Bob ra Builder
#8 Posted by Bob ra Builder on 15 Mar 2023 at 20:08 PM
For the love of .... Can we not just build something instead of another 20 years of dilapidated buildings worsening?
Aren't students digs easily converted into my-first-gaff out of their folks for normal 20 somethings?
#9 Posted by ur on 15 Mar 2023 at 21:24 PM
We're on the case! Please bear with us :)
#10 Posted by Cateran on 16 Mar 2023 at 23:42 PM
#7 Agree!
#11 Posted by Roddy_ on 20 Mar 2023 at 00:44 AM
The architects have spent so much time with trying to relate their string courses to Marwick's National Bank that they have completey forgotton to design the damn building.

Why not start with composing a compelling,well-ballanced and elegant series of elevations - yes perhaps with that first string course over the shops- and progress from there. The Victorians and Edwardians that made the city centre what it is, were never married to such trivia. As an old tutor of mine always used to say 'does the tail wag the dog or does the dog wag the tail?'.

The height on the corner sanwiched between 2 blank gables really doesn't sit well at all does it?

I believe that according to supplementary guidance, new tower blocks in the city should be designed 'in the round'. The same should go for those trying to build above the accepted city block datum. It is perhaps a bit too early to make firm judgements but it seems that the development along from this at Candleriggs has pulled this off by setting the taller elements back from the street and thereby maintaing that datum.

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