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Student housing on a high with new Glasgow tower

May 15 2024

Student housing on a high with new Glasgow tower

Glasgow's student housing boom shows no sign of abating with detailed plans emerging for a key development site at 64-72A Waterloo Street.

Varsity Developments and Cooper Cromar propose the retention of a B-listed Edwardian office block and the removal of an adjoining tenement (incorporating the shuttered Admiral Bar). This will make room for a 350-room student accommodation block extending back to Bothwell Lane.

The retained element, known as the Distiller's Building, will benefit from a reinstated of rich decoration lost to a 1945 fire, including a corner dome (to house a music room) and stone finials together with a Palladian motif to the western edge. In contrast, the more utilitarian rear portion of the building will be demolished.

Outlining their design response the architects noted: "This project provides the opportunity to bring a new urban scale residential development to Glasgow City Centre, reactivating the streetscape and addressing the need for student development within close proximity of Glasgow’s educational institutions.

"Our intention is to complement and showcase the Distiller’s Building while tying in with the wider colour range across the locale. Therefore, for the street facade redesign, we are proposing a lighter tone stone to provide contrast to the adjoining listed facade."

New build portions follow the precedent established by prior planning consents, topping out at 19 storeys along with extensive amenity provision at all levels including a VR room, sports hall and an elevated 'greenhouse' on the eighth-floor opening onto an external terrace.  

A second floor roof terrace affords plenty of outdoor space
A second floor roof terrace affords plenty of outdoor space
An expansive entrance lounge will be illuminated by a dramatic skylight
An expansive entrance lounge will be illuminated by a dramatic skylight

Period office space is to be repurposed as an elegant study room
Period office space is to be repurposed as an elegant study room
The Distiller's Building will be restored to its original splendour
The Distiller's Building will be restored to its original splendour

7 Comments

EM0
#1 Posted by EM0 on 15 May 2024 at 10:38 AM
Overmassed monstrosity!
Georwell84
#2 Posted by Georwell84 on 15 May 2024 at 13:30 PM
I don't think this is the correct location for student accommodation. Sure it could be converted to office in the future but there are other areas that would benefit from this right now. Bridge Street area for instance.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 15 May 2024 at 13:57 PM
Interesting design -- detailing and integration look good.

Economics will be interesting -- what rent level will the market be able to accommodate?

Glesga PLC view -- the whole site / arrangement would be better as a hotel.
Steppish
#4 Posted by Steppish on 15 May 2024 at 14:15 PM
#2 I think it's an excellent location for PBSA. Bridge St would be great too, but I can't think of many places more in need of an injection of life than the awful central office district.

There's been an aim to inject a mix of uses and diversify the area for years and it's been an utter failure so far
Ross
#5 Posted by Ross on 15 May 2024 at 15:52 PM
This looks fantastic. I am all for SA being built on vacant land, as means to regenerate areas, and as means to save/use listed buildings that are otherwise empty.
Roddy_
#6 Posted by Roddy_ on 16 May 2024 at 01:13 AM
Oh dear.
It really has taken quite a few steps backwards since that original iteration by Bennetts. Developers are really tring it on at the moment - low-grade big dumb boxes that are out of scale with their surroundings and with the least inventive facades that you could conceive of.

Dull and dreich but probably not sh*t enough for officers to be minded to refuse which kind of says it all about Glasgow at the moment. Alas.
Glasgow Bob
#7 Posted by Glasgow Bob on 16 May 2024 at 05:53 AM
#4 agree. Any SA development should be welcome in the empty central office district. From empty blocks, random vacant floors and wfh Mondays and Fridays in occupied premises the area feels sterile so SA and its accompanying cafes, etc would help.

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