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Broomielaw Quay plans approved

November 2 2011

Broomielaw Quay plans approved
A controversial plan to erect a series of stainless steel pavilions strung along Glasgow’s Broomielaw waterfront - derided for depicting a yacht on the unnavigable section of river, has been approved unanimously by planners.

Masterminded by Capella Developments, the property group behind the neighbouring  Atlantic Square development, Broomielaw Quay will comprise four pods accommodating 32,000sq/ft of restaurant/café space and an enclosed winter garden.

A joint venture with Glasgow City Council it is intended to provide a critical mass of pedestrian traffic to the waterfront and the newly opened Tradeston Bridge.

Jim Fitzsimons, chief executive of Capella Group, said the granting of planning permission signalled the development was firmly on track. He said: “This is great news and a real endorsement by Glasgow City Council of our proposals for this site."

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The Broomielaw Quay scheme was something we place tremendous value in, and represents another landmark development along the banks of the river."

Fiona Hamilton at Jones Lang LaSalle said: “This is a fantastic development for Glasgow and will provide an exciting new waterfront quarter with a fresh flavour to complement the city’s strong retail and office offers.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of aspirational restaurants who are showing strong interest in the development and will bring a unique casual dining mix including well-known signature chefs and populous restaurant brands, as well as brewery-led bars and, of course, coffee shops.”

It is expected the £10m scheme, designed by GD Lodge, will commence in early 2012 for completion in spring 2013.
A mixture of restaurants, bars and coffee shops will populate the new promenade
A mixture of restaurants, bars and coffee shops will populate the new promenade


Gweedo Fox
#1 Posted by Gweedo Fox on 2 Nov 2011 at 22:26 PM
Deliciously ugly scheme, which can boast an almost as ugly backdrop. Well done GCC.. we await a northside Springfield quay. These are the architectural equivalent of squat adolescent males nudging each other for attention at a school prom.Almost feel sorry for ADS reviewers who roundly destroyed this in the most withering terms .
"Populous restaurant brands " sounds like its worth waitng for though....
#2 Posted by JD on 3 Nov 2011 at 07:09 AM
Any old sh*t is now good enough for the Broomielaw too obviously. I suppose you could lift that yacht over the Clyde Arc.
#3 Posted by jonesey on 3 Nov 2011 at 11:11 AM
What is an "aspirational" restaurant?
#4 Posted by @jonesy on 3 Nov 2011 at 11:42 AM
one that aspires to have customers
#5 Posted by Adams on 3 Nov 2011 at 14:08 PM
Can we presume that all the drunks will be kept away from the area? Otherwise nobody will want to sit by the river.
#6 Posted by jonesey on 3 Nov 2011 at 14:48 PM
Haha drunks aren't aspirational enough- this is *middle class* drinking.
#7 Posted by Chris on 3 Nov 2011 at 15:20 PM
It's a shame because a lot of decent public realm will be torn up.
a missed opportunity
#8 Posted by a missed opportunity on 3 Nov 2011 at 15:58 PM
It's a pity because I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of putting such uses into the area, but the proposals are just too bombastic and overscaled, and will reduce the permeability which currently exists between the city and the river.

Bigger isn't always better - and something slightly more subtle (single storey, glassy) would probably have worked wonders for the area. Think SANAA serpentine.....
draw it
#9 Posted by draw it on 4 Nov 2011 at 10:16 AM
i am just waiting for the day when i will see One positive comment on this website.. absolutely everything that gets done gets slated.. are things really that bad, or are the aspirations among those commenting just that unrealistic? here, all the regular cirtics, hands up if you've done something in glasgow that you think yourself is actually worthy of praise...
#10 Posted by Brian on 4 Nov 2011 at 11:23 AM
The idea is there! It could have been done a bit better than this.more grey steel and glass.the money would have been better spent turning fastlink boring bus into a modern t bus.
a missed opportunity
#11 Posted by a missed opportunity on 4 Nov 2011 at 11:26 AM
@draw it - I would re-iterate that I like the idea, just not the scale of them proposal.

...and it is human (scottish?) nature to complain a bit, but perhaps not to give credit where it's due. For what its worth R+H's scheme in Dundee is fantastic.
a missed opportunity
#12 Posted by a missed opportunity on 4 Nov 2011 at 11:27 AM
them proposal. That's right. Language is my art.
#13 Posted by jonesey on 4 Nov 2011 at 11:40 AM
@ draw it- Its an internet message board, what do you expect?
#14 Posted by Enjoy on 4 Nov 2011 at 12:25 PM
No real views ot the scheme from the roadside. All service yards, bin stores and beer kegs no doubt. Lovely.
Gweedo Fox
#15 Posted by Gweedo Fox on 4 Nov 2011 at 23:24 PM
I have some sympathy for drawit's comments which must mean that either this site is frequented by serial misanthropists or that the architectural scene in Scotland, barring a few exeptions, is pretty guff at the moment.I suspect the latter.
Bella Maglinchey
#16 Posted by Bella Maglinchey on 5 Nov 2011 at 15:43 PM
I hope these pavilions attract some top-notch eateries. A nice Greggs the bakers would be great.Think of all the business folk working in Glasgow's wall street (I.F.S.D) who need fuel for their arduous, daily work of skyping, sending emails and swivelling in their ergonomically designed chairs.

A nice Andy Scott sculpture of a mermaid or something set amongst these glorious pavilions would be the icing on the cake.
Bad Workman?
#17 Posted by Bad Workman? on 5 Nov 2011 at 17:19 PM
Just the ticket. We could do with a Spar down here too
is this it
#18 Posted by is this it on 8 Nov 2011 at 16:27 PM
nickname: the 'wedgie side'... sorry .. could not resist internet message board after all!
#19 Posted by possum on 17 Nov 2011 at 18:57 PM
they've only just finished the public space there! which I actually think is quite nice...Can I suggest that they build it on the side of the river? looking towards the city...just a thought.
#20 Posted by Gordon on 22 Nov 2011 at 21:05 PM
My few pennies worth...

Fairwell to the last remaining piece of dignity of our glorious Clyde:
The Clyde really is the developer’s playground...

Oh Glasgow, you just never learn do you?
Look at it this way, the Broomielaw development was destined to fail before it even began if you consider the history of Clyde development project:

Since the privatisation of the Clydeport Authority, former majority land owner of the river fronts in 1993, the land on the Clydeside has been divided up and sold to numerous developers. In contrast to other major European waterfront developments for example HafenCity development in Hamburg which is run directly by the City Council, the majority of the Clyde’s development is in the private sector, separate from one another containing individual development strategies which are over seen by the City Councils planning department. This has created problems in the correlation of all of the Clyde’s developments especially when dealing with regeneration projects of this scale. With the lack of coherent riverfront planning between each development along the Clyde, we have already created a developers playground rather than strategically setting the Clyde as the number one priority when considering the new masterplanning of each development. We have already failed to create the successful unified waterfront we all hoped to achieve. Take a look at the other developments on the Clyde:

Custom House Quay proposals - FAIL!
Private Development for retail / hotel / leisure – as if the city needs more retail. This development is a series of 10 storey urban blocks placed on the river. Not to mention the 24+ storey skyscraper at the suspension bridge! There is just no justification of requirement to build yet another row of high rise buildings even closer to the Clyde. Main aim, minimise public space – maximise private rentable land. Money Money Money....

Tradeston waterfront proposals - FAIL!
8-10 storey Mediterranean style apartment blocks – all north facing on the south side of the river. I’m not sure what is worse about this development, the fact that they build 10 storey’s to the south of the river or that the show a 23ft sailboat in the proposal renders...fixed low clearance bridges mean anything to the developers? (Custom House Quay renders even had 27ft Sailboats and catamarans in the renders! Laughable. Just goes to show the level of understanding of the Architects and Developers.) Oh surprise surprise. What can we see in the Broomielaw renders...sailboats! *Shudder*

Springfield quay – FAIL!
Well let’s face it. Do you ever go there without a car? Rarely. There is just no connection with other riverfront developments. The worst part of this project is the 8ft steel fencing that goes across the public walkway along the river which says “Private Land No Public Access!” No public through walkway along the river – Major Fail.

Mavisbank gardens – FAIL!
Private land with no public function

Squinty Bridge – FAIL!
Ok, this bridge great for driving and walking over but there is NO riverside walkway under bridge on the south side!

Pacific quay - "The Hub" - FAIL!
Dead space with no public amenities. Could we have a more cold and depressing building on the waterfront? Oh wait we could the Pacific quay - BBC Scotland - FAIL!

And so on......
Of course, in all of these projects there are positives. Theres no denying that. However, not one project has a correlation to the city, the river or the adjacent developments other than geographical location. Actually not one single development does anything with the river. Any of the waterfront developments thus far could have been designed inland. What does that say for the architecture of the Clyde?

This is what Glasgow does. It sells out. It has already ruined the river and yet it continues to desecrate the last remaining piece of dignity that the once glorious Clyde has.

For 3 years I ate my lunch at the Broomielaw nearly every lunchtime. Even on a cold winter day, it was one of the most tranquil places in the city to sit. Although, I think anyone who worked down that way will tell you it lacked strong public function - somewhere to buy a coffee and a sandwich or sit and have a quiet beer with friends on a warm summers evening. So yes, we can maybe agree, let’s put some small public function on the Broomielaw, but why destroy it?

The current proposals for these buildings – (let’s not refer to them as pavilions as they clearly are not pavilions!) are over scaled and over designed. They are very simply Overkill. Is there anywhere that shows how they relate to the river? Do they even interact with the water at all rather than just being next to it? They kill the cross section of the river, and what’s more, they will become the new city image for people arriving in Glasgow Central by train. The Casino already situated there is bad enough; learn from your mistakes Glasgow!!! Open your eyes and see the potential:

How about providing examples from existing waterfront developments. I am and Architect and having written my Thesis and several papers on how to successfully transform waterfront landscapes. I can tell you without a doubt there are countless examples of great waterfront developments from around the globe. I now work and live in the Netherlands, the country who not only knows how to live next to water, but have an incredibly structured planning system that works with the people for the people to create amazing memorable places. (Having read several Dutch and Glasgow planning policies on waterfront development; the Dutch come out on top by a million miles.)

One major issue I have is why this approved without consulting the public? The council standard reply is that the documents have been on display in the council offices for months and the neighbours have been notified. In this instance that is just not good enough. The neighbours of this land are the citizens of Glasgow. Tell us about it! Don’t try and do the minimum work possible and try to sneak it through hoping no one will object. Here we are now, having to challenge the Council’s decision after they have made it rather than allowing us to inform their decision in the first place.

Although I honestly believe Glasgow’s Planning Department will never treat the Clyde with the respect that it deserves nor do I think the Planners will ever listen to the wishes of its citizens over the financial incentives of the private developer, I think at least we have to try to show what Glasgow is missing out on having. I feel sorry for the Clyde. I feel pity for the City. Most of all, I am ashamed of the short sightedness of our generation. The Clyde gave us life. It created Glasgow. It is Glasgow. Shame on us all for allowing this to happen to our river and more so shame on the developers who stand ignorantly laughing at us all whilst spitting in the face of our once beautiful river.

We need to present Glasgow City Council with visuals of what they could have. A design competition is one strong idea, but what’s easier is to show precedent. Prove to them that with previous examples that with little subtle interventions on the public waterfront, we can create a liveable, lively waterfront that we can all be proud of.

One example, Bonhomme Pavilion in Maastricht along the Maas river. Simple Pavilion Cafe on historical riverfront very similar to Glasgow’s. This is a subtle, 1 storey small scale cafe, with a lot of public landscaping surrounding it. Ideal to fit into the existing landscaping which Broomielaw already boasts.

Or another direction all together- why not place cafe boats on the river. We already have the prime example of “The Ferry”. Expand upon it! Look at Lyon’s Rhone waterfront. Although the river section is different than the Clyde the principle still applies. The river boats are unobtrusive, and allow beautiful landscaped riverfront to flow along the banks of the river. We can have the same? Why don’t we? Bring back the history of the river - relive the true history of the broomielaw and line the riverbank with boats for the public. -

The rivers should be the highest priority and should not be disregarded to make way for high profitable architecture which has no interest in relating to its fortunate context.

As Muriel Gray said regarding the development of the Clyde:
"The big question is whether this change will be one we are proud to have been part of or one that will make our grandchildren curse us for being a bunch of greedy short-sighted fools who ruined their river."

Good luck with the campaign,!/SaveBroomielaw

I hope the Clyde will get the respect that it deserves.

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