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Hoskins pens alternate Helensburgh vision

February 16 2012

Hoskins pens alternate Helensburgh vision
Gareth Hoskins Architects have published a self-funded strategic vision for the seaside town of Helensburgh - as an antidote to a planned out-of-town Waitrose supermarket application set to go before planners later this month.

Hoskins, a Helensburgh native, embarked upon the independent vision after being appointed back in 2009 to look at the siting of a new pool and leisure centre. Undertaking this work he realised that Helensburgh is hamstrung both by its neglected pierhead and the eyesore site of the former Hermitage Academy.

In an effort to frame these planned leisure facilities within a more appropriate context Hoskins envisages a redeveloped pierhead, anchored by a new supermarket, whilst improving connectivity between key civic and visitor attractions - and postulating a possible housing expo on the Academy site.

Of these twin developments Hoskins wrote: “Together they offer the only real potential within the town to accommodate carefully considered and coherent development of real design quality, at the scale that would meet the pressing demand for the new residential, public, leisure and retail facilities required to safeguard the future viability and vitality of Helensburgh.

“Conversely, a decision to consent the Class 1 food store on the land south of the new Hermitage Academy would be potentially damaging, and motivated by an extremely short-term and narrow view of the likely impact on the town.”
Hoskins proposes staging a housing expo on the former Academy site
Hoskins proposes staging a housing expo on the former Academy site
The Expo site in context
The Expo site in context


This one?
#1 Posted by This one? on 17 Feb 2012 at 10:34 AM ?
Alex Salmond
#2 Posted by Alex Salmond on 17 Feb 2012 at 11:12 AM
Oslo Opera House by Snohetta anyone!!
Malcolm Fraser
#3 Posted by Malcolm Fraser on 17 Feb 2012 at 12:01 PM
The raised, canted ground plane is a good piece of contemporary architectural vernacular and it's one of the sicknesses of our era to fear such re-use, in such an appropriate setting. In general, are we all to act helpless in the face of a dumb supermarket proposal? Gareth should be congratulated for his imaginative response on behalf of his community.
Matthew Ansell
#4 Posted by Matthew Ansell on 17 Feb 2012 at 13:35 PM

‘Gareth has Political power due to his private school background’ !!?? Get a grip pal.
I can’t quite believe some of the irrelevant and personally vindictive comments in this thread. I could be missing something here, but I was under the impression this is a forum to discuss architecture, not for airing peoples insecurities relating to class or [lack of] success.
Hat’s off to you Gareth.
This is a good looking public spirited scheme which Helensbugh desperately needs...
The Profession
#5 Posted by The Profession on 17 Feb 2012 at 13:43 PM
Well Said Matt. At least he is keeping the flame burning for architecture.
#6 Posted by urbanrealm on 17 Feb 2012 at 13:56 PM
As Matthew has stated this is a forum for architectural debate, not a platform from which to throw insults.

Off topic posts will be deleted.
#7 Posted by scot on 17 Feb 2012 at 14:09 PM
An Ambitous Scheme
Mr Glassy Balustrade
#8 Posted by Mr Glassy Balustrade on 17 Feb 2012 at 15:45 PM
Thank the lord, the famine is over.
Noah Murney
#9 Posted by Noah Murney on 17 Feb 2012 at 19:13 PM
An architect produces a design for his local neighbourhood, not for a fee, but because he thinks it will benefit his neighbours. Not to mention the benefits for the construction and tourist industries, as well as local businesses and people looking for jobs and a sense of pride in their home town.

And it's a really good and original design which enhances and improves the waterfront, which it has to be said has seen better times.

Mr Hoskins and his team should be proud.

Let's hope the decision makers in Helensburgh take notice.
Thurman Merman
#10 Posted by Thurman Merman on 17 Feb 2012 at 19:50 PM
This is better than the Oslo Opera House. Purer forms. If only this could happen in Helensburgh
ka nute
#11 Posted by ka nute on 18 Feb 2012 at 11:34 AM
A pity this scheme was not taken on board by the councillors in Helensburgh when Hoskins was commissioned to prepare masterplans for these two sites. The rising tide of supermarket power, the short-sightedness of local politicians and the crassness of the local vocal minority who have 'ayes' only for Waitrose at any cost will ensure that this scheme will never see the light of day, in this location. Helensburgh town centre will die, the tide of avarice and self importance of a vocal minority can not be stopped.
Mr Agnew
#12 Posted by Mr Agnew on 18 Feb 2012 at 13:14 PM
What a lovely lift this would be for this area.
Tim Helstrip
#13 Posted by Tim Helstrip on 18 Feb 2012 at 14:38 PM
Looking exciting. Hope funding is a success!
John Kelly
#14 Posted by John Kelly on 18 Feb 2012 at 20:39 PM
Jimbob Tanktop
#15 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 19 Feb 2012 at 01:16 AM
Rather wonderful.
Ben Petersen
#16 Posted by Ben Petersen on 20 Feb 2012 at 08:37 AM
I like the idea of the roof plane / 5th elevation being such an important element in the scheme.
david nimmo
#17 Posted by david nimmo on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:25 AM
It may seem churlish to weigh in with criticism of acres of featureless concrete space in the manner of Chandigarh, in a notoriously windswept location, because the basic concept of placing any new retail development at the heart of the town is fundamentally correct and so deserves to succeed.

That is however what the scheme's enemies will attack, and can you put your hand on your heart and say they are wrong? It is a nice image but I'm afraid that it's another Cumbernauld.
#18 Posted by Sven on 20 Feb 2012 at 12:34 PM
I like it a lot. There needs to be more parking for the planned shopping and leisure centre (am guessing the pool is rebuilt) as the current parking is well used in the summer. What happens to the carnival that is currently sited there though?

The esplanade needs more seating and planting as it looks like a lot of empty space, however 'designer' the finish is. Perhaps some small shops for the sale of food/buckets and spades using the same materials could fill in some of that space?
#19 Posted by ATBENNETT on 20 Feb 2012 at 13:56 PM
so the answer to all helensburgh's problems is a supermarket. you could throw a stone and hit the other two it already has. give the existing small shops a chance and regenerate on the basis of what helensburgh DOESN'T have - not what it does. the town is basically two streets - this scheme will kill what remains of that. nice try, appreciate the effort, but not the answer. neither is Waitrose.
Mr Trump
#20 Posted by Mr Trump on 20 Feb 2012 at 14:43 PM
So people are really going to use that rooftop space on such an exposed site?
Rather wonderful I think not.
Mr Positive
#21 Posted by Mr Positive on 20 Feb 2012 at 14:56 PM
I dare anyone with these negative comments to have the guts to do what GHA have done for Scottish Architecture & have the guts to do inspite of a recession. When there really is nothing. Its so easy to sneer. GHA has done more for Scottish Architcture in the past 10 years than most.
Auld Cynic
#22 Posted by Auld Cynic on 21 Feb 2012 at 11:02 AM
I guess Donald Trump paid for this scheme…He just did not know it?

Hoskins is to be congratulated for a neat piece of self publicity, which will lead who knows where in terms of commissions.

But he does the profession no favours when it comes to convincing clients that we are profession who require remuneration to survive.
Stan Doyle
#23 Posted by Stan Doyle on 22 Feb 2012 at 16:07 PM
Gareth Hoskins Architects paid for this scheme and they appear to be surviving and thriving.

The fact that the practice is well run and able to make this investment as well as being one of the best architectural practices in the United Kingdom should be a cause for celebration rather than attracting some of the comments that have been posted on this website.

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