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New lease of life for Gillespie Kidd & Coia’s BOAC building

September 14 2012

 New lease of life for Gillespie Kidd & Coia’s BOAC building
A derelict Gillespie Kidd & Coia office block on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street could gain a fresh lease of life following the submission of refurbishment plans by Aberdeen Asset Management.

Implemented by MacKinnon & Co architectural services this will entail a repositioning of the front entrance to bring it into line with the existing shopfront as well as introduction of a projecting signage band with the intention of improving marketability of the ground-floor retail unit to tenants.

Built in 1970 for the British Overseas Airways Corporation the copper –clad, B listed structure is distinguished through being one of the few city centre projects to be completed by GK+C.

It was last renovated in 2007 by Keppie Design and Reid Architects.


#1 Posted by ha on 14 Sep 2012 at 12:35 PM
fantastic building. Really hope it survives for a long time
Jo Jo
#2 Posted by Jo Jo on 14 Sep 2012 at 12:41 PM
Excellent news. In my opinion Glasgow has three outstanding modern commercial buildings. Scottish Amicable by King Main & Ellison, Sentinel by Murray and Dunlop and this one by GC+K. Any more?
#3 Posted by David on 14 Sep 2012 at 12:45 PM
If only The Lighthouse had located itself in this building instead of its own premises. That way every shopper in Buchanan street would get a glimpse of and learn a bit more about architecture.

Just a thought.
the flâneur
#4 Posted by the flâneur on 14 Sep 2012 at 12:57 PM
This is a crass proposal doubtless driven by a retail agent seeking to ‘add value’ that misunderstands the architectonic qualities GKC were aiming at all for gaining roughly 1sqm of lettable space. How come All Saints could manage with the existing shopfront but this tweak will somehow improve marketability? What a total nonsense! Have some sensitivity and leave the shopfront as it as it is. Also why is this building ‘B’ listed when it should be an ‘A’? Answers on a postcard please Historic Scotland. I think this demonstrates why this gem by GKC needs more protection and I hope the planners reject this application.
Jo Jo
#5 Posted by Jo Jo on 14 Sep 2012 at 13:15 PM
# 4 I agree that is the worrying part of it all and it's being "implemented" by a company with no track record of works to significant buildings. Also Historic Scotland it should be listed Grade A listed but I am hopeful that the B llisting will protect the shopfront at street level
Rem Koolbag
#6 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 14 Sep 2012 at 14:04 PM
I was going to ask if anyone had actually looked at the planning application but i see now a few have.

This fresh lease of life seems to involve no more than adding a small bit of signage to join up 2 bits and grab the resultant floor space for rent. Big deal.

Also, as those above have noted, how come a firm of building surveyors who happen to provide some sort of 'architectural' input are carrying out this work while there are plenty qualified architecture practices experienced in listed building work etc etc sitting idle?
#7 Posted by CB on 14 Sep 2012 at 17:10 PM
What a pointless 'project'. I suspect it is 'derelict' (hardly – mothballed or simply empty would be a better description, surely?) because the rents on Buchanan St are very high and this building has a slightly less generous floor area than most shop spaces on offer in the area...most shops that can afford to rent on Buchanan St would probably go for a bigger premises (just as All Saints moved to what was Borders). Whatever the reason i doubt this will make any difference to it's marketability.

I love #3 David's idea about the lighthouse using it. It could make a perfect little outpost and street front exposure for them. I could see it with their design/book shop on the ground floor with extra exhibition space upstairs.

Sadly I doubt they have any money or need for it...
Noah Murney
#8 Posted by Noah Murney on 15 Sep 2012 at 03:38 AM
" distinguished through being one of the few city centre projects to be completed by GK+C."

That it is the ONLY city centre building to be completed by GK+C is a blessing.

To find a less interesting listed building in Glasgow - or Scotland - is a challenge.
#9 Posted by David on 17 Sep 2012 at 12:55 PM
Beauty (and interest) is in the eye of the beholder Noah.
For many, there are probably hundreds of listed buildings in Glasgow (never mind Scotland) that are of less merit.
#10 Posted by Neil on 17 Sep 2012 at 14:56 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a remarkable building. An exposition in how to incorporate a contemporary structure into a major Victorian and Georgian thoroughfare. I am not a Gillespie Kidd and Coia advocate but this is an exceptional building. I am bewildered how an architect can say otherwise. As for Scottish Amicable and Sentinel, both are very fine commercial buildings worthy of praise but sadly not in the same league.
#11 Posted by Egbert on 18 Sep 2012 at 10:13 AM
Is anyone else intrigued as to how a building can go from a renovation in 2007 to 'derelict' in the space of five years?
Rem Koolbag
#12 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 18 Sep 2012 at 10:52 AM
Through the use of inaccurate language by Urban Realm?

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