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University of Glasgow detail Stevenson Building plans

December 18 2012

University of Glasgow detail Stevenson Building plans
The University of Glasgow has published fresh detail on its plans to resurrect its flea bitten Hive nightclub as a £13.4m mixed-use sports and leisure hub - following expiry of its lease at the Kelvin Hall Sports Centre.

The new-look Stevenson Hive building will be built on the site of the existing Hive nightclub on Gibson Street and interconnect with the existing B-listed GUU and Stevenson buildings, to form a combined sports and leisure hub.

Alterations to both existing buildings to facilitate full integration of a new sports hall, cardiovascular suite and weights training area have been budgeted as part of the works.

Designed by ECD Architects, with input from Page\Park architects, the new-build will be built out to the established building line on Kelvin Way and will rise to five storeys in height whilst retaining an independent main door on Gibson Street.

Rising from a stone plinth the new block sports large openings to offer unimpeded views in and out whilst vertical ‘chimneys’ have been incorporated to maintain the rhythm of neighbouring tenements and the clock tower of JM Architects Hillhead Primary.

Soft landscaping work to Gibson Street will entail tree planting, yew hedging boxes together with ornamental grasses to frame new ashlar stone paving and public seating.

Demolition of the existing Hive building is expected to commence in March 2013 with construction of the new build following in September for an anticipated 12 month build programme.
Public realm improvements are planned for Gibson Street
Public realm improvements are planned for Gibson Street
Strong vertical elements are intended to tie the development in with neighbouring properties
Strong vertical elements are intended to tie the development in with neighbouring properties


#1 Posted by JimBob on 19 Dec 2012 at 16:44 PM
Jings, the primary facade seems to struggle massively against the scale and detail of the adjacent GUU. Considering the superb school just down the hill by JM, that elevation to Kelvin way looks unresolved and fairly severe... and making it stone doesn't help much - obviously just a personal view though.
#2 Posted by David on 20 Dec 2012 at 16:50 PM
Seconded JimBob. I'm struggling to find any redeaming features. It's hideous. A real mishmash of styles and massing, and it seems very clumsy in the way it deals with the slope of the site.
#3 Posted by wonky on 20 Dec 2012 at 19:05 PM
I must be in the minority- I like it- reminscent of 30s Deco with the sharp upright lines suggesting a certain vertiginous aplomb to the design. Its not without ambition- a massive improvement on the grimy dungeon like original.
#4 Posted by Warzzel on 21 Dec 2012 at 17:12 PM
Looks like the university library. Whether this is good or bad is up to you. Probably bad.
kevin toner
#5 Posted by kevin toner on 22 Dec 2012 at 16:51 PM
Regarding inquisitiveness generally, in this case for an extension related to a scheme with a design history, perhaps the architects or even client, if not done already, would do no harm in visiting city archives, i.e. to look at the shelved designs of the complex (circa the pre post-war boom period), which were radically revised come the decision-to-build a couple of decades or so later; and to see what was the original diagrammatic, programmatic and contextual intent.

Why stop doing this after university, even as architects if you're not obliged to: clients and architects can earn a rapport by taking a genuine interest in any architectural proposition? Architects can up the ante by not leaving Architectural History always to the historians; and assigning it to the dustbin as a passed module or rather primer.

Get the edge and take an interest in your discipline. IMO such schemes with a design history should always be routinely checked over before arriving at any critique, which is why I'll refrain from one here thanks, if I may!
#6 Posted by Wunderkind on 24 Dec 2012 at 11:53 AM
Brilliant, Kev. Some might say inspire. University taught you well.

To summarise into one sentence, rather than 3 paragraphs.

If you have a site, look into the history of it.

kevin toner
#7 Posted by kevin toner on 27 Dec 2012 at 15:17 PM
Thanks Wunderkind for offering that welcome tagline or one might say a ‘moral of the story’. I’d suggest though that you do need a story in addition to the moral. Your tagline on its own would be too bare on a learned forum.

Perhaps you might then ask ‘what conceit was there in targeting - or why target - this building to make the point’.

This was to express an educational standpoint using an example from the university sector itself, perhaps a little too clever for most. The un-built is also an interesting and rare facet to the topic, which is often overlooked. Hence, my restraint in waiting until now!

Magic Indeed!

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