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Revised Buchanan Quarter application lands on planners desks

January 23 2013

Revised Buchanan Quarter application lands on planners desks
A revised masterplan for the controversial expansion of Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries has been submitted by the Buchanan Partnership following the Scottish Government's decision to back the project last October.

Masterplanned by BDP the £390m development would include retail, commercial and hotel elements alongside an upgrade of Queen Street Station and surrounding public realm – but is reliant on £80m of funding from the public purse borrowed against future business rates.

This will take the form of a new 1,700 space car park clad in pre-cast concrete panels on North Hanover Street to replace the existing beige brick edifice on Cowcaddens Road with an extended Buchanan Galleries offering new cinemas, restaurants and retail.

A linear glazed atrium will provide direct pedestrian access to Queen Street Station and a high level bridge over Cathedral Street will connect with a new department store above the north cutting of the railway below.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Big building projects like Buchanan Quarter are not just about the improved infrastructure we gain, they are about the employment and the training that takes place during construction.

"This development will continue the regeneration of the city centre, improving the public spaces and creating modern, vibrant new facilities that will cement Glasgow's position as a major international destination for visitors.”
A multi-storey car park with street facing retail is destined for a disused area to the east of Queen Street Station
A multi-storey car park with street facing retail is destined for a disused area to the east of Queen Street Station
A new build block will sprout on North Hanover Street, connected to the existing mall by a high level link bridge
A new build block will sprout on North Hanover Street, connected to the existing mall by a high level link bridge

A new link bridge is intended to act as an architectural statement
A new link bridge is intended to act as an architectural statement


Rem Koolbag
#1 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 23 Jan 2013 at 11:53 AM
How can 'Buchanan Quarter' be described as public space when there are security guards on the doors and the entire place is shut at 6pm every evening?

Buchanan Galleries, as it exists now is a shopping mall, spreading like a cancerous growth throughout the heart of the city, gobbling up more and more area all the time.

The now aborted George Square redesign could have done well to have included the need for some sort of rampart with which to repel the World Class Shopping Destination flubbing out all over it. Get an advertising banner on it and I am sure the council would have been all over it...
Zaha Hadidnae
#2 Posted by Zaha Hadidnae on 23 Jan 2013 at 13:32 PM
Mr Koolbag makes a good point - a huge multi-function structure, much of which is off limits for extended periods, sprawling across large parts of Glasgow's centre. Has this not been vilified and proven to be a mistake in the likes of Cumbernauld, Glenrothes and Stirling, or does this not matter as long as it's shiny? How will the likes of GFT compete with yet another multi-plex so close?
#3 Posted by codeselfish on 23 Jan 2013 at 13:42 PM
From the the image of the link bridge I guess the message the 'architectural statement' is intended to convey is: "Don't Use Sunbeds". Seriously, why is a 'link bridge' necessary? Having squeezed an additional 1700 parking spaces next to a train station in the heart of the city I guess it's too big an ask to get the motorists to walk to the shops on streets.
#4 Posted by Egbert on 23 Jan 2013 at 14:35 PM
Hang on a minute, wasn't Queen Street station about to be upgraded by Network Rail anyway? I'm not a great fan of their bland glass atrium proposals, but at least they didn't make one of Scotland's busiest stations a mere adjunct to a characterless and rampaging monster-mall or stuff a mind-boggling 1700 parking spaces on top.
#5 Posted by Egbert on 23 Jan 2013 at 15:43 PM
Sorry, my bad - looks like this is part of the same scheme. Have to say it's a pretty damning indictment on our economic model if the only way we're told we can upgrade our transport infrastructure and public realm is to allow them to be appended and subsumed by private interests.
#6 Posted by wonky on 24 Jan 2013 at 12:26 PM
This is just another example of how GCC continue to rip out the heart of the city I love. How much are they putting into the kitty for this expansion? 50 million?
I am old enough to remember when Argyle Street going towards the KIngston Bridge area was a thriving shopping area- now it looks like the Luftwaffe have just left a calling card. This will only get worse after the felling of the White Elephant "Jumeriah" hotel. This part of the city is a real mess. What of the Trongate? CPO's for every small business and intractable tenant and yet none for a Selfridges that has been responsible for the destruction of half a street? Sauchiehall Street is in real need of a tart up in places as well, as does Renfield Street and Union Street. Our city is shrinking at an alarming rate, with accelerated centralization into this much vaunted "Buchanan Quarter". After a recent visit to the continent, where many cities are refreshingly free of Americana malls, most noticeably Paris, who wants to visit a city with one street? One street with the same shops as every other city in every other country?
With fifty million or so we could see real investment in the built infrastructure of many of our great streets. Instead we get an expansion of a faceless shopping mall. Our cities should be places where we can have an alternative experience to the car centred everything-under-one-roof shopping convenience of soulless malls. We have inherited a great Victorian/Edwardian built heritage that should be the any of just about any other city in the world and yet we largely turn our backs on it and let it go to ruin, all for the sake of an a-historical future of homogenised I I hae said before: you sometimes have to go back to go forward. Why are we continually saddled by a bunch of no-hopers at the city chambers who are incapable of realising just how great our city actually is? It's as if they actually despise our city, or they are somehow embarrassed by it. When in reality they should be on the roofops shouting about how great it is and how much better it can be. World class in potential. Maybe if they did go up on the rooftops they might just see how great our built enironment actually is. That 50m may have been a start towards preserving much of that greatness- these present decisions will become a massive regret sometime in the near future...when we are all shunted and huddled in one vast shopping mall that could be anywhere from Abu Dhabi to San Diego.


Egbert- don't get me started on nationalisation, particularly of public utilities and transport...gggrrrhhh!
Neale Smith
#7 Posted by Neale Smith on 24 Jan 2013 at 13:19 PM
Tell me this is a bad joke! If this gets planning consent serious questions have to be raised! There are empty retail units all over the city, the high street is dying a slow undignified death, and they're planning to build more??? Surely the 300 million could be used for wiser more forward thinking projects?? Pure fast buck short term benefit bullshit, will the forward thinkers please stand up, this a complete farce!!!
#8 Posted by Wonky on 24 Jan 2013 at 15:21 PM
*Correction: Glasgow City Council are giving up £80m to a private shopping mall. EIGHTY MILLION!

Lord save us in our hour of need
Neil C
#9 Posted by Neil C on 24 Jan 2013 at 15:42 PM
This is diabolical news, and surely the final nail in the coffin for retail on Union St, Renfield St, Trongate et al. What happened to the Golden Z? Now we'll have a Golden I and absolutely nothing worth venturing beyond Buchanan Street for - dozens upon dozens of landmark traditional buildings throughout the city, all with To Let signs outside their ground floor windows. Nice work, councillors.
#10 Posted by wonky on 24 Jan 2013 at 21:20 PM
Instead of the Golden Z we'll get: The small aluminium i or the tin L, maybe even a bronze dot? The tainted and tinsellated speckle...and then we'll get the likes of Mathieson saying: "But we're better off with a golden pluke than a silver Zed" or some such guffery...
#11 Posted by Robert on 25 Jan 2013 at 08:58 AM
Wonky, I'd vote for you.
Patricia Sogbanmu
#12 Posted by Patricia Sogbanmu on 22 May 2015 at 13:15 PM
I agree with all the comments so far posted about short-sightedness and destruction of the rest of the city centre. When were we asked if we wanted this?

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