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Student housing rush reaches north Glasgow

October 23 2014

Student housing rush reaches north Glasgow
Watkin Jones has submitted plans for the creation of a 13-storey student residential tower at North Hanover Street, Glasgow, to house 441 students – extending a pattern of ongoing investment in the sector.

The V-shaped brick clad block has been designed by Manson Architects to act as a gateway into the city with a tall, slender element on the corner of Dobbie’s Loan stepping down to lower rise nine storey elements.

In their design statement Manson said: “The rational order and restrained articulation of the facades can be seen in, in particular clarity on the taller block toward the north of the site, where a tri-partite arrangement is in place. At the base, 6 levels of accommodation are split into pairs using the double order to create taller slimmer openings. The middle third uses simpler single storey window openings, while the upper 3 levels are banded together to create a triple height openings.

“Simple but bold moves have been made to create depth and relief on the facade - the triple height portico on the northern corner of the building creates an asymetrical frontage. A well-defined glazed slot creates two elements - the taller, slimmer element to the north and the longer, lower element to the south. A single, deep recess in the southern block will create a strong contrast of light and shadow on the elevation.”

A separate scheme for the delivery of a Glasgow Caledonian University campus expansion planned for delivery to the immediate north.
A glazed stairwell will bridge lower and high-rise elements
A glazed stairwell will bridge lower and high-rise elements
Street facing ground floor retail will be uncluded with a private landscaped courtyard to the rear
Street facing ground floor retail will be uncluded with a private landscaped courtyard to the rear


A Local Pleb
#1 Posted by A Local Pleb on 23 Oct 2014 at 12:23 PM
The context within which this sits may not be the most inspiring but this proposal does nothing to redress that. Bland stacked this becoming de rigeur for student housing in Glasgow?
#2 Posted by wonky on 23 Oct 2014 at 13:06 PM
I quite like it- it's suitably urban in density , decent enough design & adds some elevated fabric to an area badly in need of coherence- hopefully it will inspire similar ambitious schemes in a quarter of the city that feels largely cut off from the central core.
#3 Posted by james on 23 Oct 2014 at 14:07 PM
How much was the land deal worth? All I am looking at is a trade-off between the planners and maximising the numbers. I don't give a shit about elevated fabric or whatever - stack 'em high - that's about it, the rest is all bollocks. may as well be 441 chickens. Whatever happened to Aldo Van Eyck? Otherwise, you so-called architects are just building out capitalism. Sh*t-eaters.
Andy Whyte
#4 Posted by Andy Whyte on 23 Oct 2014 at 15:58 PM
Space and form- homogenised, commoditised and monetised. James is probably mostly right even if he is a bit vitriolic. These student 'pods' may be involved in a huge crash soon as there will simply be way too many of them.
#5 Posted by bonvivant on 23 Oct 2014 at 17:47 PM
It's a long while since I was a student, but would that level of explanation of the design (let alone the design itself) get through a second year crit these days?
#6 Posted by wonky on 23 Oct 2014 at 18:49 PM
I can't see I agree with James wonderfully articulate riposte- the gap sites in that chaotically planned area are numerous & any decent infill is to be welcomed to some extent- why would we want large gapsites in the central core? Building high is appropriate to the site given the centrality/proximity to the high risers in Townhead. Even if the bottom falls out of this market ( which we know it will once supply outstrips demand) we'll hopefully still have a fairly decent standard infill with added urban coherence that can be recycled as permanent residency for people who want to live in the city.
#7 Posted by james on 24 Oct 2014 at 12:08 PM
Dear Wonky, for me, the glaringly obvious trouble with this banalarchitectplannercapitalisteconomicschpeak is that I'd rather die than live in the world you describe/desire/mimic? I find nothing attractive on offer in what you say. SG Checkland - The Upas Tree: Glasgow 1875-1975 covers the process that has resulted in the existence of Townhead as it is today. The North-British economic model encapsulated in the above scheme of production and consumption is bankrupt. It is the problem not the solution. My simple point is that Architects (because they too have mortgages to pay) merely aid the prolongation of this meaningless economic system of which this proposal is symptomatic.
Art Vandelay
#8 Posted by Art Vandelay on 24 Oct 2014 at 12:47 PM
So the alternative is? For the record, I don't like the scheme at all, or the current explosion in stack me high student hutches, but like you say, there are mortgages to be paid!

I don't disagree with your sentiment necessarily but sadly there are plenty of practices who would say 'yes' for every one that would say 'no'.
#9 Posted by james on 24 Oct 2014 at 13:53 PM
I'll get to a simple suggestion, but my point is that within the current overall political system, architects are no more than sh*t-eaters (a term taken from the 'House of Meetings' - a Martin Amis novel set in the Gulag) and the sooner they realise their place is well well down the chain, the sooner they will stop deluding themselves. Architects just process this dreck, when they are not thinking about other pretty graphic things - just consider the vacuousness of their 3D illustrations. Serious/intellectual/political beings they are not. Ideology has been replaced by 3D perspectives and we prattle on about colours of bricks. Regarding the new world order, come the revolution we could simply do with a planning system in the city that demands much much more long-term economic benefits of rapacious developers, but I for one am going to have to lie down now as all this is getting way too much for me. Utopia will have to wait.
Art Vandelay
#10 Posted by Art Vandelay on 24 Oct 2014 at 14:53 PM
That's not really answering the question. If we were all to suddenly abandon all commissions that don't meet the standards of your new economic model, I somehow don't think that would automatically make all these big bad developers dramatically change their ethos.

When can we expect this revolution, might I ask?
#11 Posted by james on 24 Oct 2014 at 19:07 PM
Dear Art, I didn't attempt to answer your question, as it is a long time since I've sat an exam, but only wanted to expand on a point I made earlier. I was also unaware that I had proposed an alternative economic model with standards, as that is beyond my ken, but merely stated that the planning system should get more long term gain out of developers in the city centre. Maybe the irony and self-deprecating tone was lost along the way. The revolution will however be starting promptly at 0900hrs this Monday morning, but it will not be televised. This I do know for a fact. - nice chatting :-)
Iain Nairn Jr
#12 Posted by Iain Nairn Jr on 25 Oct 2014 at 12:07 PM
The revolution can come about by insisting on higher standards - not of style, as that is of course subjective and unmeasurable, but of space, energy efficiency, sustainability and quality of materials. There is always resistance to this by developers for obvious reasons, but if it is legislated and unnegotiable then eventually land prices will go down, as has happened in other European countries, and quality will go up.
#13 Posted by wonky on 26 Oct 2014 at 18:10 PM
James you certainly should go & lie down in a dark room for your own sake & even for the rest of us- you certainly do have a lot to say (most of it empty verbiage), particularly if it offers no attempts at a plausible alternative- personally I think your overreaction to this scheme is somewhat hysterical (but then maybe the self-deprecation & irony is also lost on me).

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