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High-rise student housing to tower over Cathedral Street

December 8 2014

High-rise student housing to tower over Cathedral Street
Forrest Furnishing has submitted plans for a 19 floor development of 376 student bedrooms on the corner of Cathedral Street and North Hanover Street, directly opposite a proposed M&S store as part of the Buchanan Galleries expansion.

Designed by Urban office Architects the plans call for demolition of an existing furniture showroom and warehouse with upgraded public realm including stone and granite paving.

Clad in polished concrete panels, aluminium and glazing the scheme would meet the street junction with a prominent advertising hoarding.

No parking provision would be provided but a dedicated drop-off area would be introduced off North Frederick Street with an additional 190 cycle spaces offered.

The plans supplant an earlier consent for planning in principle for a hotel and ground floor commercial space for the corner plot, which the developer opted not to pursue due to market conditions.


#1 Posted by Alf on 8 Dec 2014 at 11:32 AM
Are we not yet getting to the point of saturation of student housing/proposed student housing in Glasgow? Is there a study/report that outlines the high demand apparently out there for the volume of housing being proposed?
#2 Posted by Daverage on 8 Dec 2014 at 13:04 PM
another monstrosity to tower over george square. should we not be looking to get rid of these rather than build more?
#3 Posted by "El" on 8 Dec 2014 at 13:41 PM
Big Chantelle
#4 Posted by Big Chantelle on 8 Dec 2014 at 14:55 PM
Cheap looking = check
Contempt for its environment = check
Blocky and soulless = check
Stripped aesthetic free from any beauty = check
Covered in concrete= check

No doubt this'll scoop Motherwell polytechnic's concrete modernist awards. And u lot here advocate this kind of urban vandalism on our great cities. Shameful.
Partick Bateman
#5 Posted by Partick Bateman on 8 Dec 2014 at 15:25 PM
"And u lot here advocate this kind of urban vandalism on our great cities"

The comments suggest otherwise...
#6 Posted by hingwy on 8 Dec 2014 at 15:45 PM
At first I thought this drawing was rotated on its side. Really needs more brutalist eyesore modernist concrete before I can fully advocate this. MB.
Art Vandelay
#7 Posted by Art Vandelay on 8 Dec 2014 at 16:30 PM
Aside from anything else, that's an awful drawing...
Alexander Smith
#8 Posted by Alexander Smith on 8 Dec 2014 at 17:14 PM
North Hanover Street is spelted rong !
#9 Posted by Millek on 8 Dec 2014 at 17:16 PM
Looks like someone has been watching too many science fiction films:
#10 Posted by monkey9000 on 8 Dec 2014 at 22:17 PM
Hard to believe this application is for real. The design statement is truly opaque and has an incredible amount of filler. Good to see ambition, but really what's going on here, did they give project to a secondary school work experience kid to do and not teach them how to use CAD correctly? I'm a bit shocked such a massive erection has been dropped from space with very little subtlety, finesse or care for the city.
#11 Posted by .M. on 9 Dec 2014 at 13:48 PM
Simply atrocious.

Also what's with the single tree poking its head out from the top?
#12 Posted by SA on 9 Dec 2014 at 14:36 PM
Also worth noting that the furniture warehouse to be demolished is a converted Church and whilst it's not listed, the building adjoining it is. It has a pretty decent history as being the main church for the "Church of the New Jerusalem" religion in Scotland and then also a shop / assembly room for Victoria Bicycles and Motorbikes before becoming a furniture showroom.

Personally, whilst an obvious renovation solution, given the dearth of decent shops or pubs and the volume of students in the area, a conversion into a bar or equivalent would be a better urban solution as a way to bring life onto the street, if considerably less profitable. At least it wouldn't cast a huge shadow over the housing behind it! Would be interesting to see an elevation in context...
kevin toner
#13 Posted by kevin toner on 10 Dec 2014 at 12:27 PM
I’m sure that former church was Rochead's St Andrew's Free Church of possibly early 1840s given its lack of Puginian truth compared with even very similar 1850s gothic Rochead work; and not, as suggested, Burnet Snr’s late 1840s New Jerusalemites one as long demolished.

Pugin’s “Contrasts” (pub 1841) would definitely have influenced by mid 1840s and so I’d doubt that this church is any older than 1844 at the very oldest.

The extension to this appears to have been built in the form of a warehouse proper in I’d imagine the mid 1930s, I don’t recall cataloguing it at the Mitchell (so, it may have been jotted down by one of my colleagues).

I think that I do vaguely recall the alteration to unify the conventional warehouse and showroom if the warehouse was originally separate to start with, although I could be getting mixed up with other like examples.

Yes, there does appear to be an Edwardian red sandstone C-category Listed Building next door on the east side of the same block, which is probably listed as much for its Historic as Architectural importance, perhaps more so.

I’m very surprised that Historic Scotland has not yet listed the Rochead building given the above example/evidence of attitudinal change in Gothic styling going from this to for instance the equally painted and the Park Parish Church example of Rochead’s Gothic style that ponders much more ‘truth’ or at least more ‘correctness’ in both Gothic language terms; and reduced classical language.

Massing (white painted) and proportion is nonetheless consistent across the minutiae of change and thereby with Park Parish church being saved albeit along with 1960s offices as flats, it would be very worthwhile to see likewise did for the Forrest Furnishing job at North Hanover Street.

Remember that Glasgow wasn’t 1999 City of Architecture for nothing: we can’t keep whittling away at its rich architectural significances because there is so much of it to give up.

Any time that I’ve approached HS to list something that should’ve been listed; I’ve been belittled by someone who thinks they know more about significance than I do, and the building has gone on to disappear!

I therefore fear that to be successful with applying for listing is down to who rather than what you know – so those with pecking order, please start pecking for your city: ‘cause I can’t!

Apologies as ad lib and unedited!
Rem Koolbag
#14 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 10 Dec 2014 at 12:37 PM
Ah Kevin, your presence in this article really is the glossy shine on the turd that is this proposal.
Paul Sweeney
#15 Posted by Paul Sweeney on 11 Dec 2014 at 14:59 PM
Might be worth putting in a listing application to Historic Scotland for the former Church building?
That Guy
#16 Posted by That Guy on 11 Dec 2014 at 17:53 PM
I think I know what happened here. They accidently submitted the wrong image for this project.

Truthfully, is this real? If it is then this is very embarrassing. Love the passion but its just one big 'mish-mash' of ideas in one building. If I was to name this building, I would call it an Argos catalogue. Why? Cause it seems that this design as a catalogue of various different architectural elements that we could extract from and apply somewhere else. All that it is missing is a number system and a key to show what each element is and how much it costs.

I know I am coming off as very negative about this and I do see area where there is potential and development but this is really bad.
Rem Koolbag
#17 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 12 Dec 2014 at 10:04 AM
Seriously though, this really does represent the absolute worst of developer-driven dross. Demolishing existing unique buildingst hrashing the site for all it's worth then adding even more storeys, all the while providing the absolute minimum of amenity and space for the students.

Given the vital role students play, and increasingly pay-students from afar, they need protecting from this kind of over-development, stack 'em, pack 'em and rack 'em mentality.

Also, good luck getting that internal lightwell up 19 storeys in fire rated glazing....!
#18 Posted by George on 12 Dec 2014 at 15:06 PM
Who are these Urban Office Architects anyway? There isn't anyone of that name in Glasgow and on the plan the company appears to be Maybe they are just not keen to promote themselves if this is the kind of stuff they are producing...!
kevin toner
#19 Posted by kevin toner on 13 Dec 2014 at 11:10 AM
For those that might want to reconsider listing this building, which may be too late unless it’s called in (?) as it’s already at planning stage...

It will do no good if basing the argument on some [even highly respectable] internet sites like Glasgow Sculpture, or any of the few sites that do provide a critique/profile on the architect.

Such sources may claim that Rochead’s work improved with time – despite historically infamous criticism of later work.

It’s all wrong!

Again, let me reiterate the significance of Pugin’s influence, which will help explain how it’s possibly worth keeping the Forrest Furnishing showrooms church, or at least in listing it if it’s not already too late.

I quote myself, ‘...Pugin’s “Contrasts” ([sic] pub 1841)...’, i.e. its 2nd edition in 1841 along with – not forgetting in combination - the 1st edition of Pugin’s “The True Principles of...”, also published in 1841. These were ‘all one’ in my view, i.e. of the same campaign/theory.

In my last comment I presumed ‘the latest possible date of the church’ based on any likely perceived ignorance from the Pugin theory that its architect may’ve had, which I quoted/estimated could have lasted as far forward as the mid 1840s in general.

It was indeed been built in 1844 and that I’d thus gauged Rochead well.

After a quick internet trawl moments ago today - forget Wikepedia in this instance - it also appears that the Encyclopaedia Britannica corroborates my thoughts on the turning point of Pugin’s influence: saying its height was between 1840 to 1844.

This basically confirms my thoughts that “Contrasts”, and probably its sequel “True Principles” too, basically had a slow start in reaching all the various levels of convert.

Great minds think alike, thanks EB!

Therefore, once again, subtle architectural change from Rochead’s earlier gothic (as in the unlisted surviving 1844 church) to circa post 1845 gothic work was more likely to emanate from: 1) 1840s attitudinal change; rather than 2) changes in architectural capability.

The remaining church is, again, direct evidence that the attitudinal change did indeed take place and even where it would least be expected, i.e. in an architect from the Charles Barry school!

You’ll need to trust such judgements, if no other sources have implied it.

All credit to Forrest Furnishing for allowing its survival to date.

Again, it’s probably best for a city that has such evidence to keep such evidence!

There’s no point in me telling this to the council, HS or other planning consultees/representatives, so called amenity societies, etc. Nor are the architects, if there is one, or clientele, likely to have a change of heart – going on past experience. They [all] never buy it, coming from me!

Anyone else that may have any actual influence, please do feel free to urge that there’s probably a case for listing than might otherwise be thought, especially given what’s left (what remains) of the Park Parish Church as showing what’s possible in retention; and in whatever full works remain in whatever style, and in whatever location from the same architect.

Good luck too.
#20 Posted by CADMonkey on 14 Dec 2014 at 18:08 PM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Mockintosh elements. Or is that coming back in?

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