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HFD press ahead with Bothwell Exchange office plan

July 2 2015

HFD press ahead with Bothwell Exchange office plan
HFD Property Group has submitted plans for a 150,000sq/ft office development at 122 Waterloo Street as part of their wider Bothwell Exchange masterplan to capitalise on burgeoning demand for office space in Glasgow.

Sitting behind a unitised glazed façade on three sides, with a dark grey metal panel rear, the buildings depth is dictated by a desire to extend the lanes off Pitt Street and Douglas Street to allow entrance and egress from an underground car park.

Above this a courtyard garden, for sole use by occupants, will be incorporated, enveloped by a proposed hotel and residential accommodation which will be subject to a separate application.

In their design statement Michael Laird Architects noted: “The proportions of the façades work to reinforce the famous Glasgow Grid iron pattern on the southern edge of the site at Waterloo Street and create clear strong edges which powerfully define the city block.

“The depth of the building is determined by two factors; the reproduction of the lanes off Pitt Street and Douglas Street and the floor plate necessary to create 150,000sqft of net office space in the building.

“As it is likely that the development of the remaining site up to Bothwell Street will maximise the use of the plot, the design of the building will provide the core spaces to the north and centre of the building to permit maximum views out of the building.”

A ground floor overhang will allow a widened expanse of public realm to be created at street level, allowing an existing cycle lane to be retained alongside an upgrade of paving and street furniture to the standard set elsewhere in the IFSD.
Michael Laird aim to bridge the differing scales between Glasgow's Victorian core and modern high rises by the M8
Michael Laird aim to bridge the differing scales between Glasgow's Victorian core and modern high rises by the M8
The scheme will eventually occupy a full city block
The scheme will eventually occupy a full city block


#1 Posted by notscot on 2 Jul 2015 at 14:26 PM
While it may reinforce the 'grid' it is devoid of any interest and complexity that the majority of other Glasgow city blocks have. This animosity in design pays no heed to the city at all.
#2 Posted by Charlie_ on 2 Jul 2015 at 14:36 PM
It looks like the financial officer did this himself with a ruler & biro during a coffee break to save on the expense of hiring an architect. It makes the soulless glass boxes to its north east look exuberantly characterful in comparison.
#3 Posted by Fraser on 2 Jul 2015 at 14:38 PM
#4 Posted by Roddy_ on 2 Jul 2015 at 15:29 PM

Zero design development in terms of elevational modulation from public consultation 3 months ago. Evidence of the disdain in which the city is held by both designer and developer.

The design and access statement has to be one of the most facile pieces of city analysis I’ve ever had the misfortune to have read so it’s unsurprising this design has resulted.

Deserves to be rejected.
#5 Posted by Alf on 2 Jul 2015 at 15:33 PM
I guess with the sheer lack of anything to this building, this would take no time to build and would be a fairly quick source of revenue to the developer.
Big Chantelle
#6 Posted by Big Chantelle on 2 Jul 2015 at 15:45 PM
Ugliness personified. But then, what else would the concrete lovin' modernist brigade produce?

All you lefties who for years encouraged the mauling of our cityscapes have unleashed a beast: a beast which consumes our public space fillin' it with utter drivel devoid of class and integrity. And the audacity of you to now moan about the blandness and lack of context of buildings. L to the O to the L.
#7 Posted by David on 2 Jul 2015 at 15:53 PM
...oh to have a glimpse of Big Chantelle's architectural delights...I could only imagine what gastly creations would appear.

This building is shockingly bad. It has absolutely no redeeming features. It's not even on a par with the majority of it's immediate context, which is poor at best (Sentinel excluded).

How a supposedly reputable architecture firm can stand up and defend this low quality design is truly depressing. Michael Laird have clearly sold themselves to the devil, and don't give a sh** about the importance of designing in one of the finest city centres in the UK. Well done, for another turd.

Let's just hope it gets rejected.
#8 Posted by Chris on 2 Jul 2015 at 16:11 PM
"Lefties" - Chantelle you realise that these schemes are privately funded by developers i.e right wing businessmen?
#9 Posted by Fraser on 2 Jul 2015 at 16:22 PM
It doesn't make me heave, but it does make me despair with the blandness and dullness of this proposal. It should definitely be rejected.
#10 Posted by Roddy on 2 Jul 2015 at 17:39 PM
It's fine
Sounds like a load of sour grapes to me
#11 Posted by james on 2 Jul 2015 at 18:02 PM
Just suck it up.

'a savage servility slides by on grease'
robert lowell.
#12 Posted by David on 3 Jul 2015 at 09:17 AM
Roddy (#10)

You might think it's fine. I don't.

It's certainly not sour grapes though, I can assure you of that. I happen to care a lot about the quality of architecture in Glasgow as it's a city I'm extremely proud of having lived here all my life. There are a number of good examples of how to treat context within the grid of the city, although there should be more, and more effort by everyone involved (architects, planners, councillors, developers, hoteliers, etc etc). I see nothing that enriches and enhances this part of the city in this scheme, and this particular part needs more attention than most as it is quite fragmented and eclectic (broken, some might say).

To suggest that any negative comments are a sign of jealousy is frankly ignorant I'm afraid.
#13 Posted by Billy on 3 Jul 2015 at 09:31 AM
I think we should rename the city Blandgow. Cos that's where we are heading.
Billy BS
#14 Posted by Billy BS on 3 Jul 2015 at 10:22 AM
I don't know what the fuss is about here, this is wonderful and will be visually striking from a plane.
A Local Pleb
#15 Posted by A Local Pleb on 3 Jul 2015 at 13:21 PM
Disappointing, another uninspiring development. For a city that is full of architectural character we appear to be hell bent on promoting the mundane nowadays. I know that developers are driven by marketability but it doesn't much for corporate image if businesses want a home in sterile featureless boxes!
A student
#16 Posted by A student on 3 Jul 2015 at 13:49 PM
There are about one hundred students at Glasgow University's Development Process course who planned something on the site. I would guess about 80% of the people did a better job than the involved companies.
#17 Posted by George on 3 Jul 2015 at 14:32 PM
I'm not against curtain wall glazing being used, but come on, lets have some imagination, some design and some kind of features as well please.
#18 Posted by Pleasantfield on 3 Jul 2015 at 17:48 PM
Go anywhere architecture which has just gone and happened to land in Glasgow. I thought Michael Laird were capable of better than this. I must have been wrong. I must say I agree with every single comment above. We are all saying the same thing. It takes blandness to new heights if that is not something of an oxymoron. the present generation of architects seem incapable of detailing facades or is it the client who instructed this?

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