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Blythswood House student halls near completion

August 17 2015

Blythswood House student halls near completion
Work to deliver 218 new student bedrooms within a converted office block off Blythswood Square, Glasgow, is nearing completion with Graham Construction applying the finishing touches to the build.

Overseen by Cooper Cromar the project has seen new windows and insulation fitted to the façade of Blythswood House whilst the interior is stripped out to make room for the accommodation.

Self-contained apartments will be provided for the buildings warden as well as visiting lecturers and tutors with studios, workshops, exhibition space, a cinema and a gym also on offer.

In a statement the GSoA said it neither designed nor funded the Blythswood House development but has merely taken out a lease for the property.

The school said: “The GSA has simply taken a lease on the accommodation for its students. We have done this because of its proximity to the GSA’s Garnethill campus and its city centre location which gives our students access to a wide range of amenity, and because it offers high quality accommodation at an affordable price to our students.”

Glasgow School of Art will assume their lease of the £7.5m property from late summer.
New exterior lighting has also been introduced
New exterior lighting has also been introduced
Residents will share common rooms and communal kitchens
Residents will share common rooms and communal kitchens


#1 Posted by Chris on 17 Aug 2015 at 12:18 PM
Shockingly poor. Looks like a school from the 70s.
Nicky Chow
#2 Posted by Nicky Chow on 17 Aug 2015 at 12:41 PM
What was the remaining £7.0 Million spent on?
Edward McGurn
#3 Posted by Edward McGurn on 17 Aug 2015 at 13:10 PM
So GSA a centre for design excellence allows a frontage as poor as this .............! Shockingly bad and disappointing!
#4 Posted by David on 17 Aug 2015 at 14:00 PM
Lost for words. I've watched this appear on site for over a year, with total frustration.

A key corner building on Blythswood Square, and a commission for GSA. 2 critical reasons why this SHOULD be an excellent piece of design (even if it is purely overcladding).

What on earth went wrong?
Who thought this was appropriate or good enough?
How many GSA students would have made a better job of the design?
Who actually preferred the previous building?
Why do we see more and more ENTIRELY SUBstandard pieces of city architecture ruining Glasgow?

UR, can you elaborate on what 'Overseen by Cooper Cromar' means? Who was responsible for the design?
#5 Posted by Billy on 17 Aug 2015 at 14:15 PM
So the Greek Thomson church was demolished years ago because it was unsafe after a fire. They were quick to demolish . There was an outcry then. And this ugly building continues to haunt us . Everything is bleak about it. Why in a city which has grey skies most of year do we persist with dull drab coloured buildings. Grey is the wrong choice of colour in Glasgow . I like those multicoloured buildings in London's west end and Bergen uses colour too. Move away from the grey. That aside, the building ,60s early 70s build should have been demolished. Hated it before refurb and even more now . An insult the school of art and the students within.
#6 Posted by Mackentoff on 17 Aug 2015 at 14:27 PM
What the actual f@@k! is this a joke? who would want to stay in that…
#7 Posted by David on 17 Aug 2015 at 14:50 PM
Plook. On. Plinth. 2015.

Congratulations. All opposition obliterated.
Big Chantelle
#8 Posted by Big Chantelle on 17 Aug 2015 at 15:47 PM
I warned you lot about the disaster of lefty architecture ideology and its ramifications for our built environment. Beauty has no place in it. We end up with this kind of stuff.

Reap what you sow. Here's to beauty!
#9 Posted by QMU on 17 Aug 2015 at 16:12 PM
Could UrbanRealm seek a response from GSA over this?
Neil C
#10 Posted by Neil C on 17 Aug 2015 at 16:47 PM
Come friendly bombs...
#11 Posted by Shivute on 17 Aug 2015 at 17:32 PM
Refurb of 70s office block in 'still looks like 70s office block shocker'.

So it's effectively an EWI job with some remodelling internally. Ok, the results are far from great (and with a seemingly large budget at that) but I'm curious as to what people were expecting - the Sagrada Familia, perhaps?
#12 Posted by Charlie_ on 17 Aug 2015 at 17:46 PM
The building is back in use and we've got another 200 people living in the city centre. Another improvement, guys.
#13 Posted by David on 17 Aug 2015 at 17:54 PM
@ Shivute

We expect good quality architecture, that's what. Something honest, contextual, visually interesting, and with a bit of design flare. Some decent materials might have helped too. 'far from great' results are simply not good enough, even if the above was just 'far from great' but it's not.

I'd suggest you are more out of sync with how bad this is given you are the only one attempting to defend it.
#14 Posted by David on 17 Aug 2015 at 17:55 PM
@ Charlie,

Let's just fill the city centre full of rubbish like this. How improved will we feel then?
#15 Posted by Chris on 17 Aug 2015 at 20:06 PM
What we should have expected at the very least was a decent recladding. As it stands, the building actually looked better before conversion.
#16 Posted by Shivute on 17 Aug 2015 at 20:34 PM
A fair point David. Being 'out of sync' with an Urban Realm comment thread, that paragon of rational, measured debate, is pretty unforgivable. My sincere apologies.
#17 Posted by David on 18 Aug 2015 at 08:51 AM
Shivute, it's pretty clear to me that the general criticism of this building in the comments above is fair and just.

However, we are entitled to our own opinions, and if you think the building is acceptable then that's great. You asked the question and I answered it.

Let's not get distracted though by sarcastically referring to the general standard of comments throughout other articles, as it's not relevant to this.
Urban Realm
#18 Posted by Urban Realm on 18 Aug 2015 at 10:13 AM
To clarify GSoA have simply signed a lease on the property and had no input on the design. A statement has been added.
#19 Posted by 11 on 18 Aug 2015 at 11:05 AM
The design is totally dreadful and it is a disaster for Blythswood Square not to mention the workmanship which is really bad. Nobody really cares anymore..... Architects, builders, clients, investors, agents, City planning and everyone involved ... they are all to blame for this shameful project.
A Local Pleb
#20 Posted by A Local Pleb on 18 Aug 2015 at 13:49 PM
As always the diatribes on this forum are laughable, so much bile, so much negativity. It's not whether various parties care, they do, but its what do they care about and where do their priorities lie. Unfortunately superficial aesthetics is low in priorities to many a developer and indeed client. They perhaps care more about balance sheet, ease of use, maintenance and life cycle! I also recollect in the past the architectural profession lambasting planners for taking too much interest in design and slowing the application process down as a result. I'd ask what has happened to the Urban Design Group that used to monitor the quality of submissions?

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