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Quayside Park to signify Tradeston rejuvenation at Buchanan Wharf

August 8 2018

Quayside Park to signify Tradeston rejuvenation at Buchanan Wharf

Detailed applications have been filed for the first individual components of an ambitious masterplan for Tradeston on the south banks of the River Clyde through Glasgow city centre.

Buildings one and two at Buchanan Wharf are being handled by architects Halliday Fraser Munro and will provide 115,000sq/ft and 205,000sq/ft of floor space respectively, including underground basement car parking.

Intended to repair the broken built environment of the surrounding area the blocks sit within a wider Stallan-Brand masterplan on a block bounded by West Street, Tradeston Street, Kingston Street and Clyde Place. The latter route will be closed to vehicular traffic to form a ‘quayside park’ and cycle lane with a ‘new social street’ bisecting both blocks and connecting to a pedestrianised Tradeston Street.

Outlining their placemaking approach the architects stated: “A clear hierarchy to the streets and new lanes around buildings one and two is provided. The hierarchy is expressed through the physical widths of the streets and also though the careful use of materials and landscaping. Each of these spaces will provide their own distinct character which is reflected in the form of the building elevations.”

Designed to maximise views of the river and seed a diverse skyline the individual buildings sport rectangular forms composed of brick, metal, glass and concrete with recessing and terraces employed to break down the massing.

Barclays have purchased the development to establish a campus headquarters
Barclays have purchased the development to establish a campus headquarters
Placemaking lies at the heart of early Buchanan Wharf proposals
Placemaking lies at the heart of early Buchanan Wharf proposals


#1 Posted by Philip on 8 Aug 2018 at 12:05 PM
Can someone explain the statement: “Placemaking lies at the heart of the early Buchanan Wharf proposals”- how so? And how does the third image demonstrate this.
Does anyone in the little Scottish architectural bubble know what the f’ they are talking about?
This is a bland, vacuous set of proposals with zero character and no ledgible attempt at placemaking.
#2 Posted by no.2 on 8 Aug 2018 at 12:37 PM
I fully understand and agree with that statement, there really is a sense of placemaking in the planning and layout of the buildings proposed. That place being King's Cross in London. Actually 'making' it is the hard part.
Gandalf the Pink
#3 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 8 Aug 2018 at 13:19 PM
“A clear hierarchy to the streets and new lanes around buildings one and two is provided. The hierarchy is expressed through the physical widths of the streets and also though the careful use of materials and landscaping. Each of these spaces will provide their own distinct character which is reflected in the form of the building elevations.”

The Architect Bullshit Alarm is sounding...
#4 Posted by Sadness on 8 Aug 2018 at 13:32 PM
Cheer up. It'll stand on the wrong side of the river and will be gone in next 20 years anyway. Neither bigger nor smaller eyesore than most of the town centre.
#5 Posted by Alf on 8 Aug 2018 at 13:54 PM
Should say off the bat, I have no connection with this at all. But what about the actual positive aspect that this run-down/vacant area south of the Clyde is going to be regenerated? Its not a retail park, its not a shopping centre, its not a bus depot (First Bus Cathcart Road anyone?). Its a new development, and that is a big plus for this area. Regardless of Archi-bull statements, this is a good thing.
#6 Posted by Mark on 8 Aug 2018 at 17:06 PM
If you find fairly standard architectural vocabulary difficult to understand, then perhaps you shouldn't be commenting on an architectural website? And perhaps your 'opinion' might therefore mean very little to those who are qualified, and have spent months balancing each and every limitation of the project to design it. Just an ‘opinion’.
#7 Posted by Pablo on 8 Aug 2018 at 18:11 PM
Apparently if you don't understand architectural language you shouldn't be commenting on architecture. Hear that general public? Shut up and take what you're given.

This proposal is massively welcome. It's also a little dull in comparison to previous iterations and given the potential of the location. Great news and a bit of a shame at the same time. Looks like it's lacking in ground floor activity too, which would be a big drag.
#8 Posted by Philip on 8 Aug 2018 at 19:11 PM
#6 Your right, it is ‘standard’ architectural vocabulary... but it means absolutely nothing. It’s just dull, corporate and overused JARGON.
What has being qualified have anything to do with it?! how utterly pompous. I am qualified but constantly embarrassed by the verbal twaddle employed by fellow professionals to justify crap architecture and urban planning.
David Orchid
#9 Posted by David Orchid on 8 Aug 2018 at 19:26 PM
If there was a bar and strip club complex incorporated it might spice up the design.
Dirk Benedict
#10 Posted by Dirk Benedict on 8 Aug 2018 at 19:58 PM
Oh Mark. Just because it’s standard architectural vocabulary doesn’t mean it isn’t absolute baws.

I’m just a bit disappointed they haven’t dropped some bombs like ‘narrative’ or ‘syntax’. Poor show.
#11 Posted by Billy on 9 Aug 2018 at 00:52 AM
Mmm. Still preferred the original bold proposal. Can’t say that any of the buildings have a Wow factor. I would have thought businesses would want a building that stood out from the rest as well as functional. Are we drifting towards flat pack buildings? Or is it just Glasgow that lacks imagination ... a mentality that anything will do.....its better than what was there before. The skyline just gets less impressive.
#12 Posted by JS on 9 Aug 2018 at 08:45 AM
#6 How deluded you are if you think that others on this website are the problem. It is opinions like yours which make the general public suspicious of the profession. GET OVER YOURSELF.
#13 Posted by Alf on 9 Aug 2018 at 09:41 AM
@6 Mark
I didn't say anything about understanding/misunderstanding architectural vocabulary. I work with architects on a daily basis, and not one of them display the arrogance you've displayed in a single post. You're reaction would be slightly more valid if I was criticising your own work, but I'm not, I'm defending what is being proposed in spite of the bullshit being spouted about it.
#14 Posted by David on 9 Aug 2018 at 10:54 AM
In spite of wholeheartedly agreeing that the language accompanying this proposal is a little ridiculous, (it can be even worse for other projects) I would like to come to the defense of Mark in the following respect;
An issue the design industry has faced for some time now is that, to a certain extent, everyone thinks that their own personal taste qualifies them to be a 'designer' of sorts, whether it is for a bathroom, kitchen, or critiquing a huge proposal such as this one.
Any member of the public wouldn't question the methodology of an accountant, a lawyer or doctor, yet architects have to deal with this on a daily basis, and while it is a more speculative and creative profession, there is often very little consideration given to the sheer amount of work involved in putting together a proposal such as this one.
So often, the backlash against an architect is totally unjustified, as the clients often place rather severe financial constraints on projects, forcing architects to change and constantly rework the proposals they have put together. A mentality in the UK of 'the client is always right' is now king, and sadly completely undermining architecture as a serious profession.
As for the Tradeston waterfront, I actually don't mind these proposals, the materiality palette is of a high quality, it greatly enhances the public realm along the river, uses large window openings (very important in Northern Europe), and brings back into use land that has been derelict for a long time.
More importantly, it could act as a catalyst for the wider Tradeston area, which has huge potential given its location and being full of listed Victorian buildings and empty plots for new build insertions. That being said, I would have liked to have seen more height as was demonstrated in the first proposals.
Glasgow should be looking to cities such as Oslo and Stockholm for its waterfront regeneration.
#15 Posted by Philip on 9 Aug 2018 at 12:16 PM
Thanks for clarifying David. Hopefully you haven’t charged out the 30mins to concoct this patronising guff to any of your company’s fee paying clients.
The doctors, lawyers and accountants I know seem to have a much less inflated sense of grandeur and self entitlement than espoused by the jargon peddling architectural community.
Do you really think Oslo’s Aker Brygge or Barcode are high quality urban developments!!? Christ almighty...
#16 Posted by JS on 9 Aug 2018 at 12:26 PM
#14, David, you're correct that the public doesn't question the methodology of an accountant or lawyer or doctor, however those professionals do not deal in a subjective discipline. Architects do. Part of the joy (and - at times - the frustration) of our discipline is the subjectivity, meaning that everyone can (and should?) have an opinion on whether or not they like a design and its appearance/aesthetics. Mark's original comment is being criticised precisely for implying that only the select few educated within the profession are entitled to an opinion: rubbish. ONLY doctors have an 'opinion' on what the best treatment is, ONLY lawyers have an 'opinion' on a case because these things are not subjective in the way that any aesthetic discipline is.
Trombe Wall
#17 Posted by Trombe Wall on 9 Aug 2018 at 13:30 PM
The current trend in city centre architecture, for some time now, has been to create expressed these frames. Be it through the honest expresssing of the structure, or other cases brick / concrete panel piers. This scheme is therefore 'on trend', not innovative or bold or daring. The period of facadism.
Jezza Alexander
#18 Posted by Jezza Alexander on 9 Aug 2018 at 13:47 PM
Went from discussing the project to whining about the profession. Says a lot.

Its a shame existing stock within the city aren't being developed/refurbished but instead building new blocks on the other side of the river where I highly doubt people will gravitate towards.
#19 Posted by Iain on 10 Aug 2018 at 09:29 AM
#15 Out of curiosity, Philip, what do you consider a good waterfront regeneration then?
#20 Posted by Philip on 10 Aug 2018 at 11:53 AM
To be honest Iain, I think there are very few in my experience…especially in terms of the larger, one hit, over-developed, over-branded, corporate hyped urban quarters..waterfront or otherwise- and that is with proper budgets. Tradestone will be value engineered within an inch of its life (advised by the local agents/ property ‘experts’) and is to be executed by one of Scotland’s most dismal ‘architecture’ practises Halliday Fraser Munro.

Admittedly, Aker Brygge has a stunning setting on Oslo Fjord and a well-trodden boardwalk but the architecture, massing and character could be anywhere. Despite popular rhetoric, Scandinavian providence does not always ensure the answer to our social, architectural and stylistic ills and insufficiencies. I think there is an inherent laziness in looking north, south, east and west (but mostly north) to scrabble for precedent and pre-made solutions.

In my experience/ opinion, pockets of Copenhagen, Bristol, Seville and London, where existing waterside buildings and landmarks (wharfs, silo’s, power stations, factories, anything!) are reinvented and developed in conjunction with new structures –all in scale and with reference to the character and setting are much more sustainable, attractive and innovative. In such examples, there is confident use of the local and less emphasis on conjuring up a manufactured ‘placemaking’ strategy. A shallow process for morons and jargon monkeys, desperate for justification for their own existence.

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