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Glasgow’s Argyle Street advances with ambitious office vision

October 8 2018

Glasgow’s Argyle Street advances with ambitious office vision

Promised plans for a significant new office development in Glasgow’s International Financial Services District have materialised in the form of a 283,000sq/ft development by Osborne & Co, part of Vanguard Real Estate.

The developer has pledged to invest £95m to deliver the Cooper Cromar designed scheme, which will provide grade A office space for up to 4,000 staff on the city’s Argyle Street.

Will Hean, development director (Scotland), Osborne and Co, said: “Following positive consultation with Glasgow City Council planners, Historic Environment Scotland and the local community, we are pleased to formally lodge our detailed planning application with which we aim to begin the process of a major transformation of Glasgow’s best undeveloped city site.

“We want to deliver an office building that will add value for the city of Glasgow: providing the business community with a quality environment to thrive, a quality product to attract global occupiers and a quality regeneration of a large swath of the IFSD.”

The chosen site is bounded by Robertson and York Street and includes a B-listed building which would be demolished to facilitate the plans. It neighbours a 187,000sq/ft office development anchored by HMRC which has already broken ground.

The finalised design follows seven months of discussion with planners and heritage bodies
The finalised design follows seven months of discussion with planners and heritage bodies


A Local Pleb
#1 Posted by A Local Pleb on 8 Oct 2018 at 13:09 PM
I'm all for a commercial development of this scale but this proposal would be such a poor addition. Glasgow seems to be continuously satisfied with bland and uninspiring architecture.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#2 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 8 Oct 2018 at 13:15 PM
The death of Victorian Glasgow one block at a time -- and it is always going to be a downward slope as they don't seem to be building any more.
Even the mentalist Gulf financed hotel tried to include the B listed building.

So what is the going rate for demolishing a listed building -- £10mill to the Common Good fund?

Just what is wrong with the prairies around Washington Street and McAlpine Street -- land banking went rogue?
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 8 Oct 2018 at 13:25 PM
Design wise -- interesting.

Some good ideas but the balance needs to be looked at again in the context of where the district is heading rather than where it has come from.

Another level in the grid would help along with less clutter above. It has all the design clarity of a Fab ice lolly at the moment.

However given that is will share a streetscape with the dregs of the Anderson Centre / Cadogan Square the acceptability bar is currently set pretty low.
#4 Posted by Pablo on 8 Oct 2018 at 13:56 PM
So they're going ahead with destroying the French 3rd Republic style facade? Unbelievable.

That area needs the shot in the arm this kind of project would bring, but for god's sake have the sense not to go all philistine on the heritage that's there already.

Not retaining that facade is mind boggling.
#5 Posted by Matt on 8 Oct 2018 at 14:32 PM
Loving the tiny pockets of pavement weeds....really helps to soften the streetscape.
Design wise -- turgid and talentless mess.
#6 Posted by E=mc2 on 8 Oct 2018 at 14:56 PM
That would be ‘almost’ acceptable if it were only 5 storeys tall with the exposed structure. As it stands, what a minger!
#7 Posted by David on 8 Oct 2018 at 15:56 PM
A real disappointment. What is the point in listing buildings if the owner is going to continuously try to have them torn down? Wasn't there a pledge from the developer to include the facade of the B listed block?
As for the proposal itself, it continues the fairly bland, 'could be anywhere in the world' architectural language of the IFSD, and doesn't have sufficient height to make it a local landmark.
#8 Posted by Kenny on 8 Oct 2018 at 17:18 PM
At last! A building with a bit of class. I’m scratching my head as to why the above comments think that the current building is better???? Honestly??? Hint of Chicago, which is ironic since some of Chicago first buildings were based on Glasgow’s. Go to Manchester and you’ll appreciate that this design is actually a good looking building!
#9 Posted by Dave on 8 Oct 2018 at 20:59 PM
It looks impressive and has a nice tall scale! That part of town is turning into a an embarrassing dump and really uncomfortable to walk along. Most of that part of Argyle street needs knocked down and rebuilt with stuff like this. 4000 bodies added to that street should help transform it. This is what should be there all the way to the motorway bridge.
Wein Stein
#10 Posted by Wein Stein on 9 Oct 2018 at 09:15 AM
Fantastic. Magnificent. Overpowering. As a producer of 'To Let' signs I'm more than happy to welcome another opportunity to the market!
Brahan Seer
#11 Posted by Brahan Seer on 9 Oct 2018 at 10:04 AM
This is not architecture. We've been here before, time and time again. Barbarian capital is at the doors, whichever way it's spun. The collective memory that is Glasgow, is disappearing.
#12 Posted by Charlie_ on 9 Oct 2018 at 10:35 AM
@ wein stein, your business prospects seem pretty poor atm mate, according to GVA glasgow has the severest shortage of grade a space among any of the big 9 regional markets, and Jp Morgan and the Scottish governments social security office are reportedly hunting to make very large lettings before the end of the year if they can find the (by necessity new build) space. This is at the end of a year where Glasgow's already on course to top every other regional city centre in grade a take up.
#13 Posted by EM0 on 9 Oct 2018 at 11:23 AM
Agree that the facade should be retained, Glasgow will move forward better with as much heritage preserved!

Personally think it’s awful! Glasgow the city of Glass Boxes! So Sad!! Sold out to the cheapest bidder continually ....
Jezza Alexander
#14 Posted by Jezza Alexander on 9 Oct 2018 at 19:33 PM
@Kenny, more and more of Glasgow’s heritage is being replaced by these office blocks that can be placed in any other city. What use is a good looking building when it doesn’t fit into its context?
#15 Posted by SJF on 10 Oct 2018 at 02:29 AM
So how long do we think the next door warehouse building on Robertson Street will last? Maybe someone should go do their public duty and take out a few of its windows and get the process moving now, we all know how busy the Council are.

Seems a bit strange how this building seems to have lost the trees growing out of its gutters and similarly shabby appearance in the second picture.

Maybe this is a bit cynical..... as long as its listed it'll all be fine!
Fat Bloke on Tour
#16 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 10 Oct 2018 at 10:14 AM
Any hints on why the plots around Washington Street are currently undeveloped?

Being saved for something special?
#17 Posted by Kenny on 10 Oct 2018 at 10:18 AM
@Jezza.....why on earth would we want this building built in another city? We need more office buildings like this. As a Glaswegian living outside Manchester, I see a city grasping onto investment and striding forward leaving my home city and others in it wake. Some of the developments are hideous and there doesn’t seem to be much coordination but at least they’re letting their city grow!

That part of Argyle Street is within the Financial District where they desperately need Grade A offices. The developer tried to retain the facade but it’s beyond repair because no one, including the public, tried to save it.

Glasgow city centre is steeped in fantastic Victorian architecture, far better than Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds but I think sometimes you have to move on from the past.
#18 Posted by Billy on 10 Oct 2018 at 11:26 AM
It is now obvious that being given listed building status is not working. Another one being demolished because it has been left to rot. So it’s now being demolished. Less stringent planning controls around listed buildings at risk may actually save or part save them. Wake up Glasgow and revisit all the at risk buildings and try to work with potential investors to keep as much as the original features as possible to avoid complete demolition of the buildings which ironically listed building status has failed to prevent on a number of occasions. It’s that simple. List it, no one interested because of having to jump through hoops, left to rot, condemned to demolition and a new build on the site with nothing retained. So what was the point of listing it? If at risk, more incentives are required to keep as much as econimically viable of the building rather than the alternative...eventual demolition. Not rocket science.
#19 Posted by Clarinda on 11 Oct 2018 at 13:25 PM
This is another piece of soulless architecture which is going to destroy our built heritage. It is clear that listing buildings is no longer enough to ensure their preservation. Funny that the new owner found the building to be "beyond repair" after the windows of the property have been left open for around 10 years! At the very least the facade should be retained within the new project like the previous 2007 planning permission did.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#20 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 11 Oct 2018 at 13:50 PM
At least it did not spontaneously combust in mysterious circumstances as seems to be the norm in these situations.

There has to be a cost to the developer for allowing a listed building to be demolished -- rebuild it elsewhere?

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