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Glasgow investigates urban greening via M8 roof garden

January 9 2019

Glasgow investigates urban greening via M8 roof garden

Glasgow City Council has progressed its vision to deck over a section of the M8 motorway through Charing Cross as part of a wider public realm initiative for the area born out of the Sauchiehall Avenue project.

The authority is expected to award a £250k contract for a design feasibility study on the idea shortly, encompassing engineering considerations, costs, a construction strategy and traffic management.

Indicative images show how the traffic choked interchange could be transformed into a pedestrian friendly environment by bringing forward improvements to Charing Cross North, South and the area between the Mitchell library with Charing Cross Station.

Each project could be delivered in isolation or in tandem and include a vision to create a ‘roof garden’ over the motorway below as well as wider landscape improvements such as a public square outside Charing Cross Station and a pedestrian/cycle bridge connecting to the Mitchell Library.

A council spokesman remarked: “While the idea of a cap over the M8 is only one of the proposals now entering the feasibility study stage, it does reflect our ambitions and priorities in putting people at the centre of the regeneration of the city centre.”

A lead consultant and multi-disciplinary design team will be appointed ‘very shortly’.

Improvements will be predicated on the outcome of the feasibility study and future funding
Improvements will be predicated on the outcome of the feasibility study and future funding


#1 Posted by u2 on 9 Jan 2019 at 13:20 PM
Ugh, the main image gives me Vertigo.
#2 Posted by Hopefullocal on 9 Jan 2019 at 13:23 PM
Would be great to see this project progress, the damage done to the Charing Cross area by the motorway is just one of many stains on Glasgow's architectural past. Reconnecting the city centre with the west end through a more pedestrian friendly route would help reinstate even a hint of what was once there and help the much needed regeneration of Sauchiehall St. Saying that though, I would be amazed if the finished project resembled in scale anything like the proposed images.
#3 Posted by Pedro on 9 Jan 2019 at 14:11 PM
This is rubbish! How boring and unimaginative. The M8 should be covered all the way to St Vincent Street. I understand there is a rail tunnel but the cap could be elevated into a nice hillock over that point. This is pointless otherwise. Also, while i'm grumbling, can't they demolish that awful Tay House extension, that would really open up Charing Cross again!
#4 Posted by Racionale on 9 Jan 2019 at 14:15 PM
A fundamental urban element of this has to be a public square in front of the Mitchell Library, raised if necessary to accommodate the traffic below.
paul mccabe
#5 Posted by paul mccabe on 9 Jan 2019 at 15:24 PM
GCC were doing an 18 month long feasibility study on a roof over the M8. Now they are doing a feasibility study on a cap over the M8. Its like one of those nightmares where you never reach where you must get to.
#6 Posted by David on 9 Jan 2019 at 17:01 PM
I totally agree; if this intervention is to be successful, it must be taken all the way down to St Vincent Street, even as a raised up section to give the necessary height for lorries to pass underneath. Any half baked attempt like the first image of that awful crescent in front of the Mitchell library will be a waste of time and money. I would also extend the park past Woodlands Road to create public space in front of the motorway facing facade of the St Georges Mansions. Basically as much of the motoway must be covered as possible, even if it involves creating a series of stepped up terraces in places.
#7 Posted by George on 10 Jan 2019 at 12:25 PM
I thought the whole point of this was to have public realm outside the Mitchell library rather than a big hole? For this to do what it was supposed to, it has to carry on and cover more of the M8 outside the Mitchell Library.
#8 Posted by Archicritic on 10 Jan 2019 at 15:31 PM
Ah a public square connecting Chinaskis to Tay House, nice.
Sadly no public square possible to connect Charing Cross Station to the Mitchell as there is a train line runs underneath the m8 just there.
#9 Posted by Clarinda on 10 Jan 2019 at 15:52 PM
I appreciate the idea of what is trying to be achieved here. The whole area is not pedestrian friendly and quite an industrial dirty part of the city therefore landscaping would be a significant improvement.

I agree with most comments that this actually needs to be extended further even if this means a longer tunnel for cars.

It would be great to see a proper square in front of the library making it more of a civic space.

Whilst I get these tried to improve Tay House with what looks like planting ultimately the section of Tay House which covers the road is completely awful and always has been. Nothing other than removing that element will improve its appearance.
#10 Posted by Jimbo on 10 Jan 2019 at 16:35 PM
Wow. Here we go again on the UR comments section...

One of the bases on which architecture is founded is to solve the natural and human problems a site presents. Not just sketch whatever you like.

Yes it would be delightful if a tunnel could hide the whole Charing Cross and Anderson stretches of the M8. It also be wonderful if its walls were paved with gold. Unfortunately not all things are possible.

There are clearly structural reasons why these initial sketches haven't continued the cap in front of the Mitchell. Almost certainly it'll be to do with the practicality of lowering the railway line, coupled with a desire not to obscure the library with an elevated cover. That is all up for debate, and will no doubt be considered properly by the feasibility study.

But to be so negative about what has to be one of the most exciting and brave schemes in Scotland on the basis that 'the cap isn't big enough' is utterly beyond me. Cheer up!
jimbob tanktop
#11 Posted by jimbob tanktop on 10 Jan 2019 at 19:24 PM
Considering the structural limitations this seems rather good. I'd also think that if this were built, then the block from Koh-I-Noor to Chinaskis would change considerably and be prime for redevelopment.
Graham Carson
#12 Posted by Graham Carson on 10 Jan 2019 at 23:03 PM
The great opportunity here is to have a plaza in front of the Mitchell

If they can’t do that then why bother
general public
#13 Posted by general public on 11 Jan 2019 at 08:56 AM
i think its fair to say we're with #12 on this
#14 Posted by Jacobsen on 16 Jan 2019 at 12:55 PM
Get it capped off ASAP! We'll need all the farmland we can get out hands on after a No Deal Brexit! Capping off the M8 there will allow us to grow more potatoes and turnips in the city.
#15 Posted by Brian on 8 Aug 2019 at 13:56 PM
I think this is a brilliant idea, and as for the shallow part at the Michell taking the road lower would help to keep the park all on one level. this wouldn't be to much of an issue for traffic now the M74 can take some of the strain just make it one way only over the kingson until work is complete.
Jacqueline Casey
#16 Posted by Jacqueline Casey on 15 Jun 2021 at 21:45 PM
Why would anyone want to spend time in a green space next to one of the most polluted areas of Glasgow? How to cut everyone's life expectancy...

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