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Flemish-inspired homes woven into Pollokshaws streetscape

July 11 2019

Flemish-inspired homes woven into Pollokshaws streetscape

An innovative apartment scheme comprising 24 flats designed around user customisation has been completed at Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws, the first major scheme to be completed by Graeme Nicholls Architects since their formation in the summer of 2016.

Delivered on behalf of the Home Group and Merchant Homes Partnerships the development is split between a ‘tenement’ and ‘villa’ element, each taking inspiration from Flemish architecture and the textile industry in a conscious nod to the past migration of skilled workers from Europe.

In practice this takes the form of a ‘woven pattern’ formed by the window arrangement as well as the use of Flemish bond and textures in the black brick cladding, subtly alluding to a cosmopolitan past.

Graeme Gemmell, delivery manager for The Home Group, commented: “We were excited to see an approach which recognised the links with the Flemish weaving community which had established itself in Shawbridge in the 19th century and we later met residents in the area who had some connections to this community.

“Graeme’s incorporation of some elements which reflect this heritage was cleverly done without delivering anything clichéd.”

Nicholls added: “Our design is realised as two blocks, which synthesise the prevalent typologies found on each street- a ‘Tenement’ block to Ashtree Road, and a ‘Villa’ block to Christian Street. These two blocks are placed at the site boundaries, aligned with the splaying angles of the roads. This configuration provides a strong urban edge while also enclosing a private rear court which overlooks the neighbouring Ashtree Park.”

The new homes occupy the site of public baths demolished in 2010.

A pragmatic timber kit construction approach was chosen
A pragmatic timber kit construction approach was chosen
An offset window arrangement has been likened to a 'woven' fabric
An offset window arrangement has been likened to a 'woven' fabric

Baths dating from the 1920s occupied the site through to 2010
Baths dating from the 1920s occupied the site through to 2010
Concrete bricks at ground floor level are laid in a Flemish bond
Concrete bricks at ground floor level are laid in a Flemish bond


Dirk Benedict
#1 Posted by Dirk Benedict on 11 Jul 2019 at 15:18 PM
The Flâneur
#2 Posted by The Flâneur on 11 Jul 2019 at 16:09 PM
Er… Urban Realm, I don’t think it is fair to say the former Pollokshaws Baths and Washhouse were somehow deliberately sacrificed (back in 2010) for this housing and, at the risk of being seen as pedantic, they weren’t Victorian.

Rather, they dated from circa 1920 being a product of Glasgow Corporation's municipal socialism and were designed by the rather good Office of Public Works.

And, I still can’t fathom why anyone would have wanted to demolish them....
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 11 Jul 2019 at 16:39 PM
Urban Realm
#4 Posted by Urban Realm on 11 Jul 2019 at 21:03 PM
Indeed, I'll remove the word 'sacrificed' to avoid any inference. Pedantry is welcomed here!

The former baths can still be viewed on Google Maps for reference,-4.2947767,3a,75y,290.26h,90.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLJGsFhtpSArv-UIp8ROxRQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
#5 Posted by Pleasantfield on 12 Jul 2019 at 12:51 PM
Just how banal does architectural design have to get before GCC planners say ' enough'.
This is one of if not the worst designs I have ever seen on Urban Realm EVER!! A primary 7 kid could do better. It lacks anything in design terms. Even the colour is wrong contextually. Just dreadful.
Monty Chrystal
#6 Posted by Monty Chrystal on 13 Jul 2019 at 08:36 AM
As a mere unimaginative surveyor, I am at a loss to understand just how the planners allowed themselves to be persuaded by this archi-historical tripe to approve this totally unimaginative project.
The term ‘Black Lubyanka’ comes to mind every time I pass it on my way home.
Just as well they were not private homes as they would never have sold.
It would make a fine prison annex though.
#7 Posted by pooka on 15 Jul 2019 at 11:15 AM
I think referencing the tragic 'glasgow fires' typical of listed buildings is an interesting approach...although the loss of one of the only leisure facilities in this area of the South Side was not actually by fire this time...maybe then it's a reference to the smog blackened Glasgow of the industrial past...either way it's particularly upfifting on the street ...isn't it..?
#8 Posted by David on 16 Jul 2019 at 10:49 AM
Classic example of early design vs reality.

Gone are the minimalist eaves details, cool balustrades. and all signs of soft landscaping.
#9 Posted by Gee on 17 Jul 2019 at 16:50 PM

I mean, most early design sketches have "minimalist eaves details" in so much as the student who builds the model doesn't know how it will be constructed. What I find more offensive is how there was clearly no space for or any intention of soft landscaping - another case of throwing trees at something to make it prettier.

I do actually like the scheme though.
#10 Posted by Sven on 22 Jul 2019 at 10:14 AM
This is good design and adds tot he urban realm, so not sure why there are a lot of negative comments. Just gaze at the dross to the left in picture one...

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