Urban Union launch Pollokshaws Living
May 27 2020
Urban Union with Barton Willmore has launched Pollokshaws Living in the south side of Glasgow, a brownfield regeneration project to deliver 137 homes near Pollok Park.
Timetabled to complete in 2023 the £25m project forms one of eight districts in the city to be designated a transformational regeneration area by Glasgow City Council.
Work is already underway on the scheme which will employ feature textured brickwork to ground floor areas, with a variety of properties on offer from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom terraced properties.
A central open space is conceived as the focal heart of the development with subsidiary play spaces providing additional recreational amenity spaces.
Situated on Shawbridge Street the well-connected site is the fourth inner-city regeneration project to be undertaken by the developer, a subsidiary of Robertson.
That new Gorbals retail park on the other hand....
Also, is it too much to ask for some consistency across the piece - the 2/3 storey pitched roof blocks might as well be a different development from the 4 storey flat-roofed blocks.
PS what are the white blocks in the third photo?
#6 John, out of curiosity, where have you lived in Glasgow? I've been lucky enough to live in Cathcart, Battlefield, Shawlands & tenements in numerous parts of the WestEnd & never experienced anything like what you describe- did someone do a jobby in your Ibrox stairwell?
@8 A perimeter block was investigated to the south and pushed for by planners but discounted owing to ‘utilities and ownership constraints’. Apparently there are drainage issues, private gardens and rights of way which must be maintained.
#2 - the site is around 5km from the city centre.
Wonky has made some excellent points that I'm not wholely disagreeing with, I just think there are more central prominent sites where design and lack of density is a much bigger issue, such as the new Crown Street retail park that I mentioned in my earlier comment. Shawbridge Street is already low density and on the fringes of suburbia, so this development doesn't both me as much.
But I agree there are more urgent areas needing urban intervention: Eglinton Street, parts of Pollokshaws Rd/Gorbals Street & other main routes into the City such as Garscube Road or Gallowgate from the East- and you're right about the Crown Street development being a missed opportunity. In a process of transformation the city cannot afford to get these sorts of developments wrong- Architecture is too often left with the legacy of poor judgement that linger longer than any other human activity.
Shawbridge Street to Glasgow Queen Street is a 3.5 mile walk, or 5.5km. To Glasgow Central it's 5.1km. I used to live in the area and cycle regularly into the city centre. It takes 20 minutes on a bad day. It's really not very far away.
Far from being random structures, the flatted blocks respond to longer views and prominent edges, forming an urban edge (reflecting the same higher density condition on Pollokshaws Rd) to let the terraces and semis work internally.
Its not perfect, but its an incredibly difficult site.
Hope the developer hasn't decided on the layout before working out what to do with the drainage.
I suppose it'll likely be vast expanses of permeable paving parking areas that will never be properly maintained.
Would be nice to see some green roofs on those flat roofs also.
While we can hope an ambitious project would end up like Tao Poyah, the absolute lack of central and coordinated planning would result in either the Barbican, with spectacular views, public green space and city-centre access resulting in massive price increases, pushing the existing underprivileged locals out further and restarting the whole pattern; or more likely every single "urban living" box in Manc/Salford/Birmingham which are so unambitious, soulless, overpriced - but at least they're dense, make a godawfully tacky nod to local roots like a honeycomb facade, and while every cafe/shop/bar is run by three companies, they've put a different name on the chalkboard and pallet so it's like it's independent locals.
It doesn't make sense to put a high-rise urban core well outside of a poorly-developed city centre, with a low-density semi-gentrified thoroughfare, and public transport from two (East and Shawlands are the same line, equidistant but one station up, pointless to count as 3)
To do so you'd need to flatten or redevelop the Auldhouse retail park to avoid mismatched services, routes, and parking between out-of-area shoppers and pedestrians. You'd also need to increase train set size continously on the Pollokshaws West route - the relative lack of preceding passengers, easier walk, and shorter journey time would prioritise it over Shawlands/East. I would also consider how it impacts the care home in particular and other supported housing - quite literally living in the shadows.
The issue with proposing these density increases without considering or outlining that you've considered wider issues, is it looks like you're someone who has prioritised form/architectural desires over function, or got a bit overenthusiastic about urbanism and density without considering political context or actually living there. I'd love to live in a world where building ambitiously prompts the necessary wider ambition to sustain the cultural changes it could bring, but we're in what is realistically an overexpanded provincial town so it won't.
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I stayed in Bilbao for a time and areas like San Ignazio in Duesto or even Santutxa, areas relatively close to the edge of the city centre, with transport links not even as good as Pollokshaws, are high density neighbourhoods of six storey blocks with cafes, bars, shops & bustling streets- if we can't even compete with Bilbao what chance have we of ever catching up with the likes of Copenhagen, Hamburg or Turin, never mind the likes of Milan or Barcelona. Even car junkie cities like Brussels understand its not about reinventing the wheel, its just a case of transversable high density blocks, with defined legible street edges and porous interlinking of nodal points that connects an area & gives it identity. Like we see 10 minutes away at Kilmarnock Road? Those areas of Bilbao I mentioned have basic architecture but the blocks remain true to the traditional form of the tenemental European block & by consequence are dynamic areas with street life. I was in Dusseldorf before the virus kicked off & they have an area around the Toulouser Alle that was once a waste ground, just like parts of Pollokshaws, but now large tracts of it offer dense urban living with vibrant street-life- all the planners did was extend the grid block that already existed into waste-ground.
Why or example are there random 'green-zones'- Pollok Park, Greenbank & Auldhouse parks are all five minutes walk from this site. If the planners insist on having some random green-zone why have it facing the main arterial route on the site at Shawbridge Street? This is the last place it should be. Why have they got low density suburban housing facing onto a main arterial route? Why not just plan a continuous urban corridor of tenemental scale blocks all the way down Shawbridge Street? The worst thing about the area are those suburban semi's next to the Methodist Church & yet the planners thought it wise to repeat that scale throughout the rest of the area. This is absolutely atrocious. I really don't understand what this fad of random plonking of structures onto site means either. Maybe its just me, maybe I'm just missing something.
Why is the city repeating this 'model' ( if repeating the same random mistakes is a model) all over the city- one only has to look at the 'vision' for Cowlairs and lose yourself in despair for the future of the city. Pollokshaws probably has more going for it than just about any other'clean-slate' area of the city, with the motorway, rail infrasturcture, buses, Shawlands, Pollok Park-Burrell Collection, proximity to a River, SIlverburn etc- and this is the level of ambition we get.