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Opinions invited on new proposal for Glasgow's tallest building

November 26 2020

Opinions invited on new proposal for Glasgow's tallest building

Watkin Jones Group is inviting the public to have their say on the delivery of a build to rent development in Glasgow city centre comprising 825 apartments.

Replacing the current Portcullis House at Charing Cross the scheme centres on a landmark tower of around 30 storeys and an animated streetscape of retail, a cafe and co-working space.

Led by Hawkins\Brown the plan is to repair the urban block at India Street with twin towers forming an active and landscaped frontage to the dead zone of the M8 motorway. The landscape strategy will employ green roof terraces and a boulevard approach along Newton Street peppered with pockets of break out space.

On their exhibition boards, Hawkins\Brown wrote: "As sandstone is no longer quarried in sufficient quantities locally to be viable in the modern age, our approach will be to respond to these tones and textures that are such a defining characteristic of the cityscape.

"The elevational treatment of the building is still in the design development stage but different facade hierarchies are being assessed to bring a subtly different character to the various different blocks being proposed on the site."

Representatives of the developer and design team will be on hand between 15:00 and 20:00 to field any questions relating to the development via the consultation website.

Subject to the necessary approvals work will start on-site toward the tail end of 2021 for occupation by 2024. 

Expanded public realm will connect to Charing Cross Station
Expanded public realm will connect to Charing Cross Station
Facades will mimic the appearance of red Locharbriggs sandstone with an expressed panel system
Facades will mimic the appearance of red Locharbriggs sandstone with an expressed panel system


#1 Posted by Billy on 26 Nov 2020 at 10:17 AM
Looking good. Great to have a bit of height on the skyline. And good riddance to the eyesore that is there.
#2 Posted by David on 26 Nov 2020 at 10:38 AM
Looks good for what will be Glasgow (and Scotland's) tallest building. However it is a pity that they aren't going even taller with another 10-20 storeys, which this location would have supported very well.
#3 Posted by spike on 26 Nov 2020 at 11:51 AM
Is it really a good idea to concentrate circa 850 units on this one site; I've no doubt the demand is there but what about the long term sustainability of this development?
#4 Posted by JustMeSaying on 26 Nov 2020 at 12:42 PM
Another BTR with a studio flat costing circa £1K a month. Not sure who this is aimed at but doubtful it is the local community at that price.
Also, concerned about the height directly beside the entrance to the train station. If you have ever been on St Vincent St beside ScottishPower it is impossible to walk, cycle or push a pram when there are strong winds.
#5 Posted by Guest on 26 Nov 2020 at 13:21 PM
The consultation website by Orbit is truly terrible. Was it designed and built in 1999? What a missed opportunity. Shocker.
#6 Posted by MV on 26 Nov 2020 at 13:38 PM
Go for it, I say. The taller the better. I would love to see some concentration of height in Glasgow and this location seems ideal for it. Up!!
Sue Pearman
#7 Posted by Sue Pearman on 26 Nov 2020 at 13:50 PM
What the images show is a rather uninspiring hulk of a building with little architectural merit. Do we really want this as the focal point of Glasgow's skyline?...not really very aspirational I think. Also, the m8 is a wind tunnel in that part of the city and I suspect these images of an open plaza would in reality have people blown horizontally holding on to the tree stumps with the downdraft from these mass forms.
#8 Posted by pooka on 26 Nov 2020 at 13:52 PM
Can glasgow really expect better?...nobody there has any idea how to design big buildings
#9 Posted by James on 26 Nov 2020 at 13:55 PM
#4 Why would it target the local community when the objective is to increase the city centre population?
#10 Posted by RJB on 26 Nov 2020 at 14:07 PM
I think it need to be higher but better design. It would be great to have some 1930's New York set back/dissolved corners.
Robin B's Discount
#11 Posted by Robin B's Discount on 26 Nov 2020 at 14:27 PM
@#7 - Sue really? In what world can you look at that sketch and decide that it is rather uninspiring with little architectural merit?? What were you expecting - a hybrid of Edinburgh Castle, Burj al Arab with a touch of the sphynx chucked in?

#12 Posted by StyleCouncil on 26 Nov 2020 at 15:36 PM
#11 Perhaps Sue was expecting a design with better proportion, form and event a touch of elegance....
Ghetto KIng
#13 Posted by Ghetto KIng on 26 Nov 2020 at 16:00 PM
Tower ghettos in the sky.
#14 Posted by localresidentopinion on 26 Nov 2020 at 16:56 PM
We don't need more high rise for the residents in tis area we like the remaining views we have and don't want them blocked out along with the sun. The one thing covid-19 has taught us is that people don't want to live in high density cheek by jowl environments with no easy access to outdoor space. The city is already full of empty commercial and office buildings (with increasing numbers) crying out to be converted to residential. Our 'Dear Green Place' needs more green!- use the site for a city garden or allotments.
#15 Posted by Charlie_ on 26 Nov 2020 at 17:33 PM
Allotments! Give me strength.
#16 Posted by James on 26 Nov 2020 at 18:15 PM
The NIMBYism is strong with this one.
Imran Shariq
#17 Posted by Imran Shariq on 26 Nov 2020 at 21:09 PM
Love it. Also with rising sea levels tall buildings will be needed as ground levels are submerged underwater. People will be able to live on the top floors of this building for many years before the sea level reaches them.
#18 Posted by JustMeSaying on 27 Nov 2020 at 08:41 AM
@#4 Bit of a silly question.
For families to be able to grow into bigger apartments and not leave the city. Thus lots of new tiny feet!
I believe that does count as growing the city centre. :)
#19 Posted by James on 27 Nov 2020 at 10:42 AM
#18 They leave the city because they want to raise their children in a suburban setting with good schools. Not many parents will be queuing up for a city centre flat next to the busiest stretch of motorway in the country...
#20 Posted by Gandalf on 27 Nov 2020 at 11:17 AM
In principle why not - I think Sue is right if she wanted a Burj al Arab or a mini-Shard - something the city could be proud of - though it would have been much better to combine that with decking over the motorway and creating gardens between there and North Street. Might even improve the rent. The most concerning element of the proposal is the statement "As sandstone is no longer quarried in sufficient quantities locally to be viable in the modern age, our approach will be to respond to these tones and textures". Please tell me they are not going to respond in the manner of the gopping cladding on Tay House, and that the allotments are a joke.
#21 Posted by James on 27 Nov 2020 at 12:09 PM
I think the concerns about the actual quality of the proposed buildings are legitimate. They haven't gave us much detail yet about their choice of materials or how the buildings will address the wind.

The other complaints on here are fluff. This is a city centre location, the scale and target markets for these buildings are appropriate (though I personally don't agree with BTR).
Robin B's Discount
#22 Posted by Robin B's Discount on 27 Nov 2020 at 12:34 PM
Aye no probs @#14. £23M for the developer to create some allotments for you..........

This is a perfect example of why the general public have no business commenting on planning applications.
#23 Posted by JustMeSaying on 27 Nov 2020 at 13:04 PM
@#19 You asked i answered.
My comment is directly from parents living here in the community. :)
#24 Posted by GreenNewDeal on 27 Nov 2020 at 22:34 PM
I like the idea of having allotments there instead of buildings.

As part of the climate emergency the government should put a ban on the construction of new buildings, only gardens should be allowed, we should be clearing as many buildings as possible from our cities and replace them with allotments.

I'd love to see the like of the City Chambers bulldozed and replaced with allotments where people can grow fruit and veg.
#25 Posted by Environmentalism on 28 Nov 2020 at 01:24 AM
#24 Totally agree!!!

If you look at old maps of the Glasgow area pre-1700 it was all small villages and meadows, that's what the council should be looking at returning to.

Maybe it would be an idea to demolish every building built after the year 1700 in Glasgow and replace it with a peace garden?

That would go a long way to healing the planet.
Not Darren
#26 Posted by Not Darren on 28 Nov 2020 at 07:50 AM
#24 The only veg that you could grow in allotments on such a site would been neeps and tatties with a faint whiff of soot particulate and carbon brake dust. You'd find better in your Waitrose disguised as Swede and Potato.
Hamish Ashcroft
#27 Posted by Hamish Ashcroft on 28 Nov 2020 at 10:54 AM
#24. For a climate emergency, this is the sort of thing we absolutely need. High density city centre living, right beside a train station, close to shops/services and transport links. People need to live somewhere, much better for people and the environment to live here than in low density suburban sprawl on the edge of the city. Imagine how big an area those 800+ houses would be required if they were built as bungalows on a greenfield site. There, residents would have to drive everywhere, no local services or transport links, and the same boring bland architecture everywhere...
#28 Posted by Steamer on 28 Nov 2020 at 12:59 PM
This has got Trespa clad misery written all over it. Don't have a problem with the principle, but the design has to be very high quality. I have no faith Glasgow CC will hold them to that. And its just a licence to print money otherwise - at the expense (in demand terms) of other sites in the area that are an even greater blight on the city but costlier to develop.

Be careful what you wish for.
#29 Posted by JephR on 30 Nov 2020 at 11:27 AM
Developments like this are being proposed across UK. Have we not learnt the lessons of high rise disasters? This is only helping line the pockets of the developers and site owners.

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