Apartment bid calls time on the decay of Glasgow's historic High Street
March 1 2021
Brand new proposals have emerged for purpose-built rental apartments on Glasgow's historic High Street following a change of architect.
Structured House have brought Carson/Sall Architects on board for the prominent corner plot, reworking plans submitted by ADF in 2019 to provide 219 apartments above ground-floor commercial uses in the Central Conservation Area. The works will clear several severely dilapidated and half-demolished structures at the junction with George Street, including Old College Bar which will relocate to the ground floor of the new building, interiors and all.
Drawing inspiration from surviving warehouses in the Merchant City an abstract pressed metal spandrel frieze designed by artist Toby Paterson will run between the ground and first floors. Picking up on the corner curves of the A-listed Herald Building the facade is further elaborated with an embedded clock, a civic gesture to the street below.
Rising through eleven storeys the building will be topped by a bronze upper floor crown and communal terraces, resting atop a heavier limestone facade which will be broken up into a series of bays of varying width. A heavily glazed ground-floor meanwhile will be lined with circular concrete columns, a nod to an Italian palazzo.
Voicing their design approach Carson/Sall wrote: "The proposal has an undeniably civic nature in its design and scale. The palette, therefore, is restrained with masonry used as the primary material throughout to express the solidity of the façade, mirroring the monumentality of the TIC building and Collegelands.
"The sizing of the masonry panels responds to the scale of the adjacent elevations and create a monolithic grounding. Deep-set apertures punctuate the massing and draw reference from other grand buildings in Glasgow, such as James Miller's Union Bank and National Commercial Bank, by creating a play of shadows to accentuate the interplay of solid and void."
Existing access through Nicholas Street will be retained with direct access to George Street Shuttle Street via double-height pends. Backcourt areas around the B-listed former British Linen Bank will be given over to shared green space.
I hope the Old College Bar remove me from the barred list.
Why not make a feature of the building where it abuts the High St and George St ?
This site needs a good design which this does not provide
It sits well with the adjacent buildings if you ask me, and brings a real sense of place to an otherwise non-descript cross road.
Its presence actually helps to integrate the moxy and collegelands into the area.
Would be interested in further discussing the negative comments, as i cannot see this development from their perspective - am i missing something?
Those grand buildings were built during a time when our forebears were given a tuppence to work themselves to an early grave. Not to mention an economy that was propped up with imperialism. Time to take off the rose-tinted specs.
Lack of parking -- not very big city is it.
Should have had basement parking to stop the adjacent streets being overwhelmed.
Has the look of post student digs -- no families need apply.
Has scale / much needed filler -- just a case that it would have been better as a hotel / serviced apartments.
Also -- bigger clock please.
Ashton Lane -- get real.
You need real stuff going on not back doors to commercial developments.
At best a C+.
Anybody that wants to complain about this development, go with the rest of the goldfish bowl foamers on the Glasgow Evening Times website, its a better proposal than that tower from a while back. To keep the buildings that are there would only help to foster a rise in addiction to suspect substances, it currently has that look of 1970's Bronx about it.
I fail to see how this is any better than what was shown before. The massing and footprint look very similar, the facade treatment is bland and lazy on this iteration. Omitting the corner tenement in the CGI is a cop-out, you can't quite judge how large the corner tower is in relation to the existing blocks I suspect. The true test of this scheme is the view down the high street, suspiciously missing...
Not sure about living on top floors, with too much glass for comfort, unless the 'bronze upper floor crown' holds the residents roof top bar/ballroom and swimming pool facilities.
#21 shame on your cynical comments
#5 The clock is a strange thing to do in today's world where everyone is constantly on their phone. On one and it is a little pastiche look backwards to a foregone time but on the other it is not enough of a feature on the building to really make it stand out like our Victorian examples. As an interruption in the vertical banding of the facade, it looks somewhat similar to the Spanish inverted exclamation.
#6 I'm not seeing the respect to its neighbours you refer to. It clearly takes its cue from the university buildings on George Street and if you are a developer looking to maximise your return that's going to be what you want to do. However, it pays little or no respect to the buildings and scale and materiality of those on one of Glasgow's oldest streets. In fact, the Linen Bank on the High Street becomes a minuscule subordinate in its total loss of stature by adjacency.
#8 You obviously have a very unfortunate view of Ashton Lane. I struggle to see any comparison to a Victorian mews lane here though.
#10 I think you are right that it's a step up on the previous designs but this proposal has still not dealt with the High Street in a meaningful manner that shows any cognisance of the heritage, scale or value of the place.
#12 Unfortunately I think you are trying to suggest this should be some kind of awful pastiche and that is definitely not what should be done. It should be possible to respect the heritage of the place without doing that.
#17 I agree with your comments on parking. This is proposed as a huge residential scheme and it's obviously inevitable that residents, or some, will have cars at some point. Car free schemes have nearly worked on some smaller scale developments, especially in the West End gap sites where they were originally trialled but there are always one or two occupants that sneak the use of a car, hidden in the surrounding streets. The problem is, with a development of this scale, it's never going to be just one or two. I agree too that this looks like a student hall and wonder whether that is really what the developer wants to build, but the city will not allow it? To have so many very small studios and single aspect flats with very little amenity and no parking really suggests this kind of transient resident is who the developer is targeting.
I think this drop in aspiration of the city's residential design guidance is the bigger issue. How are we to maintain or improve on the quality of the city's housing stock if we have no control over the increasingly smaller size of the flats. And developers can ignore the current aspirations to have few or no single aspect homes. In this respect the development does aspire to a kind of pastiche – in moving another step towards a revival of the wrong kind of Victorian landlord. There are already some high-profile developments pursuing this micro home 'build to rent' ideology in the city and I wonder if it is something we should be concerned about. A single low-quality typology infecting the city on such a large scale. Yes, it's good to have a mix of the homes available in the city centre but to have so many of a single typology coming on stream in the near future is more than a little concerning, I think.
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