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Yorkhill Quay evolution trades scale for uniformity

April 29 2021

Yorkhill Quay evolution trades scale for uniformity

Keppie Design has come forward with an application for planning in principle to deliver a major mixed-use development at Yorkhill Quay on behalf of Peel L&P owned Glasgow Harbour.

The latest phase of the riverfront masterplan, first initiated in 2008, centres on a development site at Yorkhill Quay earmarked for 500 flats for private rent, 400 co-living homes and a further 200 flats for sale. This accommodation would be complemented by 2,950sq/m of leisure floor space and a 200-bed hotel all fronting a continuous river walkway.

The indicative plans follow an earlier public consultation since which the design response has evolved to deliver a uniform array of vertical blocks embedded within a 'river park' around north to south aligned in-between spaces and bookended by two new squares.

In a statement of intent for this new area, Keppie wrote: "A series of proposed ‘river rooms’ create larger areas of protected public realm along the river walkway, creating an opportunity to pause, meet and engage with the river.

"Key views inform the principal location of buildings and open space, with the larger public bookend squares maintaining key vistas both to and from important city landmarks, such as the University of Glasgow tower."

Individual towers will be finished in a variety of different brick, employing a traditional base, middle and top with the signature westernmost tower split into two smaller blocks.

Access to the development will be provided via two new entrances from Stobcross Road, with undercroft parking obscured by landscaped podium decks.

Oobe will oversee a new river park around the towers
Oobe will oversee a new river park around the towers
Varying tones of brick will be used to differentiate between apartment blocks
Varying tones of brick will be used to differentiate between apartment blocks


#1 Posted by Mick on 29 Apr 2021 at 12:01 PM
I'm thinking Townhead by the Clyde but concince me if I've missed the concept
back to the future
#2 Posted by back to the future on 29 Apr 2021 at 12:20 PM
Looks like circa 1974 Warsaw Stalinist architecture
#3 Posted by spike on 29 Apr 2021 at 13:23 PM
i like the design for this part of the waterfront but what has happened to the other plans Peel had for the harbour site?
Cyril Sneer
#4 Posted by Cyril Sneer on 29 Apr 2021 at 13:28 PM
It is great to see that this site is finally coming forward but the massing looks unresolved. There is a lack of modulation in the building heights which is likely commercially driven but seems unimaginative and almost lazy on the architects part. The forms shown are very repetitive and close together, being almost brutalist in their arrangement. Any height should be used to create city-markers and achieve an elegance and variety within the building forms, not a singular wall of similar height buildings. Pretty rotten stuff.

They should actually draw inspiration from the swans in their image and how they step up elegantly in height. Let’s get back to nature people!
#5 Posted by Yuck on 29 Apr 2021 at 15:11 PM
Swans and sunsets cannot hide how grim this is.
Brutal. Absolutely brutal.
#6 Posted by clyde on 29 Apr 2021 at 15:20 PM
The final image looks like a nuclear bomb has just gone off and that guy is running toward it. Who could blame him if he lived here?
juan de los ángeles
#7 Posted by juan de los ángeles on 29 Apr 2021 at 16:31 PM
Dystopian. Grim. Brutal. This is dehumanising in the extreme. What is it with the fascination for this Hilberseimerian nightmare of a proposal. Seriously. What is the success rate for this type of development? Can anyone point me in the direction of where it has worked?
#8 Posted by monkey9000 on 29 Apr 2021 at 16:44 PM
Can't deny that a scheme of this mix can work in principle but the main sin of the project is by stepping away from Stobcross Road to create surface car park. A denser approach is needed that faces both the road and the river.
Fair Trade Charlie
#9 Posted by Fair Trade Charlie on 29 Apr 2021 at 17:03 PM
Designed by cashflow projections, delivered by rentier capitalism!
Hamish Ashcroft
#10 Posted by Hamish Ashcroft on 29 Apr 2021 at 20:56 PM
This scheme could be great but it’s currently massively lacking. What I think they should do is get rid of 90% of the surface parking, build up to Stobcross road so there is at least some frontage along there. Then widen the promenade slightly, and have a segregated cycle lane along the front or road. Vary the building materials, heights and massing, to have larger buildings at the ends. Also vary the distance between each building, and fill the larger gaps with lawns and communal green spaces. Also insert more mixed use so there are cafes, shops and other services along the waterfront to make it a more lively and active area, and will encourage people to walk to the shops etc instead of driving
Mikey Mustard
#11 Posted by Mikey Mustard on 30 Apr 2021 at 01:25 AM
The pathway between the flats and the quayside looks far too narrow considering how many pedestrians and cyclists will be using that pathway. They have made the Riverside pathways far too narrow in many places in the city centre it is a nightmare for cyclists and pedestrians, especially now with social distancing requirement.

If design standards allow for such a narrow riverside pathway then the design standards are not good enough. If there are people walking dogs it can be difficult for cyclists to get past them. They should have a segregated cycle path and pedestrian area next the river.

The transport museum is one of the most popular attractions in the city, there will be a phenomenal number of people using that pathway on busy days.
#12 Posted by Riverfront on 30 Apr 2021 at 10:06 AM
Surface parking is limiting the approach here...
More generous promenade would be appreciated as well with larger green zones
#13 Posted by Malandro1966 on 30 Apr 2021 at 12:11 PM
Ah, the lighting in those visuals! It looks like the elves sailing to the Undying Lands in Lord of the Rings. Or Hiroshima just before the shockwave hits.
Kipper Design
#14 Posted by Kipper Design on 30 Apr 2021 at 13:19 PM
I think the lights are someone in Keppie's having a bright idea. Only joking, that could never happen :-D
Robin B's Discount
#15 Posted by Robin B's Discount on 30 Apr 2021 at 13:38 PM
@3 I think this is a different scheme to the retail park proposal? Pretty sure that us further west of the Riverside Museum?
Derek Wilson
#16 Posted by Derek Wilson on 30 Apr 2021 at 15:17 PM
Weve not long knocked down Sighthill. Awful looking.
Wee Senga
#17 Posted by Wee Senga on 1 May 2021 at 08:53 AM
Weep for Glasgow.....a fine city has lost its way.
Just inane; not Architecture!
The Ghost of Robert Bruce
#18 Posted by The Ghost of Robert Bruce on 3 May 2021 at 15:36 PM
I love this
Edward Harkins
#19 Posted by Edward Harkins on 3 May 2021 at 16:23 PM
Dire. To think that this is what could be happening (still) to Glasgow's waterfront. For at least a couple of decades now we've heard that 'Glasgow will no longer turn it's back on its waterfront'... then we got this type of development.
#20 Posted by Roddy_ on 3 May 2021 at 19:26 PM
Obviously, this is PPP but I think you need to query the deployment of such highly dense typologies in a site that is as severed as Yorkhill Quay. Fine- if you’re going to put in lots of ground floor facilities – shops, cafés and restaurants but if not then it strikes me that we have Glasgow Harbour mark II. The public spaces sandwiched between the rear of the blocks and the expressway are horrible as are the interstitial spaces to blocks adjacent the Riverside Museum.
Assuming approval , the detailed design of the blocks will be dealt with in the MSC’s. Just how much variance of form this will produce is anyone’s guess – will they all be flat-roofed point blocks, will there be a variety of different designers? It’ll be interesting to see – now that the Planning Applications Committee meetings are filmed and online- just what the reaction to the PPP will be; dystopian, anti-contextual commodification of the riverside or brave, new, Inventive city living? Worth paying attention to this as I think it will set the bar for future high-rise development in the city- whether that be high or low. I think I know which one my money is on.
Fly Fisher
#21 Posted by Fly Fisher on 4 May 2021 at 13:34 PM
This proposal is utterly awful in all respects. Keppie should be ashamed of themselves for putting forward such tosh that will likely be ripe for demolition in 20 years.....20 years too late. Conjures up images of post-disaster Chernobyl.
#22 Posted by MEAT on 4 May 2021 at 18:42 PM
Glasgow - the only city to ruin its riverside twice
#23 Posted by E=mc2 on 5 May 2021 at 13:41 PM

Those proposals are about as welcome as a European Super League
Fat Bloke on Tour
#24 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 5 May 2021 at 16:00 PM
It is filler -- nothing more / nothing less.

Big issue is that it does not engage with the Transport Museum at any level -- to the point that it hems it in and offers no room for the museum to expand. And boy does the Transport Museum need to expand or failing it needs to send the model ships back to the Kelvingrove.

Awkward site but the answer is definitely not another round of "Stack-a-pleb".

Only plus point -- it asks questions of the SECC Western Car Park.

John V
#25 Posted by John V on 22 Jul 2021 at 17:20 PM
Seriously Glasgow? Why bother at all if this nonsense is all the architect can come up with. Embarrassing stuff!

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