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Glasgow 'West Avenue' apartments evoke New York namesake

May 20 2021

Glasgow 'West Avenue' apartments evoke New York namesake

Ambassador Living has submitted plans for 155 apartments on a prominent brownfield site bounded by Finnieston and Minerva Street.

Drawing inspiration from its New York namesake West Avenue will comprise a range of one to three-bedroom flats stacked above seven ground-floor retail and leisure units behind a frontage of natural stone.

As part of the plan, the public realm on Minerva Street will be enhanced to help ground the development within the streetscape.

Gordon Coster, managing director of Ambassador Living said: “Finnieston is perhaps one of the most sought-after areas of Glasgow right now. The location of our West Avenue development is in a prime position to become the cornerstone of the thriving neighbourhood.

“Our plans reflect modern living with a sympathetic nod to the site’s history, bringing it back to its former glory and becoming a beacon as you enter into the popular West End.”

Work on-site could begin early next year.

 An enhanced area of public realm will be created as part of the development
An enhanced area of public realm will be created as part of the development
Classical elevations stand as a nod to the surrounding conservation area
Classical elevations stand as a nod to the surrounding conservation area

The apartments have been designed by Ark Architecture
The apartments have been designed by Ark Architecture
The scrappy junction with Argyle Street will be overhauled as part of the plan
The scrappy junction with Argyle Street will be overhauled as part of the plan


#1 Posted by David on 20 May 2021 at 09:48 AM
Looks terrific. This, together with the redevelopment of the Anderston police station site, will transform this prominent central junction. Glad to see the developer funding public realm works too. Glasgow's re-densification continues apace!
#2 Posted by jaded on 20 May 2021 at 10:01 AM
Excellent. Really like this.

#3 Posted by pooka on 20 May 2021 at 10:24 AM
a veritable wedding cake! ...tiers...tiers...tears!
#4 Posted by Mick on 20 May 2021 at 11:31 AM
Looks interesting
James Hepburn
#5 Posted by James Hepburn on 20 May 2021 at 11:53 AM
Looks nothing like New York.
#6 Posted by Fava on 20 May 2021 at 11:56 AM
This has to be the best Glasgow development posted on this website ever. Hope the interiors will be on par with the exterior.
Congratulations to Ark, credit where it's due.
#7 Posted by Chegaki on 20 May 2021 at 12:26 PM
Looks brilliant, it restores the lost streetscape the area used to have before the flats that were there got demolished.

There is something ugly about that junction in that it is bit of a depressing concrete jungle, this construction makes it a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

Hopefully the councillors who have no relevant experience in architecture or urban design (almost all of them I think) don't reject it for silly reasons such as lack of parking etc.
#8 Posted by Pleasantfield on 20 May 2021 at 13:00 PM
Yup it a good effort. It might not have as much detail as the listed St Vincent Cres but it has good scale and form. Trust the materials chosen will do it justice.
Sue Pearman
#9 Posted by Sue Pearman on 20 May 2021 at 13:37 PM
Unusually positive for UR guys - can't help suspecting there's a few architects involved in the proposals on here.
It looks more than a little overscaled to me. I can't imagine it complies with any density requirements or design guidance acknowledging appropriate scale in the context of adjacent heritage - even the scheme on the police station looks small by comparison. Possibly lacking somewhat on the amenity front too, IMHO.
RM Kartoffel
#10 Posted by RM Kartoffel on 20 May 2021 at 13:39 PM
Looks brilliant. Cant wait to see the dimwits who run this city reject this because it doesnt contain a drive through Greggs.
#11 Posted by Hmm on 20 May 2021 at 13:47 PM
Combine this with a proper reconfig of the public space in Finnieston (e.g. ban through traffic except for buses, maximise pedestrian space, add decent cycle infra. etc.) and this could be a really huge improvement for the area. What is currently an awful car sewer junction could be a really great public square.
#12 Posted by Roddy_ on 20 May 2021 at 13:51 PM
An improvement on the previous iteration, but still falling well short of an acceptably modulated and scaled proposition. Roof forms still look heavy and visually disparate, especially the clunky transition from the lower terraces to the corner block at the cross.

It is a development that is trying to do the right things – and that is to be welcomed – but it falls at the final hurdle with its overbearing scale, course detailing and roof forms that break the skyline in somewhat unwieldy manner.

No one wants pastiche – buildings should be of their time and space- but it is hard to ignore the effortless quality and human scale of its neighbour across the road. No wonder it is blanked out from the promotional visualisations.

R Bennett
#13 Posted by R Bennett on 20 May 2021 at 14:01 PM
Personally i'd take good pastiche over bad innovation any day!

This scheme seems to loose design finesse of the earlier new blocks on Minerva Street
#14 Posted by DarkAges on 20 May 2021 at 14:03 PM
Looks like a socket adapter.
Jimbob Tanktop
#15 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 20 May 2021 at 14:08 PM
I hope the finished article looks like this. An infinitely better effort than much of the recent dross that's blighted this fine neighbourhood.
#16 Posted by David on 20 May 2021 at 14:45 PM
Clearly a few comments here from persons involved in the project!
Main issue for me is the height at the main junction. Don't get me wrong, I think a feature high element can work well here, but it's still trying to be a linear / perimeter tenement - pumped up to 9 storeys! 4-tier wedding cake architecture.

Can't see it on the portal yet - but looking forward to seeing the amount of objections.

Wilson Barker
#17 Posted by Wilson Barker on 20 May 2021 at 15:15 PM
@12 "but it falls at the final hurdle with its overbearing scale"

Nonsense. Almost all of the best buildings in the city are Victorian era ones built with 'overbearing scale'. If the Victorians never built anything with 'overbearing scale' there would be very few decent buildings in the city.

The city need move interesting developments like this, instead of the generic glass and cladding boxes build for as cheap as possible that seem to be getting chucked up all over the place.

It is also refreshing to see a modern development with retail units at the street level, many modern developments don't have that because it makes it slightly more difficult to get a mortgage on a flat above a commercial premises. The modern flats that don't have commercial premises on the ground level detract from the traditional Glasgow lay-out.

If done properly this could be one of the best housing developments in Glasgow in recent years.
#18 Posted by Roddy_ on 20 May 2021 at 15:53 PM
@ 17
A pretty blunt and unlettered assessment of the city’s pre-modern architectural heritage and clearly a real lack of understanding of what scale really means.
#19 Posted by spike on 20 May 2021 at 16:09 PM
Looks great and will complement the current building works at Breadalbane St and proposed redevelopment of the now disused Police Station site.
Hope it progresses soon
town planner
#20 Posted by town planner on 20 May 2021 at 16:38 PM
Fantastic building, and for me no issue with the 'scale' whatsoever. Let's hope it passes without getting the usual stories chopped off by planners!

Andy Milne
#21 Posted by Andy Milne on 20 May 2021 at 17:23 PM
Not a fan of the tiered approach. No problem with the scale, just don't be apologetic about it. It's an urban block on a prominent corner it can take the height and massing.
Maggie Maclennan
#22 Posted by Maggie Maclennan on 20 May 2021 at 18:01 PM
Love it, that is just FANTASTIC!!!!!

It will probably be rejected by elected councillors who are possibly former toilet cleaners, apparently if people just vote for anyone random person that makes them more qualified than anyone else.

Those flats up at Speirs Wharf were rejected for silly reasons by random people who happened to but elected councillors but who had no experience in what they were talking about.
Hamish Ashcroft
#23 Posted by Hamish Ashcroft on 20 May 2021 at 19:19 PM
Generally looks good. No problems with the scale for me. Just wish they would include the Lidl building site too, and include the shop within the development, minus the big car park, ridiculous that a supermarket needs a huge car park in a dense inner city site close to public transport and the city centre
Corb's Toilet Cleaner
#24 Posted by Corb's Toilet Cleaner on 20 May 2021 at 20:41 PM
#22 Are toilet cleaners not able to have an appreciation of architecture? Pretty snobby attitude there.

But yeah, clearly a lot of comments from people involved in the project. Horrible proportions.
#25 Posted by Chris on 20 May 2021 at 21:15 PM
Considering what Drum have coughed up down the street this is positively palatial.
(y)our eco warrio
#26 Posted by (y)our eco warrio on 20 May 2021 at 22:28 PM
Frankly I think that would be a good site for veganic allotment gardens.
Fat Architect in a Black Shirt
#27 Posted by Fat Architect in a Black Shirt on 20 May 2021 at 22:40 PM
The residents in St Vincent Crescent are going to go absolutely Tonto over this one. It will likely get bogged down in Planning long enough for me to become a skinny architect in a black shirt.
Shiveringy Shauny Smiley
#28 Posted by Shiveringy Shauny Smiley on 21 May 2021 at 10:24 AM

This development covers almost the entire car park that is currently there.

Their plan is to knock down the former Currys / PC World store (which is now empty) and use that as car parking for the Lidl and probably the flats.

This development will really improve that junction, as others have mentioned it is a really miserable place at the moment. If you look at pre-1960s aerial photos of Finneston that junction was full of flats on all sides, it is just restoring what was lost.
#29 Posted by MV on 21 May 2021 at 12:27 PM
#14 for goodness sake! Now all i can see is a socket adapter.

I think its ok as socket adpaters go. No issues with scale. I agree with other comments that this development will improve that grim junction. But it's not brilliant or "the best thing thats ever been on here". When so many people are overly enthusiastic at an "ok" proposal, it is clear who is leaving the comments. Less is more. Be subtle.

PS toilet cleaners are fine, as long as they don't completely ignore the advice they are being given by their professionally trained colleagues.
Arthur Negus
#30 Posted by Arthur Negus on 21 May 2021 at 13:39 PM
You can't argue with a building in this location - it can only be good for the streetscape. However, that is where the good news ends. This is a clumsy design which just looks odd. The tiers simply don't work, especially where there is a step in height.

And for the people working on the project who are commenting on here, probably best to dial it down a bit. Your gushing comments are too obvious.

@17 "It is also refreshing to see a modern development with retail units at the street level ...". You're awfully easy pleased!
Fat Bloke on Tour
#31 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 21 May 2021 at 19:09 PM
Swings and roundabouts.

The new development is a vast improvement on a retail shed carpark but it is no thing of beauty.

Roof form -- at least they are using the attic space bit the window arrangement looks like something out of the Telly Tubbies and their voice tubes.

However the sting in the tail is the surface car park for Lidl that will face onto Finnieston Street as a prairie haven for crisp pokes and leaves.

Will end up looking like a gap site if housing takes of on the garage units next door.

Very low rent all this retail surface car parking -- surely the numbers would stack up for a bit of ingenuity?

#32 Posted by Jaded on 23 May 2021 at 09:18 AM
I find this really hilarious that anyone posting a positive comment on this is assumed to be part of the developer team.

We've been fed so much thin gruel in this city, that it is entirely plausible that the man on the street might actually be quite excited by a proposal that is dense, fairly stylish, has ground floor activation, improves public realm and presents an unbroken, nicely curved street front.

I don't know what people think might go on that site that is materially better than this.
Brian Donnelly
#33 Posted by Brian Donnelly on 23 May 2021 at 11:59 AM
#32 The Urban Realm comments section offers shelter to a plethora of the talentless who, of course post anonymously always, everyone knows that. A murder of failed students, city stragglers and office fodder who have never done anything of note and never will. That's how they get the sense that they're somehow contributing. So be kind, it can sometimes be good for a laugh. :-)
#34 Posted by Anon on 23 May 2021 at 13:31 PM
The old police station housing scheme in image 2 was just refused on 'overdevelopment'.....
Yellow Blue Pink
#35 Posted by Yellow Blue Pink on 23 May 2021 at 19:58 PM
#33 Same could be said of any online comment section, people shouldn't take them too seriously.

As poster 34 mentioned the neighbouring Old Police Station scheme has just been rejected by planners, many of their reasons for rejection will also apply to this scheme too.

It is weird, Glasgow City Council have said they want to greatly increase the inner city population of Glasgow over the coming decades, but high density schemes keep getting rejected for being over-scaled.

If they want to meet their population increase goals they will have to start approving some of these over-scaled schemes. If they only want low-density it will be hard to increase the population by much.
#36 Posted by CJH on 23 May 2021 at 20:39 PM
The top tier is honking. The rest of it isn't terrible. New York it ain't. But neither is it Chernobyl.

Nae bad. But nae special.
Neil C
#37 Posted by Neil C on 24 May 2021 at 09:32 AM
A murder of failed students, city stragglers and office fodder. Yes but the are our scavengers Mr Donnelly.
#38 Posted by Parkguy61 on 24 May 2021 at 16:58 PM
Where is this? In Lidls car park?

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