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Multifaceted Battlefield Homes put gap site to rest

December 10 2021

Multifaceted Battlefield Homes put gap site to rest

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association has lodged plans for an affordable housing complex for the over 55s in Langside, Glasgow.

Occupying the site of the former Queens Park School on Prospecthill Road the development occupies a gushet site opposite The Victoria development and has been designed 'in the round' to be approached from all sides.

A design team formed by Collective Architecture, City Design Partnership and Jane Dobson landscape architect has been briefed to deliver adaptable homes to the HAPPI and Glasgow Standard's to enable residents to maintain healthy independent lives in later life.

Described as the final piece in the puzzle to revitalise the Battlefield Rest junction the development fronts a public green space and entrance protected by railings. A density of 36 units per hectare is proposed for the site, re-establishing an urban edge to Grange Road to open up the rear of the site for a communal residents garden.

Further amenity comes in the form of inset and projecting balconies with larger recesses to the south providing additional external space. These faceted terrace balconies run the length of the complex to provide access to each home as well as informal social spaces with an angular living roof completing the composition.

In a design statement, Collective wrote: "The undulating design was formed not only in the roofline but in the access balcony plan. The balcony steps out in two places giving the residents more space for passing, growing planting or place seating. The angular addition to the balcony ties the building form together, linking the faceted touches together in the otherwise orthogonal building."

Built from a base of grey brick the main elevation is faced in a lighter brick above a continuous projecting concrete ledge. 

Connectivity to Queens Park is to be improved
Connectivity to Queens Park is to be improved
Two render 'mini towers' will face the communal gardens to the rear
Two render 'mini towers' will face the communal gardens to the rear


#1 Posted by Norweegie on 10 Dec 2021 at 09:40 AM
I rarely comment on here and I hate to be negative, but this is just woeful compared to their work across the road. The roofline is like some bad Reiulf Ramstad ripoff and the "rear" elevation just feels wrong.
I used to be a local there for many years and I appreciate it's a difficult site but I'd be saddened if this went ahead as it's currently proposed.
Sue Pearman
#2 Posted by Sue Pearman on 10 Dec 2021 at 12:30 PM
Are we really making the retrograde steps back towards deck access single aspect flats. Come on Collective you can do better than this!
juan de los angeles
#3 Posted by juan de los angeles on 10 Dec 2021 at 12:47 PM
Agree with Norweegie, this is woeful. Egregiously woeful, especially the rear elevation e.g. deck access and grim featureless facades. The juxtaposition of the flat roof and frankly weird 'undulating' roof is gimmicky and frankly ugly. This is not a sustainable building. Suspect that no community could ever love this building and will be a regeneration project in 15 years.
#4 Posted by TheFakeArchitect on 10 Dec 2021 at 14:44 PM
#2 While I agree, I thinks its harsh to blame the architects for the deck access and single aspect flats. This will no doubt be the development brief. I would ask why the Planning authorities don't ban such design or even the housing associations themselves. I cant imagine it being a positive way to live.
Georwell 84
#5 Posted by Georwell 84 on 10 Dec 2021 at 15:07 PM

This looks odd. Why cant this building be taken to the corner.
With so many new flats in the area another commercial unit to complement the Battlefield Rest would not go amiss at the junction.
Maybe look to St Georges Cross for example.
juan de los angeles
#6 Posted by juan de los angeles on 10 Dec 2021 at 17:17 PM
Sorry, back again but this one really bothers me. It's a failure in terms of both urban design (thanks #5) and architecture. Abject failure. My attention to the ground floor had been diverted by the abomination of the undulating roof and squat flat roofed blocks. I appreciate the HA budget will likely be driving the deck access approach but the architects really need to do better given the visibility of the site than foist this abomination on an area that has so much going for it in terms of assets. This would definitely be a blight.
Ghetto King
#7 Posted by Ghetto King on 11 Dec 2021 at 23:29 PM
"Connectivity to Queens Park is to be improved" not at all. I suggest that an up to date photo is shown on what is actually being built on the main site. It certainly will not improve connectivity to Queen's Park. For a start how many of the over 55s of these new "dwellings" will want to navigate a steep climb on steps through the main site to get to the park?
#8 Posted by Norweegie on 12 Dec 2021 at 08:48 AM
The design statement is interesting. Nicely laid out, with good diagrams and drawings but I’m finding it difficult to be convinced of the basic massing solution that’s been reached.

Interestingly the small 3D render of the building on page 24, showing it all in red brick, looks calmer, more convincing and of the area than the final choice of materials.

#9 Posted by Theoppositionparty on 12 Dec 2021 at 18:26 PM
My goodness, Collective you really have demonstrated the effect low RSL fees have on design quality. It’s clearly been passed down to the assistants. It looks like a buy one get one free combo with the Victoria scheme – which is actually very nice, why isn’t this one? That’s the question your practice needs to ask. Try figure out why there’s such a disparity in quality between the projects.
#10 Posted by Flummoxed on 13 Dec 2021 at 14:26 PM
Can anyone explain the difference between 'balcony' and deck access? Thought this misguided concept was dead and buried. Then again maybe we haven't fully learned the sad story of what happens when architects try to dictate the way people will, or should, live. Feel sorry for the residents on their windswept 'balconies' and even more so for the neighbours across the street who will have to look on to this. There must be a better way of delivering housing, which is welcomed in principle, on this site.
#11 Posted by modernish on 15 Dec 2021 at 09:16 AM
@Flummoxed - no problem using the term balcony rather than deck access lets you game the system and provide the dual aspect that is required by GCC. It might also be a way to try and satisfy the new building regs in relation to access to escape stairs but that's a bit tricky. If that is the case then the 'balconies' will need to be kept clear of anything that could make them nice or potentially useful.
All in this is a scheme that shows what happens when something is designed during lockdown and the design team can't get together to see the site or discuss the options in a open forum without someone's broadband dropping out or another person being distracted by their phone.
kevin toner
#12 Posted by kevin toner on 4 Aug 2023 at 14:31 PM
sorry to revive this, but liking the current room this area is providing but not making good urban realm use - or quite sense - of it, yet!
I'm actually liking the set back of the library from this - the last bastion of the WWI architecture there, the other being the extended but now lost QP school. Park and Reside said a RIBAJ article this March 2023 that speaks of an English example of this kind of plot (albeit still crammed with the similar densities being seen here from across the road in the same style), but it's IMHO beginning to better showcase that very 'neo-but-metaphorically-Georgian' style in a much more conducive and better light; surprisingly good views through and an enrichment of juxtaposition-generated/derived incidental views are capitalising off a simpler style that struggles more on a typically perimeter-development grid - PARK AND RESIDE , i.e. but remember in an actual park, not a car park ha ha which is there actually hiding behind the hoarding to the lost schools.
I wrote about this during the consultations for this junction and the Lethaby Triangle one, but very few responded. Again, with no disrespect to the Council in looking to consult on how to make a bad junction worse - let's see the original urban grain shine through here again to reinvigorate the huge city-park-room concept there that links QP all the way to arguably Maxwell Park, but in getting the heirarchy of curved desire routes in place that hadn't dominated - as now - but rather showed off the bucolic edges with hugely beautiful tangential curves to take the eye indefinitely to beauty at any one point (the ghost's yet there beyond the barricades etc). Oh, and also credit to architectures till this scheme recognising the park quality all the way to the conceptal city-park-enclave's edge - the battlefield Rd. & again, to finish on that full circle, even beyond to tooth into that main road with delights and some of that borrowed openness that it exudes - the library - quite a delight and over the hill some brutalist set back residential examples, of which even the Victorians did too around such perimeter albeit a little more formally - e.g Springfield Mansions/Gardens?
Lastly before I go, I'd wrote about this crank in Battlefield Rd being part of that city-park-enclave concept's most significant or prominent points - showing how a crown shaped outline has helped enrich the edge - A crown it really did indeed aspired into: The little Battlefield Rest gem the jewel in the crown - the other side of Hampden park got given exactly what's needed here: a bus rest point of platforms between what are several institutions in the city (hospital/college/national stadium/etc.).
I think we must work with the urban grain instead of fight/reinvent - let's not change all of a sudden with a perimeter block here!
sorry I've rambled but no time to edit as I'm between devices and took the urge to recall these past hotspots of where so much can go so quickly wrong or instantly cured!!

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