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'St Enoch Street' to push Glasgow's centre of retail gravity south

April 21 2022

'St Enoch Street' to push Glasgow's centre of retail gravity south

A detailed masterplan for the redevelopment of Glasgow's St Enoch Centre has been filed by real estate giant Sovereign Centros, centred on the first new city centre street to be formed since its formation.

The large-scale redevelopment would sweep aside the current glass shopping mall, designed by GMW Architects and opened in 1989, to reduce reliance on retail and open up the introverted plot for renewal. A range of reasons are given for pursuing a blank slate solution as set out by Leslie Jones Architecture and Woolgar Hunter, not the least of which is that the current centre is a bespoke structure designed exclusively for retail.

The applicant also observes that the foundations do not extend to the bedrock and the low headroom provided in the basement and car park limits alternative use cases. On the other hand, demolition will open up three city blocks for integration within the city grid, built out in a phased process of demolition and construction to minimise disruption.

Central to the aspirations of the masterplan is to re-establish St Enoch Square as a focal point by re-establishing an urban wall to the east, lost when St Enoch Station was demolished in 1974. Deeper within the site a greater mix of uses will be catered for through the provision of a new public space acting as a counterweight to the square along an east to west 'St Enoch Street'.

Retail will be focussed upon the ground floor frontages of this axis of greatest footfall, freeing up much of the remainder of the site for a mix of leisure, offices and homes with enhanced amenities including south-facing green roof terraces with pedestrianised streets serving as multifunctional spaces. Standing a generous 20m wide the street will be reserved exclusively for foot, cycle and service use and includes an 8m wide landscaped buffer tended to by landscape architects Oobe peppered by sculptural 'rain catchers'. Supplementary spaces would include a variety of interior public courtyards for public and private use with some 150 trees to be planted to soften the environment.

In a statement, the applicant wrote: "From a masterplan and city space point of view the aim is to create porosity and connectivity with the Clyde and the urban grain. This is important for the regeneration of the dark spaces created in the shadow of the centre and additionally people density is fundamental to ensure our cities thrive.

"This is a clear site where the city suffers from a low density and to increase it would not only help regenerate the area but reduce the impact on the green belt. This is a unique opportunity to re-densify a part of Glasgow city centre."

At the head of the plan will be a 'marker building' over 20 floors to anchor the development on the right angle axis when drawing a triangle between George Square and St Enoch Square. All in all between 844 and 1,700 homes could be built depending on the favoured accommodation mix with 2.5msq/ft of floor space being added to the city.  

A high-rise 'marker' will stand as the pivot between George Square and St Enoch Square
A high-rise 'marker' will stand as the pivot between George Square and St Enoch Square
Future development could take place at Stockwell Place, encompassing the Argos site, subject to a separate planning application
Future development could take place at Stockwell Place, encompassing the Argos site, subject to a separate planning application

St Enoch Street will serve as a multi-functional space, encouraging activity throughout the day and night
St Enoch Street will serve as a multi-functional space, encouraging activity throughout the day and night
The eastern flank of St Enoch Square will funnel pedestrians through three city blocks of prime real estate
The eastern flank of St Enoch Square will funnel pedestrians through three city blocks of prime real estate

Vehicles will be barred from the pedestrianised quarter
Vehicles will be barred from the pedestrianised quarter

7 Comments

The Heart of Saturday Night
#1 Posted by The Heart of Saturday Night on 22 Apr 2022 at 07:52 AM
Works for me.

Get it built. Just don’t touch Mono.
EM0
#2 Posted by EM0 on 22 Apr 2022 at 17:29 PM
Call me mental, and I know it may sound it, however I think if Glasgow centre is to be different it needs thinking than this. I’d like to see a huge man made lake at the centre of this, really flip the paradigm of how we view and interact with the city centre. I’ve been to Hanoi and it is an amazing city centre feature there.
Patrick Parsons
#3 Posted by Patrick Parsons on 22 Apr 2022 at 19:03 PM
I hope in all this destruction (reminiscent of the ravaging of Glasgow in the 1960s and 70s) that the Lewis' building (nothing to do with John Lewis) is not touched in anyway. It is a well known and loved landmark and should be left as an integral part of this plan. Too many classic buildings have been lost due to the modernist and bruralist philistines of previous generations purging the city landscape.
Terra
#4 Posted by Terra on 24 Apr 2022 at 09:53 AM
Be cool if the buildings were shaped likke those shapes. like polygonal steel and glass.
Billy
#5 Posted by Billy on 24 Apr 2022 at 22:02 PM
Looks good. With proposed demolition of the Galleries and St Enoch that should force all the existing outlets into the empty units on the streets...help get rid of those awful gap sites. But covered walkways or retractable awnings would be great additions given our weather. The retractable awnings are in place with the switch of a button abroad.
site use
#6 Posted by site use on 24 Apr 2022 at 22:44 PM
Public green space is lacking in this proposal. not just paved streets and buildings.. Net zero Glasgow?
modernish
#7 Posted by modernish on 25 Apr 2022 at 14:09 PM
Nice, big ideas, big ambition. Never going to happen. St Enoch's will get pulled down and then the site will site empty forever and a day.
The city centre looks absolutely awful at the moment. Streets filthy, granite sets patched with tar, handsome existing building sprouting buddleia etc... GCC need to get a hold of the situation and start delivering the existing plans they have before moving on to the next. Large consented schemes just mean that GCC can say there is no point carrying out any maintenance work in an area as it's going to be changed shortly.

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