nce again. Edinburgh and Glasgow find themselves competing when common sense might suggest they co-operate. With bruises still livid from the bamey over the National Gallery of Scottish Art, when neither side managed a clean knockout. the two cities are going toe-to-toe in the contest to become 1999 City of Architecture and Design.

The ‘Year of' titles were conceived as a warm up for the cultural Big Bang promised at the Millenium. The aim is to increase public participation in artforms ranging from music (Birmingham, 1992) to dance (East Midlands. 1993) to drama (Manchester. this year). By 2000 our appetite for the arts may be voracious but exactly how will the public ‘participate‘


On 4 July Glasgow and Edinburgh submit their bids to become City of Architecture and Design in 1999, - a title which will focus the nation’s attention on the way modern buildings will look in the next millenium. The List previews the bids and contrasts the different approaches of the two cities.

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The massive St Enoch Centre (above) has kept Glasgow shoppers in the city centre; and (left) the new lntemational conierence centre is intended to bring business to Edinburgh.

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in architecture and design? Well. by having an opinion, basically.

‘This is not a year about producing magnificent buildings. but getting people to think about the architecture ofthe future.’ says lain Reid. chairman of the Arts Council selection panel. ‘We want the year to open their minds to what good architecture is so they have a broad vision of what is achievable.’

Unsurprisingly, the Arts Council line is that the winner will be decided solely on how well it communicates the importance of architecture to a wider audience. But there‘s the suspicion that the wider. social context is considered. Architecture. more than other artfonn, is closely linked with ‘urban regeneration' the goal of all the shortlisted cities.

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That’s why. according to speculation in architectural circles, Liverpool already has it sewn up the city desperately needs this accolade to help attempts to rebuild itself. The £400,000 prize money would barely buy another Brookside Close, but the prestige ought to attract further investment.

If the prevailing argument among selectors is that the winner should be the city with most to gain. Glasgow is still a good bet - the fact that this is the last chance for a Scottish ‘Year of‘ must be a factor and Edinburgh stands little chance. However, if the final decision rests solely on the quality of the bids. Edinburgh‘s pitch as the ‘natural' choice stands a better chance. in short. it‘s wide open but we should know by Christmas. (Eddie Gibb)

The List l—l4 July 1994 11