project in a community which has seen its heart ripped out. The plan is to build 1.000 social and private sector houses in a decade. relying on a partnership between Gorbals residents. the Glasgow Development Agency, the New Gorbals Housing Association and private developers. ‘Redevelopment plans in the l‘)5()s absolutely screwed up the Gorbals completely. it was a nightmare,‘ says Stewart. ‘Queen Elizabeth Square was a magniﬁcent piece of sculpture. an awesome building, but not something to live in. it cast a shadow over the whole of the Gorbals.‘ He stresses the importance of asking tenants what they want built -— from post offices and parks to houses.
The old Glasgow Herald bulldlng: pencllled In for an architecture centre.
Whether Glasgow wins the 1999 accolade or not, he believes the democratic architectural process will continue rumbling on. in the Gorbals and housing estates around the city.
‘lt's possible Glasgow will get on and do what it‘s been doing without the pn'ze'. agrees the secretary of the Glasgow institute of Architects. Fiona Sinclair. ‘lt‘s pretty exciting for the people in these areas because they‘re not being ignored anymore.‘
Whatever the outcome, the city‘s architectural landscape is likely to change. reckons Sonclair: "l‘he good thing about Glasgow is it keeps moving.‘ J
Challenge House, Canal Street
An elegant modernist building on an uncompromising site bordering the M8, this integrates an unusual mix of uses - warehousing, offices and residential apartments. The wedge-shaped design highlights the opportunities that exist for what might be considered low-amenity sites adjacent to the M8, where there is potential for dynamic and innovative building types.
The use of modern technology, steel frame, aluminium rainscreen cladding and full height windows demonstrates a welcome commitment to a modernist philosophy. It is an approach generally unpopular with planning departments, but potentially more interesting than the post- modern veneered facades depressineg common in the city centre. Architects: McHeish Design. (Ian Gllaean)
4 ‘t 4 .. " lit N
Challenge House: modemlst philosophy
The Italian Centre (left) Is the heart of Glasgow's fashion and design community; the Hunterlan Museum (below) by Macklntosh, the city’s world famous son.
View from the other cit
Allowing the motorway to plough its way straight into the city centre seemed like a brutal decision, but it enabled Glasgow to become a proper, modern city. That’s the view of James Gray, assitant director of architecture at Edinburgh School of Art.
The conservationists may be horrified when anything is knocked down, but once done it can offer a chance to build anew. In Glasgow’s case this was not necessarily a bad thing, reckons Gray, because it has helped prevent the city centre dying on its feet. The concrete swathe of motorway may have been ugly, but it made a break with the past which enabled a more modern, forward-looking architectural style to develop.
‘Glasgow has great opportunities,’ he says. ‘The refurbishment of the Merchant City has had a huge effect on Glasgow. Getting people in to shop and use the place is very positive. I know it might be predominantly yuppies but it’s better to be colonised than left in ruins. The vibrancy that occurs along Argyle Street and into the Merchant City is something I can’t imagine Edinburgh having.’
Gray is impressed with the way Glasgow has handled the big office developments that can be seen along the M8, which give the place its urban character and fits in with its commercial past. However some of the major new public buildings have been less successful, he believes. ‘The Royal Concert Hall is a fairly dull building which doesn’t seem to be of its time,’ Gray says. (Eddie Gibb)
The List l—l4 July 1994 13