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Neptune’s Way: Richard Rogers’ controversial winning design for new Glasgow bridge

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Glasoow bridge uneled

£40m footbridge plan ‘unsophisticated’ and ‘derivative’, say critics. Words: Tim Abrahams

he winning design for an exciting new bridge across the

Clyde. described as ‘iconic' by Glasgow City Council. has

been attacked for being unoriginal. DeSpite being the unanimous choice of a judging panel filled with engineers and businessmen. the 5:40m footbridge connecting the financial district of Broomielaw in the north With the undeveloped Tradeston area in the south was described by Penny Lems. editor of the Scottish architectural magazine. Prospect. as ‘unsophisticated and 'the least interesting of the six short-listed bridges'. In addition. Alan Murray. a Glasgow-based architect who deSigned one of the losing schemes. was even more critical. spelling out what many in the design community are saying privately. 'lt looks like the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. [COuncil Leader Charlie Gordon] is right to say that "some peOple will find it derivative". Because it is.‘

Murray hoped the Richard Rogers Partnership would develop its

winning design further and added: ‘lt is very difficult. of course. to Create a new and original bridge because they are springing up everywhere.’ Penny Lewis dismissed the council's claim that the building was iconic. ‘You don't design and build “iconic” bridges. You design and build exciting. dynamic. innovative bridges and then when the public takes to them they become iconic'

However. the bridge was voted the best as part of a public consultation exer(:lse and Richard Rogers has a long history of designing popular buildings including the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Yet Lev/is also dismissed the likelihood that the Richard Rogers Partnership would develop its design once it had won the competition. ‘The (:Onsen/ative approach of the council is controlling this protect] she said.

This is hot the first time in recent years that Glasgow City Council has claimed to be commissioning landmark buildings. only to be accused of lacking the imagination and WI” to be original. The Glasgow Science Centre was designed to act as an attraction to a dilapidated post-iiit,ltistrial wasteland. It was the second titanium clad building in the world. after the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao. considered to be the model for using landmark buildings for urban regeneration. As a result the GSC has attracted a fraction of the international recognition of its illustrious forbear. While Councillor Gordon gamer hopes that Glaswegians will take the banalia-shaped bridge to heart in the way they did the Clyde Auditorium ior Armadillo as it is more commonly knowm. critics of the new Clyde footbridge fear that this latest protect will fail to capture the city's and the WldCf world's imagination.

The Grosvenor Returns

Reopening ends West End’s cinema drought. Words: Ruth Hedges

4 THE LIST 2? Nov— 1 1 Dec 20015

rolectors are to start whirring once

again in Glasgow's West l~nd Cinema.

the Grosvehor. after a mailer 18 month renovation and refit. Taken over in 2001 by (St GrOup whicn owns a plethora of bars tll Glasgow including. the Po‘o Lcuhge. the SOCial. Arta and (:Ofl'lif‘uill‘. r- this is its thwo incarnation since opening ll‘. l0? l. llieie had been fears that the group ‘.‘.'ould turn it me lust another bar.

But fret not. West Enders. Not only have Italian leather seats and sofas been brought into both 100-seater cinemas. there's an all new bar and cafe deszgned by l ondon baseu United Designers from which you can take drinks into the screens lthere are even little tables in between etery other seat. It's a classic symbol of the Glasgow l dinburgh diVide: where l dinburgh's Cameo has red velvet. Glasgow's (Erosvenor has brown

feather: where Edinburgh Filmhouse has a cafeteria bar. the Grosyener has a trendy. styled cafe bar.

Which takes L153 to the most striking :nnovation. Climb a flight of stairs on the outside of the build;ng. walk in and enter a vast loft space with ezaborate cornicmg and a bar right in the middle. You have gust walked through the original screen whose frame was lost in the fashion for 10/02; suspended ceilings. A dusty. neglected left was all but crumbling away. The original protector Ianguished lf‘. a forgotten corner. but is now the ioom's centre piece beaming films from a modern one hidden Within.

Cinema manager. lynn Morrison. has come up from the much ioyed Bi‘ixton Rit/y and Will be visorking With City Scleei‘. programming a mixture of mainstream and arthouse films.

I The Grosvenor opens Fri 28 Nov

I The list of names linked to the new Superman movie seems to extend by the day. The front runner for the role of Lois Lane now appears to be Natalie Portman. one of Hollywood's hottest properties for her Star Wars ventures. The likes of Nicolas Cage and Jude Law have been tipped to be spending more time in a phone booth than would normally be deemed necessary. . . With Ally McBeal dead and buried. members of the cast are doing their utmost to find new jobs. Portia de Rossi has struck gold with a role in the next Wes Craven movie. Cursed. Christina Ricci has already been recruited for the werewolf flick scripted by Kevin Williamson . . . The butler did it. Bernard Butler. that is. The Libertines have called upon the ex-Suede string-slinger to produce their second album. the sequel to Up the Bracket . . . Once The Office shuts up shop this Christmas, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant won't be resting on their Iaurels. as they‘re already deveIOping characters for a new comedy. While it is expected to be very different from their Slough sitcom, rumour has it that it will have the same values. As long as it's funny. that's all anyone should be bothered about.