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Conran usurps Cooper Cromar on Scotland's tallest tower

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Conran & Partners has been brought into replace Scottish firm Cooper Cromar on the stalled £120 million project to build Scotland's tallest tower.

The move is the latest twist in the long-running saga surrounding the plans for a 134m-tall mixed-use skyscraper in Vincent Street, Glasgow.

It is understood Conran & Partners will completely redesign Cooper Cromar's 40-storey tower proposals - even though the scheme for Scottish developer Elphinstone had already been given the thumbs-up by Glasgow City Council back in 2004.

Since then little has happened on the project, which will supposedly create 16,000m2 of office space, 208 apartments and retail space.

However, following the purchase of the site by City Lofts, as part of a joint venture with Elphinstone, Conran & Partners has been parachuted in to take the scheme forward.

Conran & Partners project architect Tim Bowder-Ridger said: 'We have grown up with City Lofts and we are its first-choice architects.

'There is a precedent in planning for a high building here and we will be treating the Cooper Cromar scheme as a masterplanning-type exercise for us.

He added: 'The height of the tower is set by the radar shadow from Glasgow airport. There is no need to re-invent that, but the architecture will be noticeably different.

'We need to keep form as simple as possible.

'Glasgow and [design watchdog] Architecture and Design Scotland want a landmark building, but there is a fine line between capturing the imagination and making the building work for the residents.'

Conran & Partners will be meeting with the planners next month and a new application is expected before the end of the year.

by Richard Waite

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