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Revealed: council's 'grey' proposals for George Square

Glasgow City Council has unveiled plans for a £500,000 overhaul of George Square, replacing the red tarmac with a grey epoxy-resin surface

Images of the scheme, which should be completed in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, emerged as the debate again re-ignited surrounding the controversial collapse of the international contest to ‘radically’ revamp the square earlier this year.

A sensational report into the judging process leaked by the RIAS at the weekend pointed the finger at Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson for derailing the competition - a high-profile contest which was won by John McAslan + Partners but, on the insistence of Matheson, was then canned.

On Thursday the council’s executive committee will be asked to vote for a less adventurous, two-stage plan with the first phase featruing a grey epoxy-resign applied onto a flexible honeycomb structure to ‘achieve a notable improvement in the appearance of the surface’.

According to the council document, the in-house design team had ruled out ‘a radical redesign’ stating: ‘The time available between now and the Games would present significant risk when excavating and levelling the Square, which would be required for any permanent stone solution and for upgrading the
underground services and utilities infrastructure.’

The authority spelled out that the overall cost of the two-phase project would still be £15million - the same budget as in the brief for the international competition.

A report on phase two, including details of public consultation on the final surface treatment and colour, will be presented to the executive committee in the
autumn.

Readers' comments (1)

  • This is typical of Scottish Local Government. They invite skilled professionals to submit interesting design proposals. Then party politics and trepidation result in the whole thing being scrapped and replaced with a grey-wash, shopping centre approach.
    I would like to see how this design stacks up against their original brief for the competition, and what the residents of Glasgow have to say!
    Yet another reason to be ashamed of Scotland's approach to architecture.

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