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Entrance worries over Cooper Cromar scheme

Scotland's design watchdog, Architecture + Design Scotland, has expressed 'major concerns' over a section of a Cooper Cromar Architects scheme in Glasgow.

The project involves an extension to an existing shopping centre, and 'improving the quality' of St Enoch Square in Glasgow's city centre.

The area of concern for the design review panel focused on the proposed new entrance into the shopping centre and its interaction with St Enoch Square.

The report stated: 'The principle of development is supported, but aspects of the designs require further justification and development.

'We have major concerns regarding the new entrance into the shopping centre and its relationship to St Enoch Square.'

The problem the review panel has with this aspect of the scheme is that it claims Cooper Cromar is proposing moving the entrance from its current location, which the report says 'could deactivate and detract from the square'.

The report continues: 'We recognise the desire to create an iconic entrance to the shopping centre... The sweeping 'fin' element could, however, have a contradictory effect as it may draw pedestrians past the entry and into the square, rather than into the shopping centre.'

The lead architect behind the scheme, Stephen Carroll, said the review process is part of standard procedure, and although the comments have been taken on board, he believes the report is slightly inaccurate.

'Our client has been very supportive of our designs, and we are working closely with A+DS as well as everyone else involved, but the report is slightly misleading,' he said.

'It gives the impression we are moving the existing entrance, when that is not true. We are simply creating a new entrance, while maintaining the existing one.

'But we are responding to the points and we have set up another informal review meeting with A+DS. There are some changes to be made to the design, but that's just part of the normal process,' he added.

by Richard Vaughan

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