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Scheme for sensitive Glasgow site slammed by watchdog

Aedas's plans for Bothwell Street in Glasgow have been condemned as a 'missed opportunity' by Architecture + Design Scotland

The 18-storey scheme includes 320 hotel rooms and 32,000m² of office space and would replace the demolished Albany Hotel, adjacent to Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s 1859 St Vincent Street Church. The grade-A listed church is the last of the architect’s still fully intact and was put on UNESCO’s world monuments list in 2006.

A+DS was concerned with how the design might affect the setting of Thomson’s church and the impact the building’s height would have on the city skyline. It also called for a more detailed consideration of the hotel’s public realm and a broader approach to sustainability.

Its conclusion reads: 'We do not support the proposal. We feel it is a missed opportunity that does not present a coherent scheme. There is a distinct concern that the current approach may recreate, without improving upon, what was previously on the site.'

A source close to the A+DS design review panel said: 'I've never read such a damning response but I wonder if it will have any effect. The worry is that because of the economic situation, projects like this might still get the go ahead because it is such a major investment.'

In an interview with skyscrapernews.com last September, Aedas director Richard Blair said: 'We've done extensive analysis of the streetscapes in the area, we've done extensive analysis of views to the site from a variety of locations and we feel that it's a very good response to the streetscape.'

Responding to the report today, Blair told the AJ: 'Aedas are satisfied that we have been working, in conjunction with the planning department, to produce a very exciting development.'

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