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Expressive terrace: McGinlay Bell completes Maryhill Locks Housing in Glasgow

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The black-and-white run of two, three and four bed homes forms part of a larger development in the west end of Glasgow

Built for developer Bigg Regeneration, a partnership between Scottish Canals and the Igloo Regeneration Fund, this development of 40 ‘private affordable’ dwellings lies within the Maryhill area of Glasgow, known locally as ‘the botany’ or ‘the butney’.

Positioned to the north of the Maryhill Locks, part of the Forth and Clyde Canal, the site sits along on a west-facing slope, bounded by Whitelaw Street, Glencloy Street, Lochgilp Street and Cowal Street. 

The project forms Phase 3 to a wider residential-led mixed-use regeneration scheme, formed around the historic area of Maryhill Locks and River Kelvin. 

Mb dapple maryhill locks landscape view 4

Maryhill Locks Housing by McGinlay Bell

Architect’s view

At Maryhill, the site is bounded by an existing street layout which formerly enclosed a tenemental block. To the street, we proposed retaining a tree-lined street hierarchy with front gardens and off-street parking, with the ‘back court’ areas to the rear creating private garden space, semi-private and casual amenity, refuse storage and shared spaces opening up to the park beyond.

Conceived as a building with a clear language, the materiality of the terraces was developed as a simple but robust palette of brick with a family of precast concrete pieces and decorative metalwork used to articulate thresholds and openings. The houses, familiar in form, were deliberately designed so that they share features that unite the terrace block. This was achieved through the singular duo pitch repeating form of the building, the use of materials and the simple architectural detail.

Site plan

Site plan

Block axo

Block axo

Formerly the scheme had been set out as linear terraces with expressive ends or gables. The two, three and four bedroom units have been developed to a similar construction and plan type to offer repetition and flexibility of typology mix, and the three and four-bedroom house types make use of an inhabited roof space. 

Internally our attitude to interiors was consciously pared back to primarily a white and monochrome aesthetic. However, the addition of a focused series of birch wood linings, screens, edge profiles and furniture pieces offered a subtle refinement and sense of warmth to the overall interiors. Although compact in plan and volume large floor-to-ceiling height windows, doorways and balconies enhanced the sense of openness throughout.

Mb dapple maryhill locks landscape view 10

Mb dapple maryhill locks landscape view 10

To mitigate commercial risk, the client procured the project build as a two-phase construction development focusing on an energy efficient means of delivery. 

This phase of the masterplan sought to reuse derelict and vacant land within the inner urban area of Glasgow to create a speculative for sale and start up residential development. It is part of a wider masterplan that will improve access, permeability and activity within the area, which will help secure Maryhill for the future. 

Brian McGinlay, founder, McGinlay Bell

Detailed section 01

Detailed section 01

Project data

Tender date June 2014
Start on site December 2015
Completion date May 2017
Gross internal floor area 3,670m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design & Build
Cost £4 million 
Client BIGG Regeneration Limited Partnership
Architect McGinlay Bell
Structural engineer Will Rudd Davidson
Quantity surveyor Campbell Martin Associates
Main contractor CCG (Scotland) Ltd

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