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Stallan-Brand’s masterplan for Glasgow waterfront quarter wins approval

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Glasgow practice Stallan-Brand has won approval for the masterplan of its major new development on the banks of the River Clyde, which will include a new HQ for Barclays bank

The Buchanan Wharf project, for developer Drum Property Group, will create seven buildings providing 98,000m² of offices, more than 300 homes and 6,200m² of other commercial space.

In July, the developer announced it had signed up Barclays to take 44,000m² in the development for its new headquarters.

Stallan-Brand said the building façades in its masterplan paid homage to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, while other aspects drew inspiration from Kingston House – a listed building to be retained as a standing ruin at the heart of the development.

The masterplan proposes that Kingston House itself should be turned into an ‘inhabited ruin or folly’.

The proposal would see only the external walls of the two primary historic elevations retained, with the roof, all internal structure and glazing removed.

The practice’s design director, Paul Stallan, said: ‘The key thing that the client and city have really been interested in is having a non-corporate approach to the design. We have tried to develop a vernacular that looks like it has evolved rather than reflecting a singular style.‘

‘On the other side of the Clyde you have the city’s financial district which is shiny and metal and we wanted to create something that looks more tactile and lived-in.’

A more contemporary interpretation has been explored on the south, east and west façades, which follow the same principles of proportion and articulation but use a different material and tonal palette to express datums, entrances and massing.

The façades will be propped up to become a free-standing sculpture and highly permeable gateway, framing an active and flexible social space, according to the design code submitted with the proposals.

Detailed applications for the first two buildings on site, designed by Aberdeen architect Halliday Fraser Munro, have been submitted for planning for the scheme, which gained outline approval from Glasgow City Council in January last year.

The first, a seven storey block, will provide 10,700m² of office space, while the second, a 10-storey building, will provide 19,000 m² of offices.

A Drum Property Group spokesperson has described the Buchanan Wharf development as a ‘benchmark development in Scotland, a new and distinctive quarter for the city’.

008 buchanan wharf stallan brand

008 buchanan wharf stallan brand

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Readers' comments (2)

  • There was not one 'wharf' on the Clyde in Central Glasgow - the river was lined with quays, and this is actually Clyde Place Quay, on the Lower Harbour opposite the Broomielaw and just upstream from the Kingston Dock (filled in and now residential).
    And this south side site isn't even remotely related to the pedestrianised Buchanan Street in the city centre to the north of the river, arguably Glasgow's 'main street'.
    But in the developers' eyes image is obviously the main thing, and hence the use of the shell of Kingston House to introduce a touch of subtlety and refinement (it's called Architecture) into what looks to be some run-of-the-mill office blocks. It's just a shame that Glasgow can't rise above this.
    Incidentally, there is one more surviving building of considerable character within the site - a sizable five storey red sandstone tenement on Kingston Street at Centre Street, with computer shops, 'Kosher Genetics' and a martial arts studio at street level, but capable of providing the sort of low cost residential accommodation so desperately needed by the 'underclass' of cafe workers and cleaners needed to service the new developments. But that's not going to happen, is it?

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  • I fear Robert Wakeham is once more spot on.
    I also fear that when a news magazine has such pieces which read like undigested press releases it has reached an unenviable "benchmark development".

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