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Winner named in contest to transform Glasgow winter gardens

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James Hand and Nik Klahre have won the ideas contest to regenerate the category A-listed Springburn Winter Gardens in Glasgow

The competition – organised by the Glasgow Institute of Architects’ – sought proposals for a venue ‘where people can gather and share collective memories’ in the winter gardens which have been unused for 30 years.

The pair – who are both Part II graduates from London Metropolitan University’s Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design – proposed a series of demountable glass structures inspired by the area’s ‘demolished plant houses and bygone train sheds’.

Hand currently works for Karakusevic Carson Architects and Klahre has worked for Pierre d’Avoine Architects and East.

The winter gardens were built by local industrialist James Reid in 1900 but closed in 1985 when Glasgow District Council applied for its demolition due to rising maintenance costs.

Paul John Sweeney, secretary of Springburn Winter Gardens Trust said: ‘The winning design proved to be an excellent reflection of the brief and it has also responded in an innovative way to the A-listed character of the original Winter Gardens structure. We look forward to developing this design as the basis of our plans for this part of the site.’

The duo beat bids by Glasgow-based City of Play Design, founded by University of Strathclyde graduates Grant Menzies and Bobby Lee, a submission by Glasgow University post-doctoral researcher Ruggero Lancia with Leonardo Pugin and a ‘summer gardens’ scheme by WAP Architects of Sheffield.

Competition winners, Hand and Klahre said: ‘[The victory] is especially meaningful for us as the result has come from a public vote. We look forward to helping the Springburn Winter Garden Trust work toward the future revival of the Winter Gardens and hope it will once again become a cherished and animated part of the community.’

It is understood that following the contest launch Glasgow City Council has taken ‘further measures’ to save the exisitng structure.

An exhibition showcasing all the designs will go on display in The Lighthouse, Glasgow, from January 29 to March 11.

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