Contribution to Regeneration of the Area
Govan Cross has benefitted from recent regeneration with environmental improvements to the floorscape, restoration of the Memorial Fountain, and the reintroduction of the Govan Ferry. Bield Housing Association’s project at 10 Pearce Street replaces an unattractive single storey derelict GPO building. The new flats respect the eaves line of the adjacent listed former YMCA building, rebuild and complete the street frontages and bring new life back into the formerly neglected historic Pearce Lane.
Lives of Local Residents
The lives of both existing and new residents have been improved. There was an overwhelming need for flats for the elderly in the area and the new residents are delighted with their new homes.The existing residents of neighbouring Govan Housing Association have also had their back court drying area upgraded. Said one Bield resident looking out from her living room over the Clyde to the ‘Glenlea’ and the Transport Museum, “I never thought I would ever have a flat as good as this” having just returned from a Sunday lunch get-together with other residents in the sun space on the top floor of her building!
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
To overcome fenestration problems the boundary windows have been set back one metre to provide large areas of south-facing glass to give passive solar heat to the communal sitting areas. Heat loss from the boiler house contributes to the heat of the communal space. The external envelop is very highly insulated with thermal mass in concrete floors and block walls to retain passive solar heat gain.
Joinery for windows, doors, screens, facings, partitions etc are all specified from sustainable sources. Recycled aggregate is used for fill material and concrete block walls. Low energy lights are specified throughout and storm drainage filtered prior to connection to culverted burn into the Clyde.
With close proximity to public transport, shops, churches, banks, pub, Post Office etc, and with the new ability crossings to these facilities, the development will achieve BREEAM excellent status.
Design, features and specification
The design groups single aspect wide frontage narrow depth flats along Pearce Street and Pearce Lane giving the flats a panoramic view North to the Clyde, and views up and down the street with glimpses of Govan Old Parish Church.Consequently, access to the flats is along the southern boundary.
Asingle sided corridor means residents can always orientate themselves with the views to the outside, an important feature for the elderly who may find difficulty in orientating themselves in enclosed internal corridors.
The hollow brick piers at the front and rear express the structure and also accommodate vertical services. The fenestration of the seven storey flats is grouped 2:3:2 to relate to the fenestration and greater floor to floor height of the adjacent 19th century former YMCA.
The structural grid is expressed using a brick similar to the common brick of the back courts and Govan’s industrial heritage. The plain cubic brick volume and geometric simplicity provides a subtle counterpoint to the eclectic mix of styles of the surrounding 19th century architecture.
The apartments occupy the whole site footprint up to the boundary. Consequently the North and West elevations, which front the street, are the only elevations where habitable rooms could be located. The advantage of this arrangement is all rooms are afforded stunning views across the Clyde. The common areas, stairs, lifts and circulation spaces are on the South elevation where windows have been recessed back from the boundary to allow sunlight into sitting areas. A South facing loggia is positioned over the central boiler plant.
The flats have secure access from Pearce Street and have 24 hour security and emergency cover. Privacy is provided by setting the glazing back giving deep recess windows, a feature which also expresses the structural frame. The ground floor has three wheelchair liveable flats. The upper 6 floors have 2 ambulant 3-person flats and 2 ambulant 2-person flats per floor.