UPDATE: The Guardian reports that the plans to demolish the Red Road Flats during the Commonwealth Games have been scrapped due to concerns over public safety. The following news was originally published as “Glasgow to Demolish Iconic Modern Towers in Europe’s Largest Demolition” on April 10th, 2014.
To mark the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in July, Glasgow is planning a twist on the usual opening ceremony: the customary fireworks are going to be replaced with explosives of an altogether different kind, as the demolition of all but one of the remaining Red Road Flats buildings will be broadcast live into the stadium.
The demolition of the five 30-story buildings will take 15 seconds and will be the largest ever attempted in Europe, according to the organizers. According to Games Organizer Eileen Gallagher, including the demolition as part of the opening ceremony shows that Glasgow is “a city that is proud of its history but doesn’t stand still, a city that is constantly regenerating, renewing and re-inventing itself.”
Architecture researchers in Edinburgh have completed a breakthrough study on brain activity recorded in situ by using mobile electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which records live neural impressions of subjects moving through a city. Excitingly, this technology could help us define how different urban environments affect us, a discovery that could have provocative implications for architecture. Read the full story on Salon. Also, check out this article from Fast Company about how a similar mobile technology could show us the effects of urban design – not on our brains, but on our bodies.
After a slight redesign scaled the building’s stone facade back from the waters edge to reduce construction costs, Kengo Kuma & Associates has been granted planning permission from the city council’s development management committee to construct the V&A at Dundee. The “world-class,” competition-winning proposal will be the first V&A museum constructed outside of London, serving as an international center of design for all of Scotland.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, has won the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) for it’s ability to “demonstrate brilliantly how a specialist transport collection can renew its relevance through active engagement with the wider social and universal issues.”
Out of 40 museums from across 21 European countries, the jury agreed unanimously that ZHA’s Riverside Museum fulfilled the EMYA criteria of ‘public quality’ at the highest level.
The proposal for the Speirs Locks Student Campus masterplan by Stallan-Brand seeks to integrate existing structures of merit and to introduce new public spaces around them. The retention of an old glue factory as a gallery and historic walls capture the site’s industrial past. The retention of an existing ornate brick wall, once the ground floor of the City Council Cleansing Department, is used to define a new public space, creating a unique arrival and provide the adjacent studio spaces with an appropriate external display space. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Bennetts Associates, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, was just selected by the Citizens Theatre to work on the plans for a major redevelopment of its iconic Gorbals home. This will be the most comprehensive redevelopment of the building since it opened as a theatre in 1878. The planned capital project will transform the building creating a new vision for improved rehearsal, administration and learning accommodation, as well as improved facilities for the public. More images and architects‘ description after the break.
After winning the Aberdeen City Garden competition in early 2012, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro‘s ‘Granite Web’ design was rejected over the summer in a 22-20 city council vote for being overly expensive. Despite public approval the proposal, which totaled a whopping £140m, was rejected in favor of a collection of more fiscally responsible city projects, such as refurbishing the Aberdeen Art Gallery and redeveloping the site of the St. Nicholas House.
Just recently, the City of Aberdeen announced a £300m city-wide plan of improving roads, schools and cultural buildings, with only £20m allotted for the city center, which will be pedestrianized but not much else. Thus, confirming the “final nail in the coffin“ for DS+R’s ambitious web of lush gardens and cultural landmarks.
Read more after the break…
There has been some controversy over the past few months for the George Square redesign in Glasgow, Scotland, since we last announced the six shortlisted architecture firms in December. Following the submission and assessment by a jury in January, the project went through an upheaval when Labour leader of the Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson announced that the submitted designs would be scrapped in favor of a “facelift” for the square. Numerous reports on the Herald Scotland present conflicting arguments for the turn of events and the abrupt change in plans have left the council, jury, design firms and the public in discontent. It is unclear what the status of the project is today, but for the moment it is on hold as the council discusses ways in which to proceed.
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Six firms, Agence Ter (France), Burns + Nice (UK), Gustafson Porter (UK), James Corner Field Operations (USA), jmarchitects (UK), and John McAslan & Partners (UK), were recently shortlisted in the project for a major redevelopment of George Square in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland. The 13 statues and monuments that stand in the square are to be moved to other sites in the city while the area is given a makeover ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Planned to submit their plans by the new year, the six designs submitted to Glasgow City Council will be put on public display at the Lighthouse in early January. The design competition winner will then have the prestigious task of redeveloping the square to further enhance Glasgow’s reputation as an international city.
The RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) has announced OMA as the tenth recipient of the prestigious Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for the firm’s “welcoming, light and spacious” design of Maggie’s Gartnavel in Glasgow.
Serving as an exemplar for alternative healthcare design, OMA’s single story composition for the cancer care center laces together a series of interlocking rectangular spaces that form around a lush courtyard. Transparent walls of the building’s light-filled interior promenade connect patients directly to nature, as the building accommodates for the complex needs of the facility by providing spaces of interaction, personal privacy, and discrete counseling rooms, along with private nooks and corners. A notable characteristic of Maggie’s Gartnavel is the rich use of materials, from the flush inlaid timber and concrete ceiling to the simplistic concrete exterior and expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
OMA generously donated their £25,000 prize to the Maggie’s Cancer Care Center.
More images after the break…
In November 2010, we announced that Kengo Kuma & Associates was selected over a competitive A-list of international architects to design Scotland’s landmark building, the V&A at Dundee. Well now, the £45 million, waterfront project is moving forward as it has just been approved by the city council!
As reported on BDOnline, Philip Long, director of the V&A at Dundee, stated: “This now allows us to move further with elements of the design and building program, including procurement and tendering, and we will be doing that in due course.”
Continue after the break to learn more about Kengo Kuma’s design for the museum.
The video above follows Roots Design Workshop, a group of young architects, as they embark on the tall task of constructing a lighthouse on the isle of Tiree, a beautiful remote Scottish island. This film, created by Martin Glegg, highlights the emerging gap between the world of digital design and getting one’s hands dirty and aims to inspire a new generation of architects to stop staring at their computer screens. Text Courtesy of Martin Glegg.
Maggie’s has proudly announced that the Glasgow architects of NORD have agreed to design the Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. The principle funder from Walk the Walk is expecting a “beautiful, unique and ground breaking building” from the award winning practice who was established in 2002 and has become known for their distinctive projects that often draw inspiration from social and cultural issues. This news comes shortly after Norman Foster and Steven Holl were announced as the next architects of two new Maggie’s Centers in south Manchester at the Christie Hospital and in London at St. Barts.
Director of NORD, Alan Pert said: “This is a fantastic way to celebrate 10 years of NORD and we look forward to working with the amazing team behind this network of centres. At a recent visit to the Maggies London Headquarters we came across a collection of architectural models of the various centres built over the years including Richard Murphy’s first one from 1996. It is an incredible achievement that so many of these buildings have been realized and to contribute to this vision is a huge privilege.”
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The ‘Green Bridge’ design by biomorphis in Leith Walk, one of the key thoroughfares in Edinburgh, Scotland, aims at bringing a lightweight structure with low embodied energy. Construction materials based on plant products represent the way forward in terms of diminishing our dependence on hydrocarbons. Leith Walk, which unfortunately acts as a major divider, needs a bridge which would link the East cycle paths to the West of the city. It would redirect the ever-growing flows of bikes and pedestrians and also become a landmark for the community. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Nearly 275 kilos of explosives brought down the first Red Road tower block this past weekend, marking the beginning of a controlled demolition process that will completely remove the infamous residential complex from the Glasgow skyline by 2017. In a response to the post-war housing crisis, the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) flats were constructed between 1964 and 1969 in an effort to provide the ultimate modern community for almost 5000 residents.
Continue reading for more on the iconic Red Road flats and a video of the demolition.