Awarded ‘Best Future Building’ at the 2010 Scottish Design Awards, 7N Architects + RankinFraser Landscape Architecture’s Garscube Landscape Link re-joins the city’s severed connection with a pedestrian friendly solution. The project is the first step in the area’s larger revitalization plan to link the canal network and Glasgow’s City Center.
More about the projects and more images after the break.
The 14 hectares of Speirs Locks was a thriving trading center that has now become deserted land due to the decline of the industry and the construction of M8 motorway in the 1960s. The team’s proposal is a solution to repair the severed ties between the canal and the city, transforming the space into a new public realm fit for cyclists and pedestrians.
Ewan Anderson, Partner of 7N Architects stated, “We set out to “turn up the volume” a bit in the approach to the new underpass to compete with the scale and visual cacophony of the M8 flyover. The intention was to grab some critical territory back for pedestrians and cyclists by giving it a rather otherworldly feel to transform what was previously a grey and mundane experience into a slightly surreal swathe of color.”
Replacing a narrow underpass (the only structure connecting the canal to the city), the architects have designed a single, flowing, red resin surface that doesn’t constrain those using it to a single route. This new link is the gateway point, the pedestrian threshold connecting a large area of North Glasgow back to the City Center. Illuminated by a ribbon of 50 colored aluminium “flowers”, the new connection attracts visitors, beckoning all to traverse across the red swathe.
“The landscape proposals were generated partly as a response to the diverse history of this site and partly as a spatial response to the claustrophobia of the previous underpass. Spatially the continuous flowing surface and colourful flowers contrast with the linear planted terraces which will in time continue up to the canal. The terraces utilise materials reclaimed from the site including stone sets and bedrock excavated during construction,” explained Chris Rankin, partner of RankinFraser Landscape Architecture.
We enjoy featuring different re-vitalization projects on ArchDaily because that’s the next step architecture must take. 7N Architects + RankinFraser Landscape Architecture’s work, plus projects like the HighLine, or Lindsay Brown’s San Diego idea, even the developing parks in the boroughs of Manhattan and OAB’s new waterfront landscape in Spain, are visionary ideas that see the potential in existing conditions. By transforming and uplifiting an underdeveloped area, such proposals affect the broader scale of urban context and activate, or re-activate, crucial city areas.
Project Information and Credits:
Project Title: Phoenix Flowers, Garscube Landscape Link
Location: Garscube Road/ M8 Flyover, Glasgow
Construction start date: 21st September 2009
Completion date: 28th June 2010
Client: Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership
A partnership between Glasgow City Council and ISIS Waterside Regeneration, supported by British Waterways Scotland.
Architects: 7N Architects
Landscape: RankinFraser Landscape Architecture
Engineers: Glasgow City Council Land Services
Contract Administrator: Glasgow City Council Land Services
Contractor: Land Engineering
Lighting Sub-contractor: Pudsey Diamond
Lighting Design “Mentor”: With many thanks to Jonathan Speirs of Speirs and Major for his invaluable and enthusiastic support.