New Tower Block for Glasgow

The tallest structure ever built in Scotland, a 42-storey megalith for the 21st century, is to be centrepiece of a 1_600_million_GBP regeneration of one of Britain's most deprived areas. Described by its designer yesterday as 'an iconic piece of architecture of international stature', the skyscraper -- in Glasgow's East End -- is likely to dominate the city's skyline for years. It will be at least ten stories higher than the existing 'Red Road flats' in Balornock, which until they are demolished soon, remain Europe's highest residential structures. Early plans for the new tower, which were unveiled yesterday, combine leisure and shopping facilities at ground level below a 12-storey hotel and 'lifestyle' housing on other floors. Even while plans are still on the drawing board, major international hotel chains are making inquiries. An international consortium of financiers, as yet to be publicly named, is behind the scheme to build the tower. It is part of the wider regeneration scheme by a public consortium led by 'Glasgow City Council' to transform the area between Parkhead and Cambuslang, including Dalmarnock. It is estimated that 10_000 new homes and 20_000 jobs will be created. The skyscraper is still at the 'conceptual stage', but yesterday after a day of meetings with his clients, engineers and designers, its architect, Mr.Bob Ramage, said a building such as the 48-storey 'One Wall Centre', in Vancouver, was 'an inspiration'. Mr.Ramage, a partner with the Lanarkshire-based 'John Russell Partnership', added:
'It will not look exactly like "One Wall", but when one is involved in a project like this, such structures become an inspiration.'
'The One Wall Centre', a gigantic glass and gold-coloured structure dominates the skyline of the Canadian city and is visible for kilometres. Mr.Ramage added:
'Suffice to say it is not going to be your typical Glasgow "multi". From a professional point of view, it is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. 'Our clients will announce their involvement in the near future, but they are of international repute with worldwide interests and they are going to make this happen.'
Eventually, Mr.Ramage's tower will be three stories higher than the 100_million_GBP, 440ft, 39-storey 'Elphinstone Tower', which is to be built in India St., near the city centre. 'The Elphinstone', a development of luxury flats with its own swimming pool, is scheduled to open in 2007. 'Glasgow City Council' was delighted yesterday by the prospect of yet another iconic structure in the city which practically invented the tower block. The consortium, led by the council, and involving 'Scottish Enterprise', 'South Lanarkshire Council', 'Community Scotland' and 'The Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive', will oversee the 1_600_million_GBP regeneration scheme. Even though the wider project is still being planned, it is already attracting interest from major construction companies across Europe and North America. It will be co-ordinated by 'The Clyde Gateway project', a council organisation which is chaired by Mr.George Redmond, the councillor for Bridgeton and Dalmarnock. He quipped yesterday:
'[The skyscraper] will be the tallest building in Scotland and you won't need a season ticket to Parkhead [Celtic's ground] to get a perfect view of the games. 'Just look out a window. Even at the planning stages, we are attracting worldwide attention from big companies and hotel chains.' He added: 'It is heartening that the East End, once an industrial hub that has suffered severe social decline to become one of the poorest places in Britain, has such big things to look forward to.'
There is, said Mr.Redmond, a long way to go from the plans to reality, but he sees the new skyscraper as more than a building, but a symbol of the renaissance of the East End.
'Apparently, there are plans to light it at night, so it will be a spectacular sight,' he said.
The council recently spent a six-figure sum on formulating the East-End masterplan and 10_million_GBP to acquire the land to make it a reality. Mr.Redmond, who is also involved in the city's bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, said:
'Dalmarnock (in the East End) is one of two areas being considered for the athletes' village. 'We have given the immediate go-ahead for 500 new homes and we hope to take that to 10_000. The skyscraper will be a legacy of Scotland's biggest renewal development.'
'42-storey skyscraper at centre of landmark £1.6bn regeneration', Jim Mcbeth, The Scotsman, 2005-08-18 Th Links: John Russell Partnership Ltd Wilsons Rd N. Lanarkshire: Newhouse Scotland ML1 5NB Telephone: 0169 887 0668 Previously on this blog: Millions to Come to Glasgow 2005-01


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will be useful for housing the asylum seekers

8/22/2005 12:24:00 am  

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