George Square revamp: Six designs on display


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Designs by six short-listed companies taking part in the international competition to redevelop George Square in Glasgow have gone on public display.

The designs, on show at The Lighthouse, will be considered by a judging panel and the winner announced on 18 January.

Four British, one US and one French firm were selected from a total of 35 companies who expressed an interest in the £15m project.

The winner will work with the council on the final design for the square.

Work should begin later this year with phase one complete before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The winning design will be announced on 18 January

The four British firms on the shortlist are Burns and Nice, Gustafson Porter, JM Architects and John McAslan and Partners.

They are joined by American firm James Corner Field Operations and Agence Ter from France.

The judging panel comprises of David Mackay, MBM Architects Barcelona and Professor Andy McMillan, former head of Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art.

'High calibre'

They are joined by David Harding, former head of Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art, Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts and Cllr Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council.

The technical advisor of the panel is Neil Baxter, secretary and treasurer, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Start Quote

It is absolutely essential we choose the right team to create a new George Square”

End Quote Gordon Matheson Council leader

Cllr Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The calibre of the six designs is very high and I'm sure whichever design team is chosen, Glaswegians will have a George Square to be proud of again.

"Each bidder has a wealth of international experience and all six have delivered a number of eye-catching civic spaces acclaimed by their peers and public alike.

"This redevelopment is a hugely exciting moment in the growth of the city as Glasgow strives to forge ahead and meet its future challenges."

He added: "It is absolutely essential we choose the right team to create a new George Square - a George Square fit for the 21st Century.

"I look forward to working closely with the winning design team to develop their design and give the people and businesses of Glasgow the George Square they deserve."

Funding of up to £5m will be made available to complete phase one of the revamp before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The additional £10m will come from a wider retail-led project to regenerate the area around the square, known as the Buchanan Quarter.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Picture 1 does not reveal too much.. Wonder why? On first impressions 3, 5 and 6 look interesting.. Regarding the cost.. I've read that £10 million is provided by the developers of the Buchanan Quarter and £5 million is from the council.. The winning design should take into account 'the space' is used all year round for various events. Just hope it is not a generic model used throughout the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    So, Glasgow City Council are pleading poverty - cuts all over the place, and yet £15m can just be magically produced to do something that really is not a priority of anyone outside of some in the council. What a complete waste of time & money - but that is the true motto of GCC after all......

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    6. looks a bit better from above - a sort of spiral of flowerbeds with the fountain in the middle. It's probably closest to the garden style Square we used to have.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    George Square used to be a great place to sit back when we used to get sunshine. Then the grass was taken away and the whole thing covered in red tar, which allowed 'events' and things that bring in money. Glasgow City Council want to further the retail aspect, but the problem is the statues are in the way. If they go ahead with this, the winning design will be one that leaves the square empty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Some of them dont feature the statues - does anyone know what would be done with them?
    1. agree - shallow water bad idea
    2. looks like a race track
    3. too grey and wet
    4. what is that tent thing?
    5. just odd looking
    6. meh... like the the fountains though

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Lets throw in a paddling pool and some water spouts with chunks of concrete to sit on! is this really the best they can do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    I agree that the one with the shallow water is a terrible idea - in addition to your valid reasons, people also cut across George Square all the time to get elsewhere (I think we have enough big puddles without creating one).
    Am I the only one that's a bit disappointed that none of the designs tried to incorporate any red? Doesn't really feel like George Square!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Some Scottish Bloke is right... the riverside is under developed and has loads of potential to create some public areas to relax... only downside is policing these areas to keep them dink & drug free and family friendly. And our fabulous weather here would be a areas would need to be covered...but Broomielaw could be a nice wee stretch of cafes and parks...make it more continental!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Why on earth are we spending £15million on George Square. I am no builder but I am pretty sure it can be made to look nicer for a lot less than that.

    As a taxpayer I would rather see money spent on filling the many potholes in the road I have to avoid, or revamping leisure centres (in the spirit of the commonwealth games), having nicer parks, honestly George Square is not that bad!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    The money would be better spent reviving Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street which used to be great parts of the town but now feel desolate, with all the funds appearing to go on Buchanan Street.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    It doesn't matter how nice it looks. If you don't have a 24 hour police presence there, it will be covered in litter and be blighted by anti-social behaviour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    how about a shelter for the homeless nightlife in the shape of a large buckfast bottle ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    I agree... George Sq needs a spruce up... maybe an area of grass...few trees....fountain.....or a wee coffee shop with covered seating area..? but to spend £15m on it is a bit mad. There are already gangs of youths and undesirables hang about in the square ... And I agree that it will be wrecked in no time! The upkeep would create full time jobs though!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    It's finally good to see a Scottish city taking pride in its appearance. Too many High Streets and 'Civic Squares' in Scotland are delapidated and miseable. There are little urban places in the country that I would call picturesque.

    Adding some class and sophistication in a visual way can only be good for future Scottish tourism and improving the look of our streets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Put the grass back. Job done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    We have just seen benefits capped and unemployment is high. Life for many at the moment is hard. Do we really have to spend £5 million on a new design, or would a good clean up of George Square and the streets of Glasgow not suffice?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I don't know about the other designs but I can't think of anything worse than an expanse of shallow water with slowly disintegrating sandwich bags and cigarette packets with shards of glass from the latest drunken brawl to make clearing it more difficult. It will look beautiful when first opened BUT.
    Please think of maintenance before selecting the option unfortunately in the UK we are not tidy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I can't help but think the money could be put to better use redeveloping other areas of the city that actually need it. I agree that George Square isn't exactly picturesque nut it's a lot nicer than the city centre river front!

    Every other city in Europe seems to use the river as a focal point, whereas we seem to try to hide it -there's no shops,bars or restaurants down there - it's horrible!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Can we vote to perhaps keep it the way it is?


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