Glasgow & West Scotland

Princes Square named favourite Scottish building of last 100 years

Princes Square Image copyright Jean O'Reilly
Image caption Princes Square in Glasgow city centre was renovated in 1987

A shopping centre in Glasgow has been voted Scotland's best building of the last hundred years.

Princes Square, a former off-street courtyard in the city centre, was turned into a retail centre in 1987.

A public poll of the country's top 100 buildings - commissioned as part of the Festival of Architecture and Design - named the centre as the favourite.

The festival, which has now closed, attracted more than a million people to events across the country.

The shortlist for Scotland's favourite building from the last 100 years included a theatre, a bothy, a kirk and a seaside pavilion.

The winner was announced during Light Nights, the festival's finale event in Dundee, where the city's oldest and newest buildings (The Steeple and V&A Dundee) were lit up and a lantern parade and fireworks event were held.

Image copyright Jean O'Reilly
Image caption The distinctive main entrance features a giant metal peacock

The best building vote was part of the Scotstyle event - an exhibition, documenting Scotland's top 100 buildings of the past 100 years, which visited over 30 venues, travelling from Dumfries to Stromness and Kirkcaldy to Stornoway.

The top 100 buildings were selected by an expert panel from a list of over 400 nominated by the public. In August, the top ten buildings were put to a public vote.

Neil Baxter, Secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and co-editor of Scotstyle, said: "The Festival of Architecture has tapped into a keen public appetite for architecture and events on an architectural theme.

"With over 460 events and well over a million participants, it is the most substantial ever year-long celebration of a single art form in Scotland's history.

"Princes Square is a worthy popular choice for the best building of the last 100 years."

Image copyright Princes Square
Image caption The building sits on busy shopping thoroughfare Buchanan Street
Image copyright Jean O'Reilly
Image caption Princes Square houses shops, bars and restaurants

Architects Hugh Martin & Partners have won numerous awards for their renovation of Princes Square.

The brief was to preserve and restore the original buildings but create a modern shopping and dining venue of quality and distinction with an emphasis on style.

The distinctive main entrance with giant metal peacock, symmetrical criss-cross escalators and spiral staircases add to its unique appearance.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: "From galleries and libraries to train stations and shopping centres, Scotstyle 2016 has toured the length and breadth of Scotland, allowing members of the public the chance to vote for Scotland's favourite building from the last 100 years.

"Princes Square is clearly a worthy winner and I would like to thank all those who took the time to vote."

Claire Wilkinson from Princes Square said: "We know that Princes Square has always been one of the most special places in Glasgow to visit and that is now the case for the whole of Scotland.

"Every one of the other 99 Scottish buildings nominated for the award are truly outstanding and fantastic examples of architecture at its best."

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