ARCHITECTURE OF GLASGOW
Very little of medieval Glasgow remains, the two main landmarks from this period being the 14th century Provand's Lordship and St. Mungo's Cathedral.
The vast majority of the city as seen today dates from the 19th century. As a result, Glasgow has an impressive heritage of Victorian architecture - the Glasgow City Chambers, the main building of the University of Glasgow, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, designed by Sir John W. Simpson are outstanding examples.
The city is notable for architecture designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh was an architect and designer in the Arts and Crafts movement and the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom, designing numerous noted Glasgow buildings such as the Glasgow School of Art, Willow Tearooms and the Scotland Street School.
A hidden gem of Glasgow, also designed by Mackintosh, is the Queen's Cross Church, the only church by the renowned artist to be built.
Another architect who had an enduring impact on the city's appearance was Alexander Thomson. Thomson produced a distinctive style of architecture based on fundamentalist classicism that gave him the nickname "Greek". Examples of Thomson's work can be found over the city, with notable examples including the Holmwood House villa and St. Vincent Street Church.
The buildings reflect the wealth and self confidence of the residents of the "Second City of the Empire". Glasgow generated immense wealth from trade and the industries that developed from the Industrial Revolution. The shipyards, marine engineering, steel making, and heavy industry all contributed to the growth of the city. At one time the expression "Clydebuilt" was synonymous with quality and engineering excellence. The Templeton's carpet factory on Glasgow Green was designed to resemble the Doge's Palace in Venice and epitomises Glaswegians' desire to demonstrate architectural opulence during this era.
Many of the city's most impressive buildings were built with red or blond sandstone, but during the industrial era those colours disappeared under a pervasive black layer of soot and pollutants from the furnaces, until the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956. In recent years many of these buildings have been cleaned and restored to their original appearance.
Modern buildings in Glasgow include the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and along the banks of the Clyde are the Glasgow Science Centre and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, whose Clyde Auditorium was designed by Sir Norman Foster, and is affectionately known as the "Armadillo". Zaha Hadid won a competition to design the new Museum of Transport, which will move to the waterfront.
Glasgow's impressive historical and modern architectural traditions were celebrated in 1999 when the city was designated UK City of Architecture and Design, winning the accolade over Liverpool and Edinburgh.
Perhaps more than any other city Glasgow is known for its tenements. These were the most popular form of housing in 19th and 20th century Glasgow and remain the most common form of dwelling in Glasgow today. Tenements are commonly bought by a wide range of social types and are favoured for their large rooms, high ceilings and original period features. The Hyndland area of Glasgow is the only tenement conservation area in the UK and includes some tenement houses with as many as six bedrooms.
Like many cities in the UK, Glasgow witnessed the construction of high-rise housing in tower blocks in the 1960s. These were built to replace the decaying tenement buildings originally built for workers who migrated from the surrounding countryside, the Highlands, and the rest of the United Kingdom, particularly Ireland, in order to feed the local demand for labour. The massive demand outstripped new building and many, originally fine, tenements often became overcrowded and unsanitary. Many developed into the infamous Glasgow slums, such as the Gorbals.
Efforts to improve this housing situation, most successfully with the City Improvement Trust, cleared the slums of the old town. Subsequent urban renewal initiatives, such as those motivated by the Bruce Report, entailed the demolition of slum tenement areas, the development of new towns on the periphery of the city, and the construction of tower blocks. The areas surrounding these tower blocks lacked basic amenities, were poorly designed and cheaply built. As demonstrated elsewhere in the UK, such buildings gradually deteriorated, attracting crime and fostering a reputation for being undesirable low cost housing.
The policy of tenement demolition is now considered to have been short-sighted, wasteful and largely unsuccessful. Many of Glasgow's worst tenements were refurbished into desirable accommodation in the 1970s and 1980s and the policy of demolition is considered to have destroyed many fine examples of a "universally admired architectural" style. The Glasgow Housing Association took ownership of the housing stock from the city council on 7 March 2003, and has begun a £96 million clearance and demolition programme to clear and demolish many of the high-rise flats.
From Wikipedia.org, the Free Encyclopedia
GLASGOW HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION
GLASGOW TOURS & TRAVEL
DISCOVER SCOTLAND •
Architecture of Glasgow
Looking for something specific?