Ashtree Road Glasgow Property, Pollokshaws Flats, Home Group Development News

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws

New Residential Property in Western Scotland – by Graeme Nicholls Architects

23 July 2019

Ashtree Road Pollokshaws Development

Design: Graeme Nicholls Architects

Ashtree Road Flats in Pollokshaws

Ashtree Road is a newbuild development of 24 two-bedroom flats for midmarket rent in Pollokshaws, Glasgow, UK.

The site had lain vacant since 2010 following the demolition of Victorian public baths which had previously occupied it.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Architect Statement

Our clients challenged us to design a scheme which would appeal to the planners (previous architects who had looked at the site had had little success). They also had a pragmatic requirement for it be buildable by adopting construction methods and materials familiar to them such as pitched roofs, facing brick for the external finishes, timber kit construction and so on.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

As well as the client’s constraints, which we embraced, we also developed our own stance for the project. This was to create a strong narrative-led architectural work which was site specific and which would create an authentic sense of belonging to the neighbourhood in which it is set.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

We achieved this by adopting familiar building forms and in the architectural expression of motifs relating to the area’s historic connection to the weaving industry. This has seen the design being extremely well received by both the planners and also the local community during a series of consultation events.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Our design is realised as two blocks, which synthesise the prevalent typologies found on each street- a ‘Tenement’ block to Ashtree Road, and a ‘Villa’ block to Christian Street. These two blocks are placed at the site boundaries, aligned with the splaying angles of the roads. This configuration provides a strong urban edge while also enclosing a private rear court which overlooks the neighbouring Ashtree Park.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

The project has been an important milestone for our office. Of the larger schemes we have worked on since setting up in the summer of 2016 it is the first to complete on site. It has been a great opportunity to showcase our approach.
Graeme Nicholls, Founder, Graeme Nicholls Architects

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Architect’s Detail Design Statement

We have a narrative-led approach to design on all of our projects. With this in mind, we view the selection of ma-terials and development of construction details as important opportunities for us to express the themes that we are interested in on any particular job.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

At Ashtree Road we became fascinated with the neighbourhood’s historical associations with the weaving indus-try. The early 19th century saw an influx of Flemish weavers to the area to provide the skilled workforce required for the emerging textile mills. We made a connection between this unique local history and Gottfried Semper’s ‘Four Elements of Architecture’, in which he suggests the idea of the external wall as a metaphor for textile hung off of a supporting structure.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Motifs associated with weaving therefore manifest themselves in a number of ways throughout the project. In the detail drawings presented here we see the offset configuration of the windows (tall in proportion in a nod to the historic tenement windows which are found throughout Glasgow) which create a ‘woven’ pattern at a larger scale across the building facades. This is mirrored in a finer grain with the projecting ends of the black concrete facing bricks at ground floor level which are laid in a Flemish bond.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Further allusions to the narrative can be found in the manifestation pattern on the ground floor windows and in the stepped vertical rails of the upper floor balustrades which create a kinetic visual effect, evoking the idea of a loom in operation.

Graeme Nicholls, Founder, Graeme Nicholls Architects

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Client Statement

We have been impressed by the approach taken by Graeme Nicholls from the earliest discussions regarding the project. As an organisation, Home Group embraces place making as a key element of everything we do and we strongly supported Graeme’s early research regarding the history and context of the area. We were excited to see an approach which recognised the links with the Flemish weaving community which had established itself in Shawbridge in the 19th century and we later met residents in the area who had some connections to this community.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Graeme’s incorporation of some elements which reflect this heritage was cleverly done without delivering anything clichéd. Our local consultation process was extremely successful and the bold approach to the design of the new building was met with strong support locally. The project delivery has gone well and the design had not deviated from Graeme’s original concept design and this has been welcomed by Home Group.

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Home Group has a strong presence in Glasgow and all or our developments are different ranging from refurbish-ments of listed school buildings to new build contemporary family homes. The Ashtree development is valuable and a very popular addition to our housing portfolio and we hope to work again with Graeme Nicholls Architects in the near future.

Graeme Gemmell, Delivery Manger, Home Group

Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws Flats, Glasgow

Planner’s Statement
Graeme Nicholls Architects approached the challenge of developing new housing on a vacant site in a regeneration area with imagination. Their research resulted in proposals which contain a historical allusion which has met the client’s brief and is welcomed by the local community.
Eddie Warde, Principal Officer, Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council

Ashtree Road Pollokshaws Flats – Building Information

Project name: Ashtree Road
Architecture Firm: Graeme Nicholls Architects
Client: Merchant Homes Partnerships/ Home Group
Main Contractor: Merchant Homes
Contact e-mail:
Architecture Firm Instagram: @graemenichollsarchitects

Project Data
Completion: May 2019
Gross Built Area: 2140m2
Project location: Ashtree Road, Pollokshaws, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Design Team
Architect: Graeme Nicholls Architects
Structural Engineer: Fairhurst
CDM coordinator: Brown + Wallace
Thermal Modelling: Crawford
Project Manager: Campbell Martin Associates

Media Provider
Photo credits: Dapple Photography
Photographer’s website:
3D Visualizations: Forbes Massie Studio

Brands / Products used

Brand Product Name / Code
Edenhall Facing Bricks (external) – Sapphire

Edenhall Facing Brick (internal)- Diamond White
Sterling Precast Precast Cills & Panels- Black Pigmented
Walker Profiles Windows- UPVC, RAL 9001 ‘Graphite Black’
Russell Roof tiles- Galloway, Anthracite

Tobermore External Paving- Sienna Setts
Ora Ceramics Ceramic Tiles- Ce.Si Full Bodied

CTM Fabrication Balustrades- Bespoke Staggered ‘woven’ detail.

Software used

Brand Product Name
Nemetschek Vectorworks
Trimble Sketchup

Architecture in Strathclyde

Glasgow School of Art

The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery

Oran Mor

Website: Glasgow Strathclyde

University of Glasgow Building

The Lighthouse

Comments / photos for the Ashtree Road Flats in Pollokshaws Development page welcome

Website: Glasgow