George Square Revamp, Public Space in Glasgow, Proposals, Plans
George Square Redevelopment, Glasgow
Civic Centre Renewal in Strathclyde
25 Jan 2013
George Square Renewal
In the early 1980’s, talented young architects in the Soviet Union secretly gathered to undertake important civic and public projects they were excluded from entering in the culturally repressive USSR.
Last Saturday a group of 20 very talented young Scottish Architects, including Anna Gibb and Ross Anderson who represented the UK in the British Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale, met for a day to consider the future of George Square.
This is a brief a record of the enthusiastic, productive and eventful day and includes their photographs, discussions, work and drawings.
Professor Alan Dunlop
Paper Salon, 19th January 2013
On Saturday 19th the inaugural Paper Salon was held in Glasgow, hosted by the paper+ architects. The mission:- to provoke a positive and creative response to the recent design competition to reimagine Glasgow’s George Square for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. George Square is Scotland’s largest public space and has long been the subject of debate. The Paper Salon started with a site visit, and discussion of aims of paper architecture and its role in exploring architectural ideas related to the design of public/civic space in the UK today. This was followed by a design esquisse which culminated in reviews with a panel of invited guests, including Alan Dunlop and Patricia Cain. The principal aim of the day was to get together a group of creative individuals, who would not normally have the opportunity to work together, and outside of an office environment. Participants were encouraged to challenge the brief as set by Glasgow City Council and to provide imaginative responses uninhibited by the usual competition process. The day resulted in 4 completely different ideas – all posing imaginative and challenging suggestions, and was thoroughly rewarding for all.
paper+ architects is a project born of the 2012 Venice Biennale, founded by Ross Anderson and Anna Gibb. Anna and Ross travelled to Russia to investigate a loose collective of young architects who lived in Moscow in the 1980s and called themselves ‘the Paper Architects’. The group, which included Alexander Brodksy and Ilya Utkin, sought to escape the restrictions that came with working under a communist regime by entering projects in ‘forbidden competitions’. The Paper Architects tackled issues they faced in Soviet Moscow with fanciful and provocative solutions. By shedding light on alternative modes of practice, the exhibition in Venice sought to demonstrate the common ground of architects internationally. The hope is that the proposals will influence debate in the UK, provide an injection of fresh ideas and open up international dialogue.
George Square has acted as a catalyst for social expression over the past 150 years. In recent times however, the square has declined in stature to a point where its mere relevance is being called into question. To assign blame to this unfortunate outcome is pointless and we must first assess our own interactions with our fellow Glaswegians and how, as a community we can make George Square a prestigious Civic space that reflects the energy of the city. Instead of inspiring designers and the community alike to reinstate George Square’s prestige, we have aspired to create a space that will in turn rouse a social energy within Glasgow that is lacking in recent times. In erecting 20m high mirrored panels, we have encouraged the community of Glasgow to act on their curiosity and investigate the hidden drama within the square. We have also taken the bold decision to reduce the area of the square as to magnify the impact of public gatherings, from demonstrations to celebrations and to amplify the captured energy throughout the framing streets of George Square. In a playful social experiment, we have proposed that all statues become moveable through a rail / counterbalance system, to encourage interaction between strangers and to break the social boundaries that exist in modern society.
George Square renewal competition news
Paper Architects – external link
paper+ architects – external link
To see all projects in Glasgow on a map please follow this link
George Square Glasgow building : Queen Street Station
photo © Adrian Welch
George Square Glasgow
George Square Buildings
George Square building : g1 – Former Post Office building redevelopment
George Square Building – Glasgow City Chambers:
George Square Competition – Cafe Design Contest
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George Square Redevelopment – page