Interesting Glasgow buildings, Strathclyde architecture, West Scottish architectural design guide

Glasgow architecture that will make you look twice guide

Famous Buildings in Strathclyde, West of Scotland

21 March 2019

One of the most disheartening things about many of the towns and cities in the UK today is that if you were teleported into the middle of one and not told where you are, you would struggle to tell one from a dozen others. The pedestrianised high street, containing the same old shops and the same old architecture, can be seen from the south of England to the Highlands of Scotland.

Of course, that is not the case in every city, though, and Glasgow is lucky to have some truly unique architecture that would leave you in no doubt as to where you are. In today’s busy world, it is not so easy to make people sit up, pay attention and maybe do something of a double take. But here are some examples of Glaswegian architecture that do exactly that. Why not take a walk around the city and check them out?

Glasgow architecture that will make you look twice List

The Riverboat

The Broomielaw area has turned into one of the most vibrant parts of the city over recent years, and the Riverboat has a commanding view over the Clyde. At first glance, it is not clear whether you are looking at a real boat or a building, thanks to the clever design and the long windows.

Once you’ve finished gazing at it from the outside, it is well worth stepping in, too. Fans of sites like will be very taken with the blackjack, roulette and slots, while the food has an excellent reputation too. It’s a great place to kick back on a Friday or Saturday night.

The Riverside Transport Museum

Head a couple of miles north west along the banks of the Clyde and you will come to this remarkable building that was designed by the wonderful Zaha Hadid, who sadly passed away in 2016. It was designed in the form of a wave, to symbolise the relationship between seafaring and industry in Glasgow’s proud history. The museum opened to the public in 2011 and is packed with more than 3,000 exhibits, as well as plenty of interactive displays and activities that will keep the kids enthralled. It’s open seven days per week and entry is free.

The Lighthouse

A lighthouse in the middle of a city? Why not – and it certainly meets our criterion of making people take notice. The spiral staircase is nothing short of hypnotic and the views across the city from the very top make the effort worthwhile.

Constructed in the late 1890s, this building also has the distinction of being Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s very first commission. Once the home of the Glasgow Herald, it is now used as an architecture exhibition centre.

SEC Armadillo

SECC Clyde Auditorium - Glasgow architecture that will make you look twice
Armadillo photo © Steven Powell

Let’s finish our tour back on the banks of the Clyde. Formerly known as the Clyde Auditorium, the Armadillo has to get a mention for the simple reason that tourists are forced to wonder if they have taken a wrong turn and ended up in Sydney.

The similarity with the world’s most famous opera house is coincidental, however, and the design actually represents a group of ships’ hulls, paying tribute to Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage.

Merchant City Buildings

City Halls Merchant City

The Corinthian Club

Italian Centre, off Ingram Street

Major Scottish Buildings

Key Buildings in Scotland Articles – architectural selection below:

Glasgow Shops

Glasgow Walking Tours

Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Buchanan Wharf Glasgow Office Development
Students Loans Company HQ at Buchanan Wharf
photo courtesy of Drum Property Group
Buchanan Wharf Glasgow Office Development

Burrell Collection
Burrell Museum Glasgow
photograph © Adrian Welch
Burrell Museum

Buildings / photos for the Glasgow architecture that will make you look twice page welcome.