Glasgow Custom House Development, Artisan River Clyde Properties, Architect, Scottish Building Images

Glasgow Custom House Development by Artisan

16 + 15 December 2022

Artisan Completes £80 Million Transformation of Glasgow’s Historic Custom House

A view across the River Clyde of Artisan’s Custom House development:
River Clyde of Artisan Custom House development
image courtesy of Artisan Real Estate

New Hotel Quarter Created Linking River Clyde to Buchanan Street and the Heart of the City Centre

Custom House Quay Glasgow

Artisan Real Estate’s £80 million transformation of Glasgow’s A-Listed Custom House and neighbouring buildings is complete following the successful completion of two major new hotels for the city. The historic sandstone building, with its distinctive Greek revival frontage, now forms a stunning centrepiece for a brand-new hotel quarter bringing together a 303-bed four-star Clayton Hotel together with a 164-bed Adagio Aparthotel.

Artisan’s four-year redevelopment project – working in partnership with the two hotel groups and contractor McAleer & Rushe and presold to German pension fund Union GMB – has once again established the essential bond between the city’s River Clyde and its commercial heartland. For more than 180 years, Custom House provided a direct link from the Clyde quayside to the city centre, originally standing as an entry point for traders to pay taxes prior to bringing goods into the city from the river. The building underwent internal modifications in 1873, carried out by renowned Glasgow architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson.

Customs House Timelapse Final December 2022 from Artisan Real Estate on Vimeo.

Recent times, however, were less favourable. Having lain empty for more than a decade, Custom House, together with neighbouring buildings, had fallen into disrepair and was placed on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register. The semi-derelict gap site was purchased by Artisan in 2017 and now the newly renovated Custom House opens its doors as the main entrance to the Clayton Hotel, providing the focus for the regeneration of the local area and connecting the River Clyde to Buchanan Street, the UK’s busiest retail street outside of London.

Glasgow Custom House Development by Artisan
image courtesy of Artisan Real Estate

Glasgow Custom House Property

Welcoming the completion of the regeneration project, now branded as the St Enoch Quarter, Jaco Jansen, Artisan’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This has been a quite remarkable transformation of a forgotten and untended waterside gap-site into a vibrant hotel quarter restoring the direct link between the bustling heart of Glasgow’s city centre and the River Clyde. “The two new hotels serve different, yet complementary ends of the market bringing more than 460 new hotel rooms to Glasgow as well as creating some 200 full time jobs, sending out a powerful statement of intent that the city centre is, once again, open for business.

“At its heart is the fully restored Custom House building itself, now providing a grand entrance hall and accessible social spaces open to the public. Fittingly, the Greek Doric arches either side of the main building where, traditionally, horses and carriages would pass having settled their taxes, now stand restored and rejuvenated, becoming a pertinent symbol of the renewed connectivity inspired by the regeneration.”

Artisan’s completion of the St Enoch Quarter represents the developer’s third major ‘historical’ city centre regeneration in the past five years, working in close partnership with Dalata Hotel Group, owner of the Clayton Hotel brand, the Adagio Aparthotel and contractor McAleer & Rushe. In 2018, An Adagio Aparthotel was created behind the façade of a listed building overlooking Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, as part of Artisan’s award-winning New Waverley development in the heart of the city’s historic Old Town. And earlier this year, a Clayton Hotel was opened within the Victorian Everards Printworks building in Bristol’s Old City. Together with Glasgow’s St Enoch Quarter regeneration, this represents an overall investment by Artisan of £160 million since 2017 – providing more than 900 hotel beds for key regional cities.

As Artisan’s outgoing Development Director, Clive Wilding, explains, this niche sector activity follows Artisan’s commitment to both placemaking and sustainable development for its mixed-use schemes in sensitive urban environments. “Artisan now has a proven track record in preserving listed buildings within developments, bringing them back to life and creatively adapting them, in a sustainable way, to their new environments at the heart of new hotel-based quarters,” he says. “What knits all these ground-breaking projects together is our drive to regenerate forgotten city locations, reconnecting them to the rest of the city with increased pedestrian footfall and outstanding public realm provision.

“By opening hotels in these historic buildings, we are carefully blending the old with the new, sustainably retaining and reusing the historic facades whilst introducing a contemporary mix of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and bars to provide 24/7 activity right at the heart of our city centres. Having helped Artisan deliver these superb, lasting projects, I feel the time is now right for me to exit the business following 50 years in the industry. And hopefully others will respect and follow this legacy and continue to undertake enlightened regeneration of our fragile and sensitive city centres with placemaking and sustainability at its core.”

For more information on Artisan Real Estate, visit:

View the completed time lapse video here:

Glasgow Custom House Development by Artisan Buildings images / information received 151222

Previously on Glasgow Architectre:

2 July 2012

St Enoch Quarter + Custom House Quay

Custom House Quay
image courtesy of architects practice

Glasgow Architecture

Major Strathclyde Building Designs – selection:

Carrick Quay : Custom House Development

Clyde Street


Glasgow Walking Tours

River Clyde Developments
SECC, Tradeston, Atlantic Quay and Glasgow Bridge

Glasgow Armadillo

Glasgow Riverside Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Riverfront Property Designs – recent Strathclyde 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

Solasta Riverside Building Buchanan Wharf
Solasta Riverside Building Buchanan Wharf flats
image courtesy of Drum Property Group
Solasta Riverside Building Buchanan Wharf

Comments / photos for the Glasgow Custom House Development by Artisan Architecture news page welcome.