Especially new blocks of flats (why do they all seem to be beside railway tracks?). They are ugly, impractical and ill-fitting with the locale.
Before I begin, I should say that this is not a comment on the good people who live there, this is merely one person’s opinion — and it’s not even a comment about the architects or the builders either, because I think the root of the problem is the council. I am not a fan of planning departments, building control or town planners. We created styles and beautiful places to live well before all this bureaucratic nonsense was invented just after the last world war.
The block at 540-560 Pollokshaws Road (A77) is a good example. Look at the picture to the right. The new flats I am talking about are bang in the middle of the photograph, the building to the right (we’re looking south) — is a Victorian Gothic church called St.Ninian’s. It’s a lovely old Scottish Protestant Christian Episcopalian church on the corner with Albert Drive.
The picture from above on Google Maps shows that there was recently a building between the new flats and the St. Ninian’s, but that it has been demolished. This is a great shame as the building was in complete sympathy with St. Ninian’s architecturally — and also with The Tramway art venue that almost wraps around the church site. The Tramway venue was once the location of The National Museum of Transport before it was relocated to The Kelvin Hall. Across on Copelaw Street are Jewish Community buildings in the Scottish Baronial style, and the area in general is one of tenement flats of no more that three storeys, and more usually two.
Between Kingarth and Cuthbertson streets was once Hutcheson’s Grammer School and playing fields — but a few years ago the playing fields became a fast food haven with a McDonald’s and KFC.
- When building these flats on Pollokshaws Road they could have chosen something to reflect the style of the church and connecting building, or perhaps the tenements a bit further south.
- On the other hand they could have built something radical and fantastical.
Instead they managed to produce a building that offends the eye and manages to make McDonald’s look almost attractive!It’s been up for a couple of years now, and it is not wearing well. This building is getting worse over time. Of course, the whole area is being developed — they call it regeneration. It is planned, but one has to wonder what that means. It will go from being an area of commerce and industry into one of the most built-up residential areas of the city — an awful lot of people, but not a lot of amenities and services.
This block has the cheek to have five storeys, a penthouse and an underground car park! First of all, parking is not a problem (at present) — and second, as Google Maps shows, there are two railway tracks, plenty of train stations, it is a 10 minute walk from Bridge Street Subway (and maybe 20 minutes to the city centre) and it is on the A77 — one of the best served roads in the city for buses and taxis. In fact, this is an incredibly busy bit of road — not just because of the A77 but also because of the McDonald’s, KFC and Tramway.
Third — it is such a shame that the view from the Penthouse is of two railway lines, the roof of the tramway and a view of the “Drive Thru” at McDonald’s? Look at the picture to the left (click to enlarge, of course). For a start check out the ugly street light — why couldn’t this have been bracketed from the wall like they do on tenements just along the road? It is just horrible! And look how poorly the untreated timber has weathered. Look at the architectural features — the grilles for the underground car park are arranged at random, yet the windows and other features are rigidly lined up. Note the (predictable) graffiti on the plain wall. Note the traffic control arrangement — a yellow grid or box and brick ramp at the junction with Cuthbertson Street, a patch of cycle path, a parking bay either side. Yellow lines and traffic lights!
None of which suggested to anyone in the planning department to have a garden space, to set the flats back from the pavement, perhaps soften the lines with some trees that would also serve to clean the air and deafen the traffic noise. No, the planning department are all for maintaining “the building line” — look again at the Google Map — the site has loads of space at the back! In other words, these flats could have been built following the rail track line rather than the line of Pollokshaws Road — so the exact same building could have been built away from the road at an angle — which would have been much better to look at and far nicer to live in! My goodness, such a simple solution!