Can this be The Most Horrible Building In Glasgow? I would say it certainly is. The building (if it can be called that) is two blue boxes. It is NOT a temporary structure – even though it looks like building site portacabins or portaloos. This monstrosity has been there for a great many years, and now I think it is time to get rid of it.
Let’s consider for a moment the context of these blue boxes…
You may be on Sauchiehall Street or visiting the King’s Theatre, and you may well decide to take a stroll around the streets to admire the grand buildings from the time when Glasgow was proud and boastful as the second city of the biggest empire in history.
A stroll along Elmbank Street would show some lovely Grand Victorian Classical architecture, such as the old High School building — and you might notice, at the end of the road, the modern skyscraper mirroring the neighbouring buildings. This is a standard way to solve the problem of how to put a modern building into a classical context — just make it mirrored and it will reflect the old architecture beautifully! However, as you walk, you might notice something blue being reflected in the skyscraper down low at the trees — what can this be? You walk past the classical facade of the High School (where the Pitt Street Police Office can be seen through the arch), eager to see what is around the corner…
Now, I ask you — seriously — what on earth were they thinking? How could the planning department have allowed this to happen? Why BLUE? These two blue boxes are on Holland Street — but this is their best side, you actually see far more of them from Elmbank Street and reflected in the skyscraper.
Is it so that the building could be found by the public? Nope, this is not a public building — this is the building where the CITRAC traffic cameras are controlled!
In my opinion, I can just about live with the mirrored skyscraper, I am not really a fan of the 1960s tower block on Holland and West George (seen behind the blue boxes in the picture above) , but these blue boxes are definitely bad — they fail to enhance the environment, they create despair and bewilderment and they never can look good in any season or weather. These blue boxes upset passers-by and I can only wonder how the occupants must feel. The building is ugly in itself and even uglier in its context.
Things are getting worse when this sort of thing can happen! It is an insult to the people of this city. Pure and simple.