Good For Nothing

[Picture of unnecessary platform]I SPOTTED THIS WEIRD CONSTRUCTION IN THE CITY CENTRE RECENTLY, AND WONDERED WHAT IT MIGHT BE (FOR).

Please double click on the pictures to enlarge for better viewing.

Look at it! There is a flight of stairs and a platform with a steel mesh surface.  There are safety handrails all round too — but what is it for?

[Picture of Unnecessary steel platform]

Can you work it out? We can’t see the point of this thing.  It is sort of like a fire escape or access way, but as it does not connect to anything, these have to be ruled out. There is no swimming pool, so it cannot be an ugly diving board!

Such things are expensive, so things must be getting worse when this becomes a requirement!

Modern Architecture Summed Up

[Picture of disgraceful grand entrance]THERE’S A NEW BUILDING IN GLASGOW WITH A STRANGE ENTRANCE.

Please click on the images to enlarge.

First of all, the architect designed a grand entrance — including a revolving door, mirrored tiles, lots of glass and shiny tiled flooring.  Lovely.

[Picture of Notice stuck to wall]However, in practice, there is a permanent plastic yellow warning cone about the slip danger on the shiny floor tiles.  How attractive!  Also – – because people prefer to walk in through a normal door (as opposed to a revolving door), they have had to Sellotape a notice to the glazed frontage.  Deary me!

Is this the architect’s vision?  How grand is this entrance now?  Why can’t the architect understand that shiny floor tiles are slippery, that yellow plastic cones are unattractive, and that notices ruin the clean straight lines, and glazed surfaces?

Isn’t it weird that there are TWO yellow slip warning cones IN the revolving door — making it impossible to use this door, but the Sellotaped notice on the window stops you using the “normal” door — so how exactly is one supposed to enter this office block? Is this MI5 or the HQ of the IQ?

Things are certainly getting worse when people cannot enter a building without warnings!

Funnily enough the biggest danger is right outside — and there is NO WARNING… it is a wall of glass!  Yes; an almost invisible obstruction to the pedestrian, to the drunk of a night.

[Picture of dangerous glass panel on pavement]

What possessed the architect to put a square metre of thick glass on the pavement outside this building’s entrance?  It is as bizarre as it is amazing!

One has to wonder at the thought processes employed when designs are drawn up! Getting Worse? You Bet! Modern Architecture? Summed Up!

Ugly Houses Wanted

[Picture of Ugly Houses Bought poster]THERE’S STILL HOPE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BOUGHT AN UGLY FLAT OR HOUSE. According to a poster seen in the city centre, “ugly Houses” are wanted for cash! It is nice to see such openness and frankness about the subject! Although I doubt that estate agents will come around to using the word “ugly” in their speils. Click on picture to enlarge.

The Most Horrible Building In Glasgow

[Picture of the blue boxes]JUST LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE BUILDING … (click on pic. on the right to enlarge)

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.

[Picture of The Approach to the building]

[Picture of the classical neighbour to the blue boxes]

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…

[Picture of Blue Building] [Picture of Blue Building]

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.

More Ugly New Flats

[picture of 540 Pollokshaws Rd]THERE IS A TREND FOR BUILDING UGLY FLATS ALONGSIDE THE RAIL LINE THAT RUNS PARALLEL WITH THE A77.

In my Ugly New Flats

Look at the picture, the ugly new flats opposite Cuthbertson Street are still visible in the middle-left. The green boarding is what was once Wylie’s Ford Dealership (still showing on the Google Map is the white Deco frontage of the dealership’s main showroom and offices), now cleared away for more ugly flats with bars at the windows, graffiti and a “penthouse” with shite views!

These flats, in this picture, obscure St. Ninian’s — and they offer a view of the railway but also of a Kwik Fit repair shop! But these flats are set back with balconies so that the owners can wave to people on the double decker buses! The balconies do not get much sun, and again, it seems incredible that they built so close to the pavement on such a busy road. Oh, if only architects were free to build freely again! Then again, there are a few things about this building that are design flaws — so what a shame for the lovely people who have to actually live there.

[Picture of ugly flats on Pollokshaws Rd]For a start, look at the stupidity of the design of the con[Picture of stupid controlled Entry]trolled entry — you are supposed to stand out in the rain on a noisy, busy main road. You press the button and listen for the voice coming from the wee speaker — then you speak into the microphone. Then the person indoors releases the door lock — and you have to dash a metre and a half to get in through the door before the lock comes on again! Madness!

Surely they could have made a small vestibule or just put the buzzers nearer the door!

  • And did you notice the drainpipe? A Big black pipe that comes out of the building’s wall, turns again, but at 45 degrees, turns again at 45 degrees and then 90 degrees back into the building. What the hell is that all about?No doubt some strange new regulation.

[picture of ugly flats on A77]If we turn about and look north toward the city centre, the contrast with St. Ninian’s church is all the more striking. As the building that connected to the church has recently been demolished, things are not looking good for this wee church. I do hope they don’t knock it down too!

[Picture of ugly flats on Pollokshaws Rd]The church and the Tramway (and surrounding tenements) have been around for a hundred years, I wonder how long these ugly flats will survive — not long if build quality is anything to go by. Look at the rendering on the corner — the main façade that catches the sun and presents the building to the traffic — it’s got a ridiculous number of brick vent cassettes poking through the render — and these are at all sorts of depths and angles. Damned planning department and new stupid regulations. These vents spoil the whole point of a smooth render — they would have been far less noticeable in the mortar between the bricks. And what’s with the bars at the windows — one would have thought that bars would have been more likely on lower floors to prevent burglary — please don’t tell me that there is some regulation that now insists on bars for safety reasons on higher floors; that would be too much!

And, hey, no matter what the architect thought his or her block of flats would look like — people come along, move in and up go the satellite dishes! Predictable at that — but very very ugly! It would have been nice to have made some design provision for this sort of thing, from communal/ shared dishes to some roof space allocation, but the planning department of the council would not allow for any dishes, so the architect cannot take them into account.

[Picture of ugly flats on Pollokshaws Rd] [Picture of ugly flats on Pollokshaws Rd]The picture is of that stupid controlled entry and the ugly black pipe — but it also shows the detergent seeping out of the blockwork mortar as white staining. Poor build quality indeed. The picture of the right shows the low building standard — a bit shoddy and roughly done.

Oh, and can anyone explain the dropped kerb at the Bus Lane with the double yellow lines?

Yes, I am afraid that, in this case, the problems do not seem confined to the planners — the design and build seem to me to be at fault too. If the council departments are supposed to protect occupants and owners from this, then they have clearly failed here. If they exist to preserve architectural heritage, maintain the locale or make things better, then in that they have also failed. I am just amazed that they passed, that they were signed off as complete, and that they comply with all regulations and recommendations!

Of course, in the present housing shortage, these flats will be snapped up — people will make the best of what they can get (they always do), I just wonder why we have to make it so hard for them!

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