Glasgow M&S demolition plans were reworked to retain the facade

Revised images released Wednesday (March 22) of the Sauchiehall Street scheme — which converts the store into a 500-bed student building — showed architects and developer Fusion Student keeping the existing facade.

An earlier scheme, unveiled last year, included a 16-storey terraced building, eight stories high and 11 stories high to Sauchiehall Street. controversially, The plans were demolished The current structure and facade of the 1930s building.

The latest proposal, which has been put up for public consultation, would save the storefront. It features a building set back from Sauchiehall Street with a rehabilitated Wellington Arcade across the site at ground level.

Commenting on the new designs, Local Labor Bureau Director Paul Sweeney told AJ he hopes the redesigned proposals will preserve and enhance our built heritage through a retro-first approach.

Sweeney led an effort to list the M&S building, but Historic Environment Scotland (HES) rejected it in January.

In its decision, the Heritage Authority said an empty storeroom does not guarantee protected status due to changes that have taken place over nine decades. But she admitted that the façade was “instantly recognizable” as an Art Deco design by Lutyens.

CGI of the Student Scheme designed by Matt Brook Architects at 172-184 Sauchiehall Street

“While I was disappointed by the decision not to designate the building as listed,” Sweeney said, “I accepted their assessment that the only area of ​​architectural interest is Lutyens and Monroe’s 1935-1938 facade of Sauchiehall Street.”

He added, ‘However, HES agreed with my assertion that the façade would be retained as a positive feature of the streets within the city’s central conservation district, and we are very pleased that the developer, Fusion Students, and their architect, Matt Brooks, have responded so positively. With a revised design proposal.

When the plans were first revealed in November, Sweeney and others condemned the proposals because of the embodied carbon loss from the complete demolition of the neoclassical Art Deco shop designed by Robert Lutyens—the son of Edwin Lutyens and a board member at M&S.

Ollie Marshall, director of campaigns at the 20th Century Society, told AJ it was “disappointing” that early plans for the site saw “M&S display the same disregard for its heritage – this time in Glasgow – as it does for Oxford Street in London”.

“While the nature of retail is changing rapidly, and our historic buildings must evolve to cater to a mix of new uses… former supermarkets across the UK are already being successfully and imaginatively repurposed, without the wrecking ball.”

A spokesperson for Fusion Students confirmed that it was considering all options for the building including partial or full retention when the plans were revealed just days after the end of the building. Planning inquiry Closed in the demolition of M&S’s Oxford Street store. The outcome of this investigation is expected this summer.

A Fusion spokesperson said at the time: ‘We’ve shown images of the largest level of change so parties can appreciate what might happen in this scenario, but it’s important for everyone to understand that refurbishment of this part of Sauchiehall Street would require significant change to deliver increased levels of activity. , which in turn contributes to the dynamism and dynamism necessary for successful city centers.

M&S said last year that the plans for the Glasgow store would ensure a positive future for this part of Sauchiehall Street and that the proposals were driven by strong credentials in design and sustainability and were closely aligned with the city and council’s vision. local area.

Manchester-based Matt Brook Architects was founded in Spring 2021. Founder Matt Brook previously worked for Broadway Malyan between 2001-2019 and was a Principal at Corstophine + Wright for two years before starting his own business.

Brooke told AJ: ‘The scheme retains the 1930s Art Deco facade of the former Marks & Spencer whilst also restoring the historic Wellington Arcade, creating a new public connection through the site linking Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street, helping to contribute to the liveliness on the Long range from city centre.

“We look forward to receiving further comments on the designs as we progress towards submitting the planning application.”

Planning implementation is expected later this year. The last advisory runs until April 5th.

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