Urban Realm Volume 12.49

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The theme of re-emergence dominates the spring edition of Urban Realm, as we welcome green shoots of recovery, starting with Glasgow’s Burrell Collection which has just emerged from a five-year hibernation. Its transformation has come at the perfect time to reap the dividends of a resurgent leisure economy but has it been worth the wait?
We continue our journey west to Paisley via Sauchiehall Street to see how the travails of retail are forcing a reappraisal of how our streets function. Is culture, heritage and entertainment alone enough to plug the retail gap?
It’s been a breakneck start to the year as we all strive to make up for lost ground but this reassures us that whatever challenges lie ahead we have the wherewithal to meet them.

  • The Burrell Collection
    The re-opening of the Burrell Collection, in tandem with that of society as a whole, promises to rekindle a love affair with the public tarnished by leaks and limited display capacity. Has the imperfect been made perfect? Urban realm speaks to John McAslan to find out how a Glasgow institution has been retooled for the challenges of a new age.
  • Central Campus
    One of the most picturesque campuses in the country has always been a cut above the rest but a new front door promises to take it to a new level. We take a look at the latest addition to the University of Stirling to see what it says about the future of campus life.
  • Cumbernauld
    The decision to demolish Cumbernauld’s ‘megastructure’ town centre has made headlines far beyond North Lanarkshire, demonstrating the shock and awe its brutalist presence still commands, even in a denuded state. Former prospect editor Penny Lewis questions the rationale of building a future by erasing the past.
  • GUDP
    Squaring the circle of commercial imperatives and sustainable design is the bread and butter of the Glasgow Urban Design Panel, an altruistic body championing architecture and placemaking to developers, designers and planners. But how is its work being shaped by the pandemic and ballooning inflation? Let’s find out.
  • Interior design
    Flexibility, wellness and sustainability are the watchwords on everybody’s lips but what do these nebulous terms mean when translated to the language of interior design? We speak to those on the front line of delivering these aspirations to establish what they mean.
  • Retrofit
    The role of conservation in the context of embodied carbon is often overlooked in pursuit of shiny new things, but a reappraisal of legacy buildings has the potential to reap a bigger win for both the planet and our built heritage. Here Smith Scott Mullan Architects discuss how net-zero and sustainable design starts with what has already been built.
  • Future Paisley
    Paisley is wasting no time post lockdown in pressing ahead with a town centre strategy that looks to the future by building on the past. Urban Realm investigates how the largest town in Scotland is squaring up to Glasgow by bringing out its architectural and cultural big guns in response to a hollowed-out retail core.
  • La Petite ceinture
    Disused urban railways have long been obvious candidates for bike paths but a new generation of projects inspired by the success of the high line in manhattan are taking the idea up a level by incorporating urban farms and linear parks. Leading the way is the city of Paris with La Petite Ceinture, a circular railway that is being brought back to life as the world’s longest urban park. Mark Chalmers puts us in the loop.
  • Sauchiehall Street
    Patrick Macklin, deputy head of the School of Design at the Glasgow School of Art, undertakes an informal survey of Sauchiehall Street’s multiplying vacant, void and brownfield land to see whether the avenues programme has put it back on track.
  • RSH+P
    Following the passing of Richard Rogers Peter Wilson, architect, writer and founding director of the mass timber academy outlines the hidden timber architecture which underpins a practice better known as hi-tech visionaries of concrete, glass and steel.
  • Flood management
    Leslie Howson investigates what environmental designers in the UK are doing to cope with increased flooding and to prepare for more frequent tidal surges and predicted rising sea levels, especially in coastal cities.

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