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Tuesday29 July 2014

Glasgow scraps George Square contest

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John McAslan was selected as winner but won’t get commission

Glasgow City Council has scrapped its plans to overhaul George Square, despite a jury choosing a design by John McAslan as the winner of a high-profile competition.

The council announced its u-turn today, adding that it will give the square a ‘facelift’ that will include retaining the statues and grassed areas.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: “The people of Glasgow have made it clear in no uncertain terms that they do not want a radical redesign of the square.

“They want the square to look better and be a place of which they can be proud - a place they can while away a sunny afternoon or get together and celebrate the big occasions in the life of the city.

“They also want us to keep the statues where they are, and they like the grass. However, they clearly want rid of the red tarmac.

“I am proud to say that I am listening to them.”

Matheson also thanked the architects which took part in the competition including Agence Ter, Burns & Nice, Gustafson Porter, James Corner Field Operations and JM Architects.

Under the procurement process for the design contest, the jury had to conclude its deliberations and choose a winner.

The council would then have had to agree to award the contract. However, that recommendation will not be put before councillors.

The judging panel comprised: David Mackay, partner, MBM Architects Barcelona; Andy McMillan, former head of Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art; David Harding, former head of Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art; Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts; and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council. The panel’s technical advisor is Neil Baxter, secretary and treasurer, RIAS.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Its a pity the council leader didn't bother 'listening to the people' before lots of architects wasted time and money on a design competition.

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  • In an honest world this council leader and his chums would be held personally accountable for the designers' costs - or those of the winner, at the very least.

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  • Maybe if the any of the designers themselves had listened to the local community, a decent, appropriate competition entry would have been submitted, and we'd all be congratulating a worthy winner right now.

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  • Great to see common sense winning the day, for once.

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  • Very good.

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