Anderston Phase 4 and 5

Collective Architecture, Glasgow, 2018


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An aerial view, taken with a drone 

David Grandorge     Download Original

  • An aerial view, taken with a drone    
  • The development occupies a tricky parallelogram of a site with multiple routes culminating at or bisecting it    
  • The various blocks share a monopitch roof displaying a prominent ‘forehead’ to the front façade    
  • The project is unusual in that it is largely car-free    
  • The delivery of the Anderston Masterplan has been a 13-year process to replace dated and dilapidated housing stock with contemporary sustainable buildings that help reconnect the residents of Anderston with the surrounding area    
  • The scheme features high-quality external spaces    
  • The architect references the tenements of New York and Glasgow    
  • It was a key design aspiration to construct a contemporary tenement, whilst using a traditional material    
  • The site needed to be integrated with the traditional tenements to the north and west and the brick warehouse buildings to the south-west    
  • Inside one of the flats    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan for blacks 5A and 5C    
  • Plans    
  • Section AA    
  • Window aperture detail section    

The 400-home project reverses misinterpretations of Modernist planning by reinstating the scale and street patterns of the past.

This scheme of just over 200 flats is situated in the Anderston area of the city, a once typically huddled topography of tenements and warehouses stretching from the city centre to the start of the West End. Anderston Phase 4 and 5 is the culmination of a decade-long process led by the client, Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association, to reverse the previous misinterpretations of Modernist planning and reinstate the scale, street patterns and urban morphology of its pre-redevelopment past. 

The development occupies a tricky parallelogram of a site with multiple routes culminating at or bisecting it, but Collective has gifted the city with a new route (or reinstatement of an old one) with public space at its core. The corners herald this new route, an extension of Argyle Street, offering a presence to the street while ushering pedestrians through.

Balconies not only animate the façade but provide genuine outdoor space at key corners where views out and internal space are most generous. Metalwork brings a sense of lightness to the solidity of the brick and stone. The landscaping skilfully brings the whole site together. Completed in-house by Collective, it is a combination of reclaimed cobbles, mini squares, sloped gardens, concrete sculptures and benches, buffering strips, terraced play areas, discreet wire fences as planters and around 80 trees. 

The project is unusual in that it is largely car free. The area containing the 119 mid-market-rent flats is a car free development, and the 86 flats for social rent are provided with 40 per cent parking to the perimeter of the site, separated from the residences by the south facing gardens.

Along the new-build façades of St Vincent Street, where the development sits directly opposite an existing urban fabric of Victorian sandstone tenements, it was a key design aspiration to construct a contemporary tenement, whilst using a traditional material. 

In this case, the new façade was constructed by a local team of stonemasons, using a 100mm-thick Stanton Moor ashlar sandstone, quarried in the UK. The modulation of the façades reflects elements of traditional detailing, with large rebates at the horizontal joints to the ground floor sandstone beds, which are capped with a sandstone stringer before moving into flush joints. Subtle projecting columns orchestrate the rhythm of the window patterns set in single or triple bays, and rebated sandstone panels nod to the existing tenement ‘false windows’ typically used to maintain the window pattern while hiding chimney locations.


  • Begun: Jan 2016
  • Completed: Jul 2018
  • Floor area: 19,977m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £2.6M
  • Funding: Scottish Government/ Glasgow City Council
  • Procurement: Design and Build through framework agreement
  • Address: Anderston, Glasgow, G3 8UU, United Kingdom

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