RankinFraser Landscape Architecture: To the north of Glasgow’s city center lies an area of low grade industrial, derelict land by the Forth and Clyde canal known as Speirs Locks. Once a booming trading center, the area’s economic downturn followed the canal’s fall into disuse. This was further exacerbated in the 1960s with the construction of a motorway through the heart of the area, effectively cutting off a critical link between the canal network and the city center. What remained was a single dark, dirty and claustrophobic underpass connection at Speirs Locks, described by the architects as an ‘extraordinarily hostile environment.
In order to revamp this urban connection’s negative and inhospitable perception, and in turn increase both its aesthetic and functional appeal, 7N Architects and RankinFraser Landscape Architecture developed the Garscube Link, an urban intervention project completed just over a month ago as the first phase of a strategy they have developed for the regeneration of the wider area. Dubbed ‘The Phoenix Flowers’ – an allusion to the old Phoenix Park, which pre-dated the construction of the motorway on the site – the intervention has implemented a colourful and inviting transition point for cyclists and pedestrians, again linking a significant portion of northern Glasgow to the city centre. There is now a marked contrast between the eye-catching red that blankets the area’s surface and the visual bleakness of the surrounding concrete and motorway flyovers. The 50 aluminium ‘flowers’ – growing up to eight meters tall in radiant orange, yellow and pink – line the entire route and serve to illuminate the area at night.
Landscape Architecture: RankinFraser Landscape Architecture and 7N Architects
Location: Garscube Road, Glasgow, Scotland
Client : Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership
Value : €2,4m
Photography: Dave Morris