Listed Building

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Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 59341 65546
259341, 665546


Wylie, Shanks & Underwood (see Notes), 1958-1964; with podium/millennium block by Wylie, Shanks & Partners 1969. 13-storey with rooftop plant, 24-bay, hexagonal-plan, flat-roofed, horizontally-proportioned tower block with Le Corbusier elements of pilotis, sculptural rooftop gymnasium and plant. Reinforced concrete frame on exposed aggregate pilotis, Italian Travertine marble slabs and vitrolite. Later low single storey and raised basement podium block to N with reflective glazing and deep roof panels.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 7 massive pilotis to ground floor with huge cantilevered concrete canopy over entrance to left of centre. 13 identical floors above with banded curtain wall of black vitrolite band and deep windows moving subtly toward centre 'V' projection and surmounted by deep lighter marble band forming parapet. Grid glazing pattern of 2 square panes below large upper pane in metal frames.

N ELEVATION: as S above ground but with some taller bays toward centre of 3rd, 4th and 5th floors (making 2 floors). Podium/Millenium block (see below) projecting at ground.

E AND W ELEVATIONS: blank face of marble blocks in 3 vertical courses punctuated by narrow horizontal band.

ROOFTOP STRUCTURES: rectangular-plan, wishbone-shaped former gymnasium to E, on E-W axis. Concrete structures to centre and W (see Notes). Later altered to accommodate a shed for telecommunications equipment (post 2002).

INTERIOR: little structural alteration to tower interior arrangement, with partitions retained much as original. All doors above ground level of tower subsequently replaced, some with like-for-like replacement glazed timber. Original terrazzo lined staircase with timber handrail set into marble-clad baluster; 3 original lifts. Flying staircase with concrete spine, timber treads and timber an steel balustrade between 13th and 14th floors. All other linings and finishings above ground level are non-original. Foyer has flooring of grey and black marble slabs, pine lined ceiling and wall linings of pine, black vitrolite and natural stone, all original. 2 original glazed partitions to the E of foyer have been removed and the foyer extended to the E to incorporate the service lift, formerly external. The reception desk has been modified (post-2002) with a new curved fronted counter.

Some old printing machines retained on 10th floor.

PODIUM/MILLENNIUM BLOCK: low block to N with vertically-aligned reflective glazing, deep jettied roof panels and flat roof. Entrance to E with broad scale-and-platt concrete steps.

Interior: completely refurbished 1994.

Statement of Special Interest

This building is of outstanding importance owing to the high calibre of design and construction as well as retention of original features, including the chequer-board glazing pattern and rooftop terrace with principal sculptural objects intact. Significantly sited at the hub of urban Glasgow, the distinctive vocabulary of Le Corbusier's modular system for urban living is skilfully translated into a technologically advanced educational establishment. The significance of this building and the nearby Central College of Commerce can be justifiably considered alongside a limited international cast including Gio Ponti's Pirelli Tower, Milan (1956-60) and the LCC's Alton Estate, London (1952-60), the latter described as "one of the great statements of modern architecture in London" by Elain Harwood (sections 9.18). Built for Glasgow Corporation as Stow College of Building and Printing, completed 11th September, 1964. Dean of Guild approval was granted on 15th August, 1958 with the first drawings submitted in 1957. Design similarities with Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation, Marseille of 1947-53, make it likely that Peter Williams, architect of the similar Central College of Commerce (listed separately) was involved but the majority of drawings are initialled by his colleagues 'CJW' and 'RHMcE'. Originally conceived as an 8-storey block with the College of Printing subsequently placed above (although clearly early in the planning stage), the building was originally run as two separate colleges. Drawings for the Podium/Millennium block, containing assembly hall, canteen, assorted studios, theatre and another gymnasium are initialled 'AB'. Overt nautical references can be translated as a double funnel, prow (former gymnasium), funnel and viewing platform on the rooftop, with the curtain walls as sails. Latterly, the gymnasium has been converted to a TV studio. Due to deterioration of the opening mechanisms, some windows have been welded shut (for safety reasons) while others have been replaced with galvanised steel (re-using the frames where possible) and retaining the distinctive original glazing pattern. The 4th floor height changes have been incorporated to allow extra light into studios and could conceivably reflect yet another feature of the Unité d'Habitation's commercial deck. The perforated ceiling tile heating system employed in the Central College of Commerce was also used in the nearby Central College of Commerce at 300 Cathedral Street - separately listed. Description updated 2011.



Glasgow Dean of Guild plans, Ref 1958/466, 1969/1021. Strathclyde Regional Archives, Mitchell Library. Architectural Design January 1962, p 12. Williamson, Riches, Higgs Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow (1990), pp143-4. McKean, Walker, Walker Central Glasgow (1993), p22. K Frampton Modern Architecture (1994), p178-85. E Harwood England (2000), sections 9.16-20. Hasan-Uddin Khan International Style (2001), pp146-7. Historic Scotland Scotland: Building for the Future (2009) p.39-41. Additional information courtesy of Glasgow City Council, and Metropolitan College Buildings Manager.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 15/09/2019 08:54