Previously, “Clydebuilt” was the benchmark for quality in shipbuilding and heavy engineering across the globe. Now, as the Clyde’s riverbanks are rejuvenated for other purposes, a distinctive, futuristic style defines the area once famed for its warehouses and the “helluva bashin” noise of its dockyards.
As our contribution to Doors Open Days 2012, we have selected
some of the most significant new architecture - the buildings that
have transformed Clyde Waterfront's skyline in the last 15
Find images of all the buildings featured below in our latest image
Clyde Auditorium (1997)
It has been described as Glasgow's most iconic building, which
is quite an accolade given all the other impressive architecture in
the city. Designed by Foster & Partners and opened in 1997, the
Auditorium provides conference facilities, concerts and
"Reality TV" show auditions, seating up to 3,000 people as part of
the SECC. Affectionately known as 'the Armadillo', the design is
actually based on a series of interlocking ships' hulls, in
reference to the Clyde's shipbuilding heritage.
Glasgow Science Centre (2001)
Opened in June 2001 for a cost of £75 million, Glasgow
Science Centre's titanium clad curves house one of Scotland's
top visitor attractions. Its architects were Building Design
Partnership; the Glasgow Tower was originally designed by Richard
Horden, with engineering design by Buro Happold. It was the first
major step in the regeneration of Creative Clyde which used to be the
bustling port of Prince's Dock until the 1960s but is now home to
BBC Scotland, STV, The Hub and Film City Glasgow.
Clyde Arc (2006)
Arc, nicknamed the 'Squinty' bridge due to its angle, was the
first new road bridge over the Clyde since the Kingston Bridge
opened in 1969. Funded by Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City
Council, it added another important link between the south bank of
the river and the city centre. Designed by the Halcrow Group and
built by civil engineers Edmund Nuttall, pedestrians were able to
walk across it two days prior to opening September 2006 as part of
"Doors Open Days".
The award winning Xscape created another landmark building
at Braehead, beside the shopping centre which is Scotland's most
successful retail destination. As well as Britain's longest indoor
real snow slope that influences the shape of the building, Xscape
includes climbing walls, an aerial assault course, a multiplex
cinema, bowling alley and a fantastic choice of bars, restaurants
and sports shops. The centre opened in 2006 and recently welcomied
its 20 millionth customer.
Titan Crane (1907/2007)
Clydebank's A-listed Titan Crane built by Sir William
Arrol was refurbished as a visitor attraction for £3.5 million by
Clydebank re-built regeneration company and re-opened in 2007 to
celebrate its 100th anniversary. Visitors can learn all about John
Brown's former shipyard, previously the biggest employer in the
area, where the "Queen" liners and the Royal Yacht Britannia were
built, and take the lift 150ft to the top and walk along the jib to
enjoy stunning views of the Clyde Waterfront.
BBC Scotland (2007)
The BBC Scotland
Headquarters at Pacific Quay was designed by architect David
Chipperfield, who created a sheer glass façade, ensuring that the
look of the building changes throughout the day, season and
viewpoint. A defining feature is an internal, stepped 'street' that
rises throughout the entire length of the design, over the three
recording studios below, providing break-out spaces for informal
meetings. Opened in 2007, BBC Scotland's national broadcasting
output comes from here.
Riverside Museum (2011)
Designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, the Riverside Museum has a great
waterfront location, opposite Govan and at the mouth of the Kelvin.
Since opening in June 2011, not only has it won a clutch of awards
but over 1.5 million visitors have flocked to the new home of
Glasgow's transport collection and the Tall Ship Glenlee that is
moored alongside. Close by, Yorkhill Quay is one of the
Clyde's few remaining historic quaysides, from where many Scots set
sail for new lives around the world.
The Hydro (2013)
Under construction is The Hydro, Scotland's 12,000 seat
national arena at SECC, which is set to become one of the world's
top concert arenas when it opens in September 2013. Built on top of
the former Queens Dock, it combines the best of ancient and modern.
Designed by architects Foster and Partners, the structure is
modelled on a Roman amphitheatre; the skin of the building, however
- which will appear to glow at night - is created from a material
originally developed for the space industry.
New South Glasgow Hospitals (2015)
Also under construction is the massive £842m New South Glasgow
Hospital Campus which is due to complete in 2015.
Designed by Nightingale Associates and being developed by
Brookfield Multiplex, the new campus includes an expanded maternity
hospital, new 1109-bed adult hospital and a new 240-bed children's
hospital together with a state-of-the-art laboratory. Changing the
river's skyline, it has as already been shortlisted for the health
section of the World Architecture Festival Award.