Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pacific Quay

Just back from spending an afternoon at the very impressive BBC Scotland building at Pacific Quay. An attempt to fashion a 21st century workplace; part technohub, part five star hotel/business park, part performance space. It's designed so that the place can buzz with activity on the 'street' that rises in steps through the cavernous atrium, but the acoustic design dampens down the sound so that it doesn't sound like a shopping mall....Anyone designing a school or college could learn a lot from the place - I've yet to see anything as radical be attempted within schools or universities, unfortunately. More generally, that whole part of Glasgow is being re-branded as a media quarter, alongside Glasgow Science Centre; it would be good to see some of Glasgow's institutions of further and higher education get in on the act, so that ways in for communities and students can be found and the zone doesn't become totally dominated by the monied and the affluent...Glasgow has a spectacular 'riverside' masterplan heavily dependent on increasing revenues from tourism, retail and media/creative industries, but the amount of capital needed to develop the spaces will probably mean that the highest bidders will get the last word... A set of spaces to be watched carefully!

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