Collective Architecture’s Argyle Street project is located in Anderston, an area of central Glasgow that underwent significant changes in the 1960’s as a result of the comprehensive redevelopment of the area. Victorian stone tenements that once lined this section of Argyle Street were replaced with system built concrete flats, which ignored the original street pattern. These buildings are now, in turn, being replaced by developments that are reinstating the original street edges and tenemental scale.
The development for Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association consists of 44 three, four and five person flats, five townhouses for 6 people, and a commercial unit. The strategy focuses on the creation of a contemporary tenement building typology, with flat arranged around three closes, or stairwells. All the flats within the proposal are dual aspect and glazing has been maximised to the front elevations to allow views out towards the south. Full height windows are also employed on the two side elevations, whilst the rear elevations have smaller windows which overlook the rear court space.
A strong central block is held by two bookends. These three 6 storey monolithic blocks are differentiated by 5 storey set backs completed in zinc, which step back in order to articulate the three main blocks. The palette of materials is restrained and limited to brick and zinc. A textured brick is used on the main facades onto Argyle Street, Shaftesbury Street and Shaftesbury Lane.The lower two storeys are articulated as a heavy masonry plinth, completed in projecting flemish bond, which picks up on the architecture of the adjacent Victorian Savings Bank of Glasgow, as well as an important Victorian building at Anderston Station, demolished as part of the comprehensive redevelopment plan. The upper stories are gently removed from the ‘plinth’ by way of a recessed band of brick stretcher-coursing, above which the brick facade continues in the more familiar stretcher bond. Rear elevations are completed in a smooth brickdifferentiating front and rear elevations, again with reference to the traditional tenement.
To contrast with the brick, pigmento green zinc cladding is used in a vertical arrangement, to articulate two recessed five storey blocks as well as the window openings. Windows to the front and side elevations have a full brick return to emphasize solidity, and are completed with zinc cills and zinc soffits. Areas of zinc articulate windows within zinc bands at first floor level to all blocks, as well as within the town houses.
Feature LED lighting, set within the gardens and areas of hard landscaping, light up the corners of the flemish bond brickwork ‘plinths’ providing a contrast to the shadows cast by the sun during the day.