Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Glasgow National Hockey Centre

What is it?

Glasgow National Hockey Centre is an impressive modern sporting complex dedicated to the development of hockey in Scotland.

It is the administrative home of Scottish Hockey the governing body of the sport in Scotland.

The complex boasts a single all seated spectator area and two state of the art water based playing surfaces.  The building is protected by a sweeping roof which resembles a large aircraft wing.

The complex is the home of the Scottish Men and Scottish Women international hockey teams who often host their games here playing against the very best international sides in the world.

Scotland v Australia men

However the venue is not just for the elite; hockey might not be unique in encouraging participation at all levels and all ages but it excels in providing clubs and individuals of all abilities to take part in developmental events and competitive matches at this prestigious venue.     
Where is it?

8 King's Drive Glasgow G40 1HB  

Tel: +44 (0)141 550 5999

When was it built?

The venue was opened in 2013 and played host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games hockey matches in 2014.   

Who's responsible for its design?

The venue was designed by Glasgow City Council's in-house design team and built by City Building. This project sustained 80 employees including 12 apprentices. 

What's nearby?

The venue is part of the city's Glasgow Green parkland.


Glasgow Green is the oldest of the city's Vctorian parks and home to the Peoples' Palace and Winter Gardens and the magnificent Doulton Fountain,  the largest terracotta fountain in the world.


Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow

What is it?

Cineworld Renfrew Street is an 18 screen 12 storey high multiplex cinema in the heart of Glasgow.

It is the world's tallest cinema complex and one of the UK's busiest capable of accommodating over 4,000 cinemagoers at any one time.

The entertainment on offer will be great allowing the chance to catch up on the latest cinema releases but in Glasgow at least it is building like no other in terms of its unique design.  

The views from the outside are impressive but so too are the views from its interior galleries out across the city.

Where is it?

Located on the corner of Renfrew Street and West Nile Street in the heart of Glasgow the building is impossible to miss and is only a short walk from Buchanan Street Bus Station , a number of Subway Stations and the city's Royal Concert Hall.  

When was it built?

The venue was opened in September 2001 showing films like Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings and many, many others.  How many have you seen or do you remember?. 

 Image result for harry potter  

December 2015 will see the release of one of the most anticipated movies of all time in Star Wars The Force Awakens - I suggest you book tickets now as demand will be huge.   

Who is responsible for its design?

Truth is I don't know who designed the building but I'd like to find out more.

Some like the design, some don't but there is no doubting that the building does its job well and is an incredibly popular destination.  

What's nearby?

It's only a short walk from Buchanan Street Bus Station , a number of Subway Stations and the city's Royal Concert Hall.  

Located in the heart of the city it's close to everything you'd expect from a major European city with it's hotelsbars, clubs, restaurants, theatres, shopping and cultural attractions. Click on the links to see some of the best on offer.   

Glasgow School of Art

What is it?
The Glasgow School of Art is one of Europe's leading university level institutions for the visual creative disciplines. 

Its studio based approach to research and teaching brings visual creative disciplines together to explore problems in new ways to finding innovative solutions. 

The studio creates the environment for inter-disciplinarity, peer learning, critical enquiry, experimentation and prototyping, helping to address many of the grand challenges confronting society and contemporary business.

Since the School was founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design, as a centre of creativity promoting good design for the manufacturing industries, its role has continually evolved and redefined to reflect the needs of the communities of which it is part of part of, embracing in the late 19th century fine art and architecture education and today's digital technology.

Where is it?

You will find the Glasgow School of Art at 167 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G3 66Q

When was it built?

    It was Founded in 1845 as a Government School of Design and has become one of Europe's pre-eminent institutions for the study and advancement of fine art, design and architecture.

The School was originally based at 116 Ingram Street in a building erected around 1805 as commercial premises. The new School was immediately over-subscribed and the accommodation deemed inadequate so additional space was purchased on Montrose Street. Although the School moved to new premises in 1869, the Ingram Street buildings remained until 1982 when they were demolished.

In 1869 the School moved to the buildings on Sauchiehall Street, in a corner of the McLellan Galleries, erected in 1855 to accommodate the city's art collection. A report from the examiner of the Science and Art Department which oversaw art education stated that the rooms were "ill adapted for the purposes of a school of art.....with the aggravation of the grey dull atmosphere prevailing here for half the year the students labour under positive disadvantage".

Despite this, the reputation of The Glasgow School of Art was high. In the league tables of schools administered by the Science and Art Department, in the National Awards, the GSA was third highest in the number of medals and prizes.

Who's responsible for its design?

In 1885 a new Director was appointed - Francis H Newbery. Under Newbery's directorship, the School moved in to a new purpose built building on Renfrew Street, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

About Mackintosh

The history of the School from this point is inextricably linked Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh, architect, designer, artist and alumnus, heralded the birth of a new style in 20th century European architecture with his designs in 1896 for the new art school building which was completed in 1909, funded in the main by private donation.

The major benefactor was the Bellahouston Trust and today the School's relationship with the Trust continues through an annual scholarship for students at the Digital Design Studio.

As one of the oldest art and design institutions in the UK, the GSA is unique in its ability to illustrate the nature and history of art education itself; document trends, styles and fashions both in the practice and in the education of artists, designers and architects and the important role the School played in this.

Today, the School continues to be pioneering with new developments and programmes such as the Digital Design Studio, the Centre for Advanced Textiles, our new taught postgraduate programmes such as Medical Visualisation, Design Innovation and Communication Design; and our plans for its new campus, with the Reid Building completed in 2014, designed by New York based Steven Holl Architects in partnership with JM Architects based in Glasgow.

What's nearby?

With its central location in the heart of Glasgow the School is near the city's major shopping, transport and entertainment venues.

The Glasgow Film Theatre is well worth a visit and is only a short walk from the School at 12 Rose Street, G36RBFrom art house cinema to late night cult screenings and classics back on the big screen to independent documentaries, there's something for everyone at the GFT.

Other links?

In May 2014 The School's Mackintosh building suffered a catastrophic fire destroying unique furnishings and interiors.   


Vowing to rebuild and restore this unique and much celebrated building the School has launched an appeal to fund this significant work.  This has attracted celebrity support from the actor Brad Pitt amongst others, click here for details of the appeal and how to contribute.  

Monday, 30 November 2015

Glasgow Science Centre

What is it?

Stunning architecture aside the Glasgow Science Centre is an independent Scottish charity dedicated to raising awareness of science and technology.  All dedicated to scientific education and entertainment for the young and old alike..

The science mall hosts three floors containing hundreds of interactive exhibits, a dedicated science show theatre and the Scottish Power Planetarium where you can learn about and marvel at the wonders of the night sky under the glittering dome.

Glasgow Science Centre also features Scotland's only IMAX cinema and Glasgow Tower, the only tower in the world that can through rotate 360° on its vertical axis from the ground up.


What makes Glasgow Science Centre an incredible place to visit is the design, the setting and opportunity to interact with science. From watching an experiment unfold to taking part in a fun workshop or simply chatting with one of the centre's enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff who are there to help make science accessible and fun.

Glasgow Science Centre

The IMAX cinema  is well worth a visit for fans of the big screen a must see in this format has to be the forthcoming Star Wars movie - The Force Awakens.



Where is it?

It's situated on the banks of the River Clyde at 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA and is easily accessible by car, bus, train, bike, boat, on foot or by seaplane if you want to make dramatic entrance.


When was it built?

Queen Elizabeth II opened Glasgow Science Centre on 5 June 2001 accompanied by Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen and Duke


Who is responsible for its design?

The Glasgow Science Centre was designed by BDP Architects based in Glasgow who won a national competition to design the centre which is the  largest Millennium Commission-funded project in Scotland.

this incorporates the Glasgow Tower which is Scotland’s tallest free-standing structure (concept by Richard Horden Associates), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Horden

The buildings are wrapped in cutting-edge materials including titanium and aluminium, and form a single entity thanks to features such as a linking teflon fabric roof and a ‘discovery’ tunnel.

The centre cost £33 million to construct. http://www.bdp.com/en/projects/f-l/glasgow-science-centre/

What's nearby?

  • BBC Scotland HQ http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/ STV HQ  http://www.stv.tv/

  • Berth of the Waverley Paddle Steamer  http://www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk/

  • The River Clyde



    SSE Hydro

    What is it?

    The SSE Hydro is so called because the energy company SSE Scottish Hydro holds naming rights to the venue; the same company holds naming rights to the SSE Arena Wembley (London).

    The 12,500 seat purpose built venue is the largest indoor arena in Scotland and the only one of its scale in the UK builtspecifically for concerts and events. 

    The SSE Hydro is the latest landmark on Glasgow's skyline.  Modelled on Greek and Roman amphitheatres, the 45m tall building, with its distinctive silver dome, stands higher than the neighbouring Armadillo. Translucent materials used in the façade cause the building to appear to glow at night.

    Like the Clyde Auditorium (the SECC Armadillo), The SSE Hydro has been designed from the inside out. Visitors can enjoy outstanding viewing angles from each of the 12,000 seats in the fixed, tiered and demountable seating system and the acoustics are of the highest standard. There are a wide range of food and drink outlets as well as a club seating area and  VIP boxes, each capable of accommodating 12 people. There are also be restaurants, bars and sponsors lounges.

    The SSE Hydro is one of the first major developments to be undertaken in the SECC's QD2 master plan which has the potential to create 2,449 jobs.

    The 12,000-seat arena is the largest entertainments venue in Scotland and the only one of its scale in the UK built specifically for concerts and events. The Hydro will host around 140 events each year, including national and international artists and bands as well as being a venue for major comedy stars and sporting events.

    The arena has the potential to inject an additional £131 million into the local economy. The current economic impact of the SECC is £347million per annum with 1.5 million visitors a year.

    Where is it?

    The Hydro is part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre complex operated by SEC Limited and located in Finnieston, Glasgow (Scotland) on the Queens Dock site adjacent to the River Clyde.
    When was it built?

    The building was opened in September 2013.

    Whose responsible for its design?

    Created by world-renowned architects Foster and Partners, who also designed the SECC's Clyde Auditorium (the Armadillo see below), Scotland's new national arena will hold 12,000 fully seated and is the largest entertainments venue in Scotland. Now known as The SSE Hydro, the SECC national arena is the only one of its scale in the UK built specifically for concerts, conferences and events.

    What's nearby?

    The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)  and SSE Glasgow Hydro  
  • BBC Scotland HQ
  • STV HQ  

  • Other links?

    Events held here have included:

    Fleetwood Mac, the Arctic Monkeys, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, the Eagles, the MTV Europe music awardsCommonwealth Games sports.


    Monday, 9 November 2015

    Glasgow Subway

    What is it?

    Opened in 1896 Glasgow's Subway is the third oldest in the world behind London and Budapest.  Glaswegians call the Subway the clockwork orange on account of the vivid orange livery of the carriages.

    Image result for glasgow subway train

    All of the network runs underground and is formed of two tunnels forming an outer and inner circle with trains running clockwise in the first and anti-clockwise in the latter around a 10 km route calling at 15 stations in the centre west of Glasgow.  8 of the 15 stations sit north of the River Clyde and the remaining 7 to the south of the river.

    Trains are a maximum of 3 cars long giving a maximum length of 36 metres.  A 3 car train can accommodate 112 seated passengers and a further 165 standing passengers.

    A flat fare applies to any journey on the Subway and it's a quick and convenient way to get around the city.       

    Where is it?

    You'll find stations along the route at:

    Click here for more details: http://www.spt.co.uk/subway/maps-stations/#stations

    A song!  

    When was it built?

    It was first opened in 1896 having taken five years to construct.

    Who's responsible for its design?

    The Glasgow Subway Company commissioned the project and this picture shows directors, engineers and city officials at the opening in 1896. 

    What's nearby?

    Could be an urban myth but I've heard there's a challenge associated with the Subway.

    Travelling clock-wise the journey time between Buchanan Street and St. Enoch is approximately 55 seconds. At street level it's a downhill journey, but it is along Buchanan Street one of the busiest shopping streets in Britain if not Europe and there are three road crossings.

    Challenge is to get off the train at Buchanan Street and back on the same train when it stops at St. Enoch - I don't know that its ever been achieved and I don't suggest you try.  Too many distractions and too many people for a start. especially near Christmas - Spot the real Santa anyone?



    What I do suggest is that you use the Subway to make the most of your visit and journeys around the city.  The Subway will get you to many of the city's parks, cultural attractions, shopping centres, entertainment venues and pubs and restaurants.

    Get off at Hillhead and you'll land on Byres Road the heart of the city's west end.  Here you'll find good food, live music, vibrant bars, Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Park and Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens, and an incredible mix of shops and people.  See the video for yourself.

    Other links:


    Sunday, 8 November 2015

    Locomotion Sculpture

    What is it?

    Locomotion is a bronze sculpture of a man running within two large hoops representing wheels.  For me it's one of the best pieces of public art on display in Glasgow and it's passed by thousands of motorists and pedestrians daily.  You should stop and have a look. 
    It symbolises motion and to me at least represents the power of human endeavour, perseverance and invention.

    Locomotion by Frank Cossell (1967) (Gertie_DU) Tags: uk greatbritain sculpture statue mobile bronze scotland phone alba unitedkingdom glasgow cell samsung galaxy gb 1967 locomotion s4 lanarkshire cosse buchananhouse portdundasroad frankcossell gti9505 samsunggalaxy4 fcossellImage result for locomotion sculpture glasgowLocomotion by Frank Cossell (1967) (Gertie_DU) Tags: uk greatbritain sculpture statue mobile bronze scotland phone alba unitedkingdom glasgow cell samsung galaxy gb 1967 locomotion s4 lanarkshire cosse colorfulworld buchananhouse portdundasroad frankcossell gti9505 samsunggalaxy4 fcossellLocomotion by Frank Cossell (1967) (Gertie_DU) Tags: uk greatbritain sculpture statue mobile bronze circle scotland phone alba unitedkingdom glasgow cell samsung galaxy round gb 1967 shape locomotion s4 lanarkshire cosse tcf buchananhouse thechallengefactory portdundasroad frankcossell gti9505 samsunggalaxy4 fcossell
    Where is it?

    The sculpture can be found at 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow, G4 0HL outside Buchanan House, formerly ScotRail House.

    This is the site of the former Buchanan Street train station.



    When was it built?

    As best I can make out the sculpture was erected in 1967.

    Whose responsible for its design?

    The then British Rail commissioned the English sculptor Frank Cossell to design Locomotion.  
    The sculptors studio was in Hearne Bay, Kent and the sculpture was returned there in 1988 to be refurbished before being returned to it's Glasgow home the same year.  An occasion recorded by the Glasgow Herald newspaper at the time.   

    What's nearby?
    Other links?