There's no better way to start the week than a surprise visit along the road to our nearly complete project for Clyde Gateway at Bridgeton Cross in the form of the now transformed Olympia Cinema.
As part of the provision for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 two fixes were identified. The first being the need for a boxing centre, sandwiched between a Library and café on the ground floor and lettable offices on the two floors above - a classic student urban project. Secondly, as a result of previous alterations to the original structure, the retention only of the façade and corner of the original building, maintaining its memorable contribution to the urban quality of the Cross.
Three qualities shaped the ultimate response - the elaborate retained, columned façade facing the Cross, the ‘signed’ Olympia corner turret and the memory of the original cinema use.
That original corner turret suggested the potential of a spiral staircase, cantilevered from the internal wall, the interior balustrade of which forms a ribbon like spiral leading up to the upper floorplates. The columned façade gave visual accentuation to the first floor accommodation echoed in the elaboration of our extension façade and the particular expression of the glazing.
Finally, the ribbon-like form of the plinth of grey granite holding up the existing façade, wound its way up and around the extension accommodation creating that historical echo in the form of a proscenium arch, framing as a whole the disparate activities of each level.
Standing back, this project for Clyde Gateway has been delivered, in a design and build contract by CCG, remarkably true to the original architectural intention. Critical in its achievements, is the saving of this important edge wall to the Cross with all its associated community memories, and how that architectural remnant has both influenced the internal organisation and cued the framing of the new activities.