Facelift plan to replace radical redesign of George Square

George Square is to undergo a substantial facelift rather than a radical redesign, Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of the Council, announced today.

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Details of the facelift are to be announced later, however, it will include retaining the statues and grassed areas, and replacing the red tarmac.

His announcement came after a panel chose a winning entry in an international design contest.

The jury, which had been judging six plans shortlisted in the competition, chose design number 2. This design was produced by: John McAslan & Partners (UK).

However, Councillor Matheson said the council would not be proceeding with the contract.

Councillor Matheson said: "The people of Glasgow have made it clear that they do not want a radical redesign of the square.

"They want the square to look better and be a place of which they can be proud - a place they can while away a sunny afternoon or get together and celebrate the big occasions in the life of the city.

"They also want us to keep the statues where they are, and they like the grass. However, they clearly want rid of the red tarmac.

"I am proud to say that I am listening to them.

"We will carry out this refurbishment work in time for the Commonwealth Games and only if there is public demand thereafter, will we consider a radical change.

"The companies which were asked to produce designs gave us stunning plans, any one of which would have looked fantastic, and I would like to thank the architectural firms involved for their time and hard work. I also want to thank the members of the jury."

Under the procurement process for the design contest, the jury had to conclude its deliberations and choose a winner. The council would then have had to agree to award the contract. However, that recommendation will now not be put before councillors.

The £15m project caught the imagination of the international design community, with Glasgow City Council receiving 35 submissions to redevelop the square from as far afield as Australia, the USA and Sweden.

The six short-listed submissions were by:
Design 1 - Agence Ter (France)

Design 2 - John McAslan & Partners (UK)

Design 3 - Gustafson Porter (UK)

Design 4 - jmarchitects (UK)

Design 5 - James Corner Field Operations (USA)

Design 6 - Burns + Nice (UK)

The judging panel comprised: David Mackay, partner, MBM Architects Barcelona; Professor Andy McMillan, former head of Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art; David Harding, former head of Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art; Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts; and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council. The panel's technical advisor is Neil Baxter, secretary and treasurer, RIAS