Basic Site Details

Name: Hutchesontown / Gorbals Area C Housing Redevelopment
Town, district or village: Hutchesontown/Gorbals
City or county: Glasgow
Country: Scotland
Status: Demolished
Grid ref:
Notes: 400 units by Spence. Queen Elizabeth Square is the centre of this development. It includes, besides the housing, shopping mall, stubby office blocks, and block of shops.
Demolished 1993

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Housing scheme  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Queen Elizabeth Square  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 10February 1958 Plans prepared, construction not yet begun'Glasgow Corporation has received approval for the draft plans for 150 houses in the Gorbals redevelopment area.' per Builder 21 Feb 1958 p378
Item 2 of 105 September 1958 Proposed'staggered 20-storey block containing 400 dwellings' with small garden or patio for almost every house...'In addition, the whole of the underside of the block is planned to be covered play space' per Builder p380
Item 3 of 105 September 1958 Proposedthe staggered 20-storey block...creates a spine for the Redevelopment Scheme. It 'will contain the following accomodation: 60 one-room flats, 180 three-room, three-person maisonettes, 120 three-room, four-person maisonettes, and 40 four-room, five-person maisonettes...a total of 1,380 inhabitants.' 'The houses, which are of the cross-over maisonette type, will all have...access from kitchens to gardens.' 'Access will be from three main staircase towers, each containing two lifts. [two main staircase towers...[in] the big block and one...[in] the small block...At the base of the block [shops, offices, public houses, restaurants, a post office and police station, an existing church and possibly a cinema or assemply hall, with some provision for light industry, clinics and car parking are] proposed.' per Builder pp382-383
Item 4 of 1019 February 1960 Proposedmulti-storey flats at Hutchesontown building areas B and C per Builder p388
Item 5 of 101 April 1960 Scheme acceptedand work to begin in the summer per Builder p675
Item 6 of 1027 May 1960 Build/construction58,219 contract for piling work awarded to Robert M Douglas, contractors, Birmingham; 41,622 contract for lifts to Glasgow Engineers Ltd per Builder p1030
Item 7 of 1019 August 1960 Proposedcorporation agreed to list of tenderers: Gilbert-Ash Ltd.; Holland & Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd.; John Liang and Son Ltd.; Leslie and Co. Ltd.; Melville, Dundas and Whitson Ltd.; Tersons Ltd.; the Taylor-Woodrow Group; Trollope and Colls Ltd. per Builder p348
Item 8 of 1019 May 1961 Build/constructionHolland & Hannen and Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd have begun work on the 1 1/4m redevelopment project with 400 maisonettes of 8 different types in ten 20-storey blocks, each 195 ft high and designed by Spence per Builder p977
Item 9 of 1019881989Alteration/conversionPost-modern pitched roof and brick and entrance porches added
Item 10 of 10September 1993 * Destruction/demolition 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 11Michael Blee  1950s  
Item 2 of 11Basil Spence & Partners A19581964 
Item 3 of 11Charles Robertson A19581962job architect for Basil Spence & Partners
Item 4 of 11(Sir) Basil Urwin Spence A/B19581965 
Item 5 of 11Andrew Renton A/B19581965 
Item 6 of 11John Hardie Glover A/B19581965 
Item 7 of 11Peter Scott Ferguson A/B19581965 
Item 8 of 11Alexander John Dawson A1960s working for Basil Spence & Partners on service industries buildings in the development
Item 9 of 11Glasgow Corporation Housing Department (later Architectural & Planning Department, Glasgow Corporation)  28 March 1960 accepting tender applications by 28 March per Builder 25 Mar 1960 p626
Item 10 of 11Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson B19641965latter stages of project (begun under Basil Spence & Partners)
Item 11 of 11Glasgow District Council, Department of Architecture and Related Services (or Department of Civic Architecture & Design)  19881989Post-modern pitched roof and brick and entrance porches added

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1Hutchesontown / Gorbals RedevelopmentPrototype and showpiece for city's post-war Modernist phase of reconstruction


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press LtdpXI A 1958 Sketch Perspective of proposed blocks
pp20, 39, 92-4, 98-102, 144-7, 175
Item 2 of 4Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp247
Item 3 of 4Glendinning, Miles and Muthesius, Stefan1994Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Yale University Press: New Haven and Londonp170, p224, 327, 368
Item 4 of 4Williamson, Riches, Higgs1990Glasgow (The Buildings of Scotland)  p518

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 21Architect and Building News10 September 1958  p350 - 'Gorbals scheme for Glasgow' (illustrated with models and plans)
Item 2 of 21Architects Journal4 September 1958  pp326-333
Item 3 of 21Architectural ReviewNovember 1967  Nicholas Taylor's largely negative piece on Hutchesontown C scheme
Item 4 of 21Builder21 February 1958  p378
Item 5 of 21Builder5 September 1958  'Living at High Density' p380
Item 6 of 21Builder5 September 1958  'Hutchesontown/Gorbals Redevelopment 3' pp382-383; images, including two views of the model, typical elevations and sections and a site plan
Item 7 of 21Builder19 February 1960  'High Buildings' Prof. R. H. Matthew's Paper at the RICS pp371-373; includes typical elevations and sections. Multi-storey flats at Hutchesontown building areas B and C per Builder p388
Item 8 of 21Builder25 March 1960  p626
Item 9 of 21Builder1 April 1960  'Gorbals Redevelopment' p675
Item 10 of 21Builder27 May 1960  58,219 contract for piling work awarded to Robert M Douglas, contractors, Birmingham; 41,622 contract for lifts to Glasgow Engineers Ltd per Builder p1030
Item 11 of 21Builder19 August 1960  p348
Item 12 of 21Builder19 May 1961  p977
Item 13 of 21Builder7 July 1961  p32
Item 14 of 21Herald, TheApril 1993  'The brush-off for Sir Basil' - piece on Docomomo's concern that modernist heritage, including Spence's Hutchesontown C scheme, is being destroyed
Item 15 of 21Herald, The23 March 2001  p14 - 'Family sues over Gorbals blast' (re. death of spectator at demolition, struck by debris)
Item 16 of 21Housing ReviewNovember 19587:6 Illustrated feature
Item 17 of 21Scotsman8 July 1991  'Raised in the Gorbals' - piece by Brian Edwards calling for listing of Spence's Hutchesontown C scheme [NB. seems to be in Scotsman... may not be, source is illegible (although date is correct)]
Item 18 of 21Scotsman19 April 1993  p9 - letter from Paul Stirton, headlined 'Noble structures', bemoaning demolition of Hutchesontown 'C' and promoting role of DoCoMoMo
Item 19 of 21Scotsman20 April 1993  p9 - two articles outlining significance of Hutchesontown 'C' scheme, public reception, and impending demolition
Item 20 of 21The Independent8 September 1993  p13 - 'High noon for a high-rise ideal' (published only days before demoliton)
Item 21 of 21The Independent1 April 1998  'Eye' supplement includes photograph of Spence's Hutchesontown C under construction, as part of 'The century in photographs' series

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Peter Scott Ferguson: F no5472 (combined box 80)
Item 2 of 3Sent to DSA by emailInformation from AHRC/RCAHMS Spence project per David W Walker and Clive Fenton Clive Fenton's research notes (sent July 2010): information on Alex Dawson's and Charles Robertson's involvement.
Item 3 of 3Strathclyde Regional ArchivesGlasgow Dean of Guild1961/440