Laurieston Transformational Regeneration Area, Phase 1A


Building owner/client:

New Gorbals Housing Association

Architect or lead designer:

Page \ Park Architects & Elder & Cannon Architects

Local Authority Area:


Nominating Body:

New Gorbals Housing Association

Project Description

Laurieston Phase 1a provides 201 homes for people and a renewed place for Gorbals and for Glasgow. Laurieston was cleared of traditional tenements in the 1950s and 60s and re developed with four double blocks of multi storey flats. Three of these blocks have now been demolished with the last remaining block now empty and scheduled for demolition in 2015. The regeneration has followed a master plan developed by the Association, in partnership with the City Council and in consultation with the local community. Design and planning input came from Urban Initiatives and Page and Park Architects. A first phase of 201 affordable rented homes has now been completed in a new layout of streets and mews settings. A variety of public and semi-public spaces have been created in which the new residents can meet, interact and develop social capital. At its simplest, the project builds on the urban character of Glasgow, comprising clearly defined urban blocks to reinforce the grid-like quality of the city. Its character follows a contemporary tenement form, with a wide variety of housing types – apartments, maisonettes and terraced houses exploiting where possible the rich possibilities of corners, southern aspect and courtyard environments. An evolution of the Glasgow tenement, the new housing follows the traditional ‘close’ model of the city, but adopting more open arrangements for living, dining and kitchen spaces. Balconies replace the ‘bay’ window typical of many Glasgow residential blocks, creating external spaces for residents. Deep front gardens along the main roads create a barrier between residents and the bustle of city life. The project has achieved a BREEAM EcoHomes standard of ‘Very Good’, combining a very thermally efficient building envelope with heat recovery systems and low energy lighting to create warm, comfortable homes that are more affordable to run. Laurieston’s location – a mere 10-minute walk from the city centre, with a variety of public transport options and nearby amenities – means that car ownership is not essential and the project prioritises people and pedestrian over cars. The new central street (Margaret Street) cuts through this first phase, with wide pedestrian pavements and small areas of planting to punctuate the parking bays. The development starts the process of re-establishing Abbotsford Place as a broad avenue which will ultimately re connect south Laurieston to the City Centre via a public park.

Supporting Statement

New Gorbals Housing Association is a Community Controlled Housing Association. Our membership is drawn from within the Gorbals community and our voluntary management committee are all Gorbals residents. The opening of the Laurieston 1a project is the culmination of a very long journey area that started in 2002. Thousands of hours of planning and consideration and multiple community participation events have gone into the development of the plans to transform the Laurieston area and create a new urban block fit for the 21st century. Almost 1,500 tenants and their families have been re-housed (most within the area) and the final 130 tenants in the last double-block of flats at 5 & 17 Norfolk Court have now been re-housed in the new houses. As it is a new start for the former tower-block residents, it is also the beginning of the wider redevelopment for Laurieston and we are immensely proud of what has been achieved, setting an impeccable standard for the rest of the area. It is the manifestation of a vision with people at its heart. Architecture and development cannot create communities, but it can offer a framework within which a new civic society can emerge, with a higher ideal of what is possible. It is still very early to tell how successful the development has been at this level, but it cannot be disputed that this is a dramatic change for the wider local community which we hope will be consolidated by the regeneration of the rest of Laurieston over the coming years. Among other initiatives, The Association will support the development of a new sense of community and of a new neighbourhood with an interactive artworks programme combining community events with the creation of new public artworks.