Royal Exchange Square

Glasgow has set about the long-overdue business of demolishing one of its most obvious eyesores. The Bank of Scotland building on Royal Exchange Square, forming the entrance to Ingram Street, is to be replaced in due haste with the above. For those with rather poor memories of the present, here is the 1960s Brutalist construction on the site at present:

The site, however, has an interesting history. Ingram Street, parallel to George Square and connecting the main shopping areas with the Merchant City, was once a fairly grand avenue building up to the statue of Wellington and the Gallery of Modern Art behind. As such, it formerly had buildings rather more befitting its standing; the Bank of Scotland building stands where previously the British Linen Bank (bought out in 1969) was headquartered.
The headquarters of the old bank (which used to be one of the few who printed banknotes in Scotland) was nobility constructed both inside and out.

To venture across to the other side of the street was a slightly less ornate building, which has been replaced by a fairly poor example of Art Deco design in the form of Royal Exchange House.

To refer back to the British Linen Bank/BoS site, one of my major complaints with the new building is how it dominates the Sauchiehall Street entrance to Royal Exchange Square. The existing building, whilst terrible, is mercifully low-lying. This will not be true of the new, as this impression shows:

A similar view of the British Linen Bank HQ:

I shall leave you with a night-time impression of the new building which seems destined to be erected. Whilst I must confess, the use of stone is creditable and the simplicity of design elegant, I do take issue with the perception that - much as in the General Post Office building on George Square - the perception amongst certain elements of the Scottish architectural profession seems to be that modernity is about little more than slapping a great glass square on the top of everything.

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