Widely considered Scotland’s most photographed site, Glasgow is the third largest city in the United Kingdom. Nestled in the Scottish western lowlands, it is also the largest city in Scotland. Around 40 metres above sea level, it is situated on the banks of the River Clyde and is one of the major seaports of the world.
The best time to visit Glasgow is between the months of March and August when sunny blue skies make for a pleasant experience. These warm months of summer and spring bring forth long days, fetching the sun starved locals almost 15 hours of daylight. On the flipside, winters are quite cold and best avoided.
Disarmingly blending sophistication and earthiness, Glasgow has evolved into one of Britain’s most intriguing metropolises. Big, bold and imposing it is nevertheless a city full of flair. Soaked in history and packed with stylish bars and restaurants, it offers plenty of shopping by day. Its sheer vitality is gloriously infectious.
Mobile, Modern, Modular
Some hotels change the landscape of a city, some our perceptions of hotel architecture, while some like the citizenM chain of hotels change our notion of hotel living and experience. Reinventing the hospitality industry with self-check-ins, customisable guest rooms using touch screen Mood Pads that control your blinds, lights, temperature and alarms, the hotel has found a way to create affordable luxury with high-end design.
Offering the best views of the city outside, the scenery inside is different and welcoming. Fun and contemporary create a buzz in the form of its 198 cool and stylish hotel rooms. Floor to ceiling bookcases, filled with art, books and artefacts compose feature walls inside the hotel while limited edition artwork and paintings by local artists adorn the walls.
Backed by a 24 hour, grab and go cafeteria, a coffee and pastries bar and a cocktail bar, its oversized living rooms, communal workspaces and single desks cultivate a community like environment, where guests are encouraged to work, study and hang-out. A series of 8 meeting rooms equipped with Wi-Fi flaunt vintage typewriters and radios that lend themselves to the modern eclectic design quotient.
Unique material covered lamps continuously float up and down around the hotel, creating a magical lantern filled atmosphere.
Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, cuts a rather lonely figure with its 36 metre high glazed frontage. Built to re-house the much loved Museum of Transport, this twisted metallic shed lies at the confluence of the Kelvin and Clyde Rivers.
Homogenously clad in zinc, the museum’s form is generated by a rippling zigzag, five peaked roof profile that sweep along a series of curved paths running from one facade to the other. The interior is arranged along these same paths, creating an unbroken exhibition space stretching from end to end, with the outer zones holding the enclosed program. While a series of glass reinforced gypsum panels turn the roof’s folding underside into a remarkably smooth surface set ablaze by neon lighting, a tinted pistachio gallery sets off the 3000 plus collection at display.
Like all architectural icons, the building has a photogenic side. The visual juxtaposition of the moored tall ship, Glenlee, the looming façade and hints of the voluptuous roof appear undoubtedly impressive.
Soba By Name, Not By Nature
Given its phonetically incongruous name, Bar Soba is doing quite well for itself. Launched in the year 1999, Bar Soba fast became a staple of the city’s burgeoning bar and restaurant scene. Expanding its Glasgow premises with a new bar and kitchen venue in Merchant City, Soba has struck a chord with the public bringing an intriguing mix of oriental cuisines to the streets of Glasgow.
Soba’s new location, takes elements of street art or graffiti from the city as well as salvaged raw materials, keeping its décor modern yet muted. Its neutral toned furniture offsets its dramatic artistic motifs and surroundings. Decked in neon lights that read fun statements that direct you around the place, it is a perfectly heady concoction. It also hosts a glass fronted private dining room for special events.
A National Treasure
The Glasgow Women’s Library is UK’s only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history. An old sandstone building with exquisite Victorian architecture was extended to house the library.The refurbishment focused on meeting new spatial requirements and restoring original architectural features.
At the southern end, a free standing lift shaft was designed as a feature artwork. Its powder coated steel cladding incorporates lettering to depict the titles of literary works. Suspended ceilings, ugly light fittings and worn carpet tiles were removed to reveal the true proportions of the space. An open mezzanine, lined with vertical timber slats was introduced to accommodate an informal reading space. These vertical fins – a contemporary insertion into the exhibition space raise the eyes up from the timber floor to the trusses on the ceiling, while timber panelling and the original ornate cornice wrap around the perimeter of the vaulted ceiling. The upper storey contains a large conference room, kitchen, bathrooms and a gallery.
Text By Kanupriya Pachisia