25 years of style in the Square

IT is the historic destination which has attracted A-list fashion favourites to Scotland, from Vivienne Westwood to Ted Baker.

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Glasgow's plush shopping complex marks its 25 year milestone
Glasgow's plush shopping complex marks its 25 year milestone

And Princes Square is celebrating 25 years of being Glasgow's most plush retail and dining complex.

The 19th century building, which is housed in a former cobbled merchant's square, has helped secure Glasgow's international reputation as a city at the cutting edge of style.

Over the past quarter-of-a-century the store's 40 units have transformed to include luxury brands, such as Kurt Geiger and Belstaff, as well as top restaurants.

Staff at the centre have been celebrating the landmark birthday this winter.

Marion Patrick, from Cambuslang, is manager of trendy kitchenware firm Le Creuset, which launched in the centre three years ago.

The 52-year-old said: "I love working in Princes Square. There is never a morning I get up and think that I don't want to come to work.

"It is such a nice friendly atmosphere here. We've all been talking about the history and saying there's nowhere else like it."

The original Grade B-listed building was once a four-storey merchant square in yellow sandstone, which was completed in 1841.

The then owner, James Campbell, was knighted by Queen Victoria and later became Lord Provost.

In celebration of the birth of the Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VII, he named his new building Princes Square.

When the buildings were developed by GRE Properties Ltd in the 1980s, they were briefed to preserve them - but to create a modern shopping and dining centre with an emphasis on style.

Scottish architects Hugh Martin and Partners restored the original buildings, turning them into a modern shopping centre with a distinctive meeting space.

They were inspired by the spirit of Glasgow during its Golden Age at the turn of the century, when it was the centre of commerce, industry and the arts.

An expansion was completed in summer 1999, extending into Springfield Court and providing more retail space and a new frontage to Queen Street.

In 2011 a £7.5m refurbishment was completed by owners Redevco who purchased the centre in 2007.

The three-year makeover included an elegant internal finish and the construction of an ornate external façade, designed by renowned Glasgow-based design duo Timorous Beasties.

As well as being home to Scotland's first Ted Baker, Belstaff and Vivienne Westwood stores, the centre also has Kurt Geiger's first stand-alone shop and the country's only outlet for chic clothing firm Cos.

Ms Patrick said there were lots of things in store for the future. She said bosses were hoping to make more use of the square - and to pull as much people as possible in.

She added: "There is talk of different events taking place to make use of the space, for example wedding fairs. It would be good to get even more footfall.

"I think a lot of people think Princes Square is out of their price range so they don't come in.

"I know myself before I worked here that I didn't think I could afford anything and used it as a cut through. But there are a lot of affordable things."


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