Judges still out over George Square design

JUDGES have failed to agree which controversial scheme should transform the historic heart of Glasgow.

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  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
    Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square
  • Six design firms are in the running to revamp George Square

As revealed in later editions of last night's Evening Times, city council leader Gordon Matheson was due to reveal today which design had been chosen for the £15 million revamp of George Square.

But just 24 hours before he was due to announce the winner, council bosses admitted the panel of judges had failed to reach a decision.

They will meet again next week in the hope they can agree on one of the six schemes under consideration.

The group had booked a room in the City Chambers from 10am until 4pm on Wednesday, but asked to extend that until midnight when it became clear they could not choose an outright winner.

But even with the time extension, they parted no nearer to being able to announce which scheme would be chosen for the revamp.

Mr Matheson, who chaired the judging panel, said: "It is disappointing but it is important we get this right. We will make a decision next week."

The other members of the panel are David Mackay, a partner in Barcelona-based MBM Architects, Professor Andy McMillan, former head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, David Harding, former head of environmental art at the art school and Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts.

They are considering six designs for the square, which were shortlisted from 35 entries.

The shortlisted schemes come from some of the top architecture firms in the world, with four based in the UK, one in France and one in America.

But only a couple of city council lawyers know which practice submitted which design.

That is to ensure the panel is not influenced by previous projects carried out by any of the group.

The eventual winner will work with the council to develop the final design for the square which it is hoped will further enhance Glasgow's global reputation.

Graeme Hendry, leader of the SNP group on the city council, branded the method of judging a sham.

He said: "It has been a sham process from the start because the public is desperate to be heard and is not being heard."

The shortlisted architects are Agence Ter, from France, James Corner Field Operations, from the USA, Burns + Nice, Gustafson Porter and John McAslan & Partners from the UK and jmarchitects, which has an office in Glasgow.

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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