Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Buildings and Cityscape

Tenement Renaissance

By Ranald MacInnes

Darnley Tenements By the 1970s, the idea of laying out new municipal schemes was all but extinguished. The Corporation's swansong was the eight storey linked blocks of Darnley. Large-scale redevelopment was now much maligned as the cause of many of the city's problems. The new emphasis was on rehabilitation of existing building stock and the tenement, which had been downgraded as a building type since the early years of the 20th century, was now set for an astonishing revival. A new formula of housing "rehabilitation" emerged triumphantly at Taransay Street, Govan, (from 1971) and this new pattern was made the basis of the 1974 Housing Act.

Gorbals Redevelopment Brand new tenements were also on the way and it was mostly in the hugely expanding area of the housing associations that architectural innovations were at first made. Ken MacRae's (McGurn, Logan, Duncan & Opfer) celebrated Tenement for the Twenty-first Century at Stafford Street was built in 1987-88 and this pattern continued with city regeneration projects, notably Elder & Cannon's Duke Street block (1992). These earlier blocks were essentially about infilling gap sites, but by the early 1990s there was an increasing demand for a return to a more comprehensive urban renewal. Here, the Crown Street Project was pre-eminent. In the heart of the Gorbals, where much of the housing had been swept away twice in a generation, the initial plan for the project was to recreate the "lost" tenement city.

Merchant City Redevelopment In new private tenements the architectural innovations of the housing association blocks were also developed. Elder & Cannon's corner block at Ingram Square (1984-89) led the way and was followed by innovations which gradually moved away from the more "respectful" replication of the heritage-concerned 1980s to the bold contemporary insertions of the new Millennium. Glasgow has demolished the worst of its tenements (and a few of the best), but over the last thirty years the city has rediscovered the tenement and celebrated its endless possibilities.

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options