M8 roof park plans take shape in Glasgow city centre

Keppie Design's vision of how an M8 roof park might look at Charing Cross in Glasgow. Picture: Keppie Design
Keppie Design's vision of how an M8 roof park might look at Charing Cross in Glasgow. Picture: Keppie Design
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A roof park would be built over the M8 in Glasgow under plans to make the city centre more attractive for walkers.

The city council is about to prepare a feasibility study into the scheme at Charing Cross, which would follow work to widen pavements in nearby Sauchiehall Street.

The potential roof park site, south from Tay House, built over the M8 (top centre). Picture: Keppie Design

The potential roof park site, south from Tay House, built over the M8 (top centre). Picture: Keppie Design

The new park is expected to cover the deep M8 cutting south from Tay House, which is built across the motorway on an unfinished bridge south of Sauchiehall Street.

One design firm said it would "heal the wound" caused by the motorway.

The park extend as far as Bath Street, but the city council said it might not go further south, to the Mitchell Library, which borders the motorway.

Council leader Frank McAveety said: "This is a truly inspiring project, but also one that is complex as it is ambitious.

Keppie Design's proposal for an M8 roof park stretching from Sauchiehall Street to St Vincent Street. The city council said it might extend only to around Bath Street. Picture: Keppie Design

Keppie Design's proposal for an M8 roof park stretching from Sauchiehall Street to St Vincent Street. The city council said it might extend only to around Bath Street. Picture: Keppie Design

"We must get the groundwork right and take time to create something that benefits the city while delivering a new public space that attracts and connects people and places.

"Coupled with the other projects coming forward as part of the Sauchiehall and Garnethill regeneration project, it will ensure we make this a prominent place in the city’s life.”

An artist's impression of how the park could look has been produced by architects Keppie Design, but the council is to hold a design competition to choose the winning scheme.

Keppie design director David Ross said its vision was of a "vibrant mix of people-focused inner city connections and public spaces where transport infrastructure isn’t developed at the cost of its urban realm.

The Klyde Warren Park over the eight-lane Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. Picture: Klyde Warren Park

The Klyde Warren Park over the eight-lane Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. Picture: Klyde Warren Park

"That took us to the Mitchell Library, and the disconnect of the city grid created by the wound of the M8.

"As part of the bigger vision, we had some ideas about how this wound could be healed, but without losing the necessary accessibility the city needs in order to function."

A council spokesman said: "We will look to start procurement for the feasibility work in late spring, and the actual investigations/modelling is expected to begin in the autumn."

The study is expected to take a year, with a final decision due to be taken around the summer of next year.

Work on narrowing Sauchiehall Street with a new cycle lane and trees is due to start this summer. Picture: Glasgow City Council

Work on narrowing Sauchiehall Street with a new cycle lane and trees is due to start this summer. Picture: Glasgow City Council

It will include considering how to give pedestrians priority in crossing nearby roads so they can reach the park, and its impact on traffic flows.

Research on how other cities have built similar parks will be done, including Klyde Warren Park, which was built over the Rogers Woodall Freeway in Dallas in 2012.

Meanwhile, work is due to start this summer to create an "avenue" on Sauchiehall Street by narrowing the road, installing a cycle lane and planting trees.

Other plans include making Renfrew Street - where Glasgow School of Art is sited - as an "Avenue for the Arts".

The planned new-look Sauchiehall Street with widened pavements. Picture: Glasgow City Council

The planned new-look Sauchiehall Street with widened pavements. Picture: Glasgow City Council

How Sauchiehall Street will look from Elmbank Street. Picture: Glasgow City Council

How Sauchiehall Street will look from Elmbank Street. Picture: Glasgow City Council