Glasgow is set to become home to the UK’s first floating urban quarter as proposals for the Clyde Waterfront in Pacific Quay have met with approval from the Scottish Executive. Baca Architects working in collaboration with Glasgow practice, ZM Architecture, have created designs for a mixed use floating urban quarter adjacent to Glasgow’s Science Centre and BBC Scotland.
Floating Concepts envisage that the floating basin community will become a visitor’s destination in its own right. The masterplan for Canting Basin organises a vibrant, floating community around a new floating ‘access spine’ to provide new amenity and connections across the basin. The access spine is reached by a striking feature bridge that springs from a new public square on the south of the dock, flanked by a yacht club and 60-120 bed hotel, which together form a civic gateway into the development.
From the bridge, visitors can promenade west past a floating street of residential units to the new yacht club that marks the entrance to the basin from the Clyde and will create a great vantage point to tourists. To the east the promenade supports a suite of floating local businesses before opening out into a performance space on top of a new feature café.
It then connects to a new floating terminus for the Loch Lomond Seaplanes before rising to meet the Glasgow Science Centre. The ‘access spine’ will carry all heating, power cooling and sanitation infrastructure much like an umbilical cord to service the floating community. On the outer edge of the access spine a swathe of planting will provide visual amenity and a buffer to the individual units.
The inner edge is more permeable to permit uninterrupted views of the marina and a feature café. The centre piece to the proposed development is a high specification marina which will have a maximum of 80 berths which will be offered for sale to boat owners on the basis of a 50 year lease.
There are also plans for a further 150 berths for the residents and occupiers of the development and for visitors by boat. In the ethos of the floating quarter, the offices and residential units will be marketed with a range of ‘pool’ boats, which residents will be able to book on line for use in the dock and along the River Clyde.