About Advertise with us Get our newsletter
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Features

Mackintosh's 'Russian jail' that was BBC's West End home is set for new lease of life

Planners are recommending approval for proposals to turn the building into a restaurant, conference and training facility.

It was decried as a monstrosity when it was built in 1895.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh had a hand in its design - but over many years its facades were engulfed by giant extensions.

Hidden: the former Anatomical Building was built as part of Queen Margaret College
Hidden: the former Anatomical Building was built as part of Queen Margaret College

Now a new lease of life beckons for the B-listed former Anatomical Building on Queen Margaret Drive and part of the former home of BBC Scotland.

Planners are recommending approval for proposals to turn the building into a restaurant, conference and training facility.

The plans were put forward by the leisure group G1 last year - but discussions about the scheme have been ongoing since.

Now officials say the scheme should go ahead - so long as the developer adheres to more than 30 conditions preserving the character of the building.

Members of the city's planning applications committee will decide on the scheme when they meet next week.

 Proposals: plans for the site were put forward last year
Proposals: plans for the site were put forward last year

Neighbouring residents appear to favour the renovation - albeit with concerns over potential disruption caused by its proposed new use.

But this seems nothing compared to the outcry that met the building's construction.

Letters in the Glasgow Herald in March 1895 described the building as 'abominable' and a 'disfigurement to the locality'.

The Evening News drew attention to troubling aspects of the building's appearance, writing: 'it takes the shape of a great big yellow wall – pierced here and there with melancholy holes which give the edifice an appearance uncommonly like that of a Russian country jail.'

The building was designed by John Keppie along with Mackintosh as part of the former Queen Margaret College.

When the BBC took over the site in 1935, new buildings were added over the years.

Design: Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked with architect John Keppie on the building
Design: Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked with architect John Keppie on the building

The Anatomical Building took on a new purpose as TV studios but its exterior became lost in the wider campus.

G1 bought the site in 2007, turning North Park House into a private residence and the James Miller building into offices.

A report for members reads: "The current proposal is for use of the Anatomy building as a restaurant, conference and training facility …

"The training facility will provide staff training for the applicant’s business.

"The restaurant will have capacity for 40 to 60 diners and the conference facility will have a maximum occupancy of 100 people."

The report adds: "The restaurant will be located on the building’s first floor, with a servery, kitchen and toilets.

"The ground floor will have a reception area, an event kitchen and two function spaces.

"The rear function space will open on to a rear terrace.

"The basement /lower ground floor will accommodate a training kitchen, an office, stores, staff changing room, toilets and plant room."

Residence: other buildings on the former BBC site have been turned in to a private home
Residence: other buildings on the former BBC site have been turned in to a private home

Buckingham, Hamilton and Ruskin Residents' Association is among a number of groups that has submitted comments to the committee.

It says it welcomes the proposals to refurbish the building but has 'reservations' about noise from diners and guests on evenings and at weekends.

Other residents say the works should include making access along Hamilton Drive safer for the public.

Officers conclude in their recommendation: "On balance, the proposed use of former broadcasting studio as restaurant, conference and training facility and erection of extension is consistent with relevant polices and supplementary guidance of the adopted Glasgow City Development Plan.

"The development is considered to preserve the character and appearance of the listed building and of Glasgow West Conservation Area.

"Accordingly, it is recommended planning permission is granted, subject to the following conditions."

Share this story

@GlasgowWEToday

  • hotgemMGMT profile imageLast night in Glasgow was pretty cinematic #scotland Twitter embedded image 42 minutes ago by hotgemMGMT
  • AliJMitchHT profile imageOptimistic for tomorrow @GlasgowWEToday 🌟 Twitter embedded image 11 hours ago by AliJMitchHT
  • PaulHerbert8 profile imageTonight’s sunset #glasgow #sunset @GlasgowWEToday Twitter embedded image 11 hours ago by PaulHerbert8
  • GLCTours profile imageThis vandalism is disgraceful,Bo’ness is a great friend of Glasgow central tours.if any glaziers can help it would be wonderful and greatly appreciated.
    bonessrailway profile image1/ Vandal strike - we need your help! Sadly, our railway was attacked by vandals yesterday evening who have smashed a number of windows on the train and our station buildings. Twitter embedded image 22 hours ago by bonessrailway
    16 hours ago by GLCTours
  • RamblersGlasgow profile imageLaunch of the Magnificent 11 walking route today at the highest point in Glasgow on the Cathkin Braes. Many thanks to Cameron McNeish for tapping in the last way-marking post. ⁦@CameronMcNeish⁩ ⁦@ramblersscot⁩ ⁦@GlasgowCCTwitter embedded image 18 hours ago by RamblersGlasgow
  • Cottiers_Venue profile imageCome have a peak in our theatre on July 5th and 6th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. 🧐 Just turn up and our wedding team will be there to answer any questions you might have about having your wedding at Cottiers! 💒 📷 : Lauren and Mark's wedding with flowers by Ashley Aikilie Twitter embedded image 18 hours ago by Cottiers_Venue
  • CateDvineWriter profile imageSo, Gaucho restaurant in Glasgow to offer £10 off a taxi fare home to diners (per table) affected by cancelled trains throughout July. Will others follow?? @gauchogroup @JoBarnesSauce #trainstrike Twitter embedded image 19 hours ago by CateDvineWriter
  • WesternTennis profile imageDon’t forget Craig’s Silent Auction for @MNDScotland closes at 9pm tonight! #mckeeagainstmnd #wearewestern Twitter embedded image 20 hours ago by WesternTennis
  • The_Tall_Ship profile imageIt's summer! Here at the Tall Ship Glenlee we have planned a chock-a-block summer packed with treasure hunts, crafts, toddler sessions, and Morse Code! Follow the link to find out more - bit.ly/tallship_summer #glasgow #scotland Twitter embedded image 21 hours ago by The_Tall_Ship
  • GlasgowWEToday profile image🎨 Summer art exhibition @milngartclub. 🎨Runs till August 4 #milngavie #art #AD @EDCouncil Twitter embedded image 23 hours ago

Get our newsletter

Glasgow West End Today Loading