Lion Chambers, Hope Street, Glasgow. Constructed between 1904 and 1907 using the pioneering Hennebique System. Now an invisible, unappreciated building.
The building has a very interesting form, especially for the material that its made from; reinforced concrete. It is a tall building, taller than the majority of other buildings on that section of Hope Street and yet the members of our group who say they have passed by it daily have never really noticed it. The building is also situated on a main artery in Glasgow, we all noted the high amount of pedestrian activity that passed the building. These were a few of the observations that we made at our initial site visit.
After our initial site visit, we undertook some secondary research to allow us to understand the building and its historical links to the city. We found out that the building was constructed using the Hennebique System. The Hennebique System is a unique method of concrete construction and the Lion Chambers was the second building of its kind in Scotland. It was also significant as an early example of the shared workspaces between academic professionals and artists which has become near commonplace in our society.
Our approach varied from pragmatism to idealism. Initial concepts included turning Hope Street into a pedestrianized green space; knocking down the Lion Chambers and creating a small pocket of calm in a busy city and keeping the building as it is and using it as a vehicle to create awareness of decaying buildings in Glasgow. The last concept is the one we chose to explore further as a group.