What Makes a Building Glaswegian?

“Each great civilization arrived at its apogee when subject to geographical and material conditions, its essence was expressed collectively in the tectonic form” (1)

As Kenneth Frampton states a civilization reaches its peak when its architecture authentically and tectonically reflects its culture as a whole and one signs of its decay can be seen in the ‘excessive formal variation1’. This can be seen throughout Glasgow’s urban fabric when looking at its buildings and their tectonic values. Hopefully a search for our generations apogee throughout the experimental tectonic can result in a more ethical way of being re-sculpting our values. Having analyzed a city walk from the high street up to Blythswood square Glasgow’s urban grain seems rather uniform based on the ornamental stereo-tonic to the plain stereo-tonic and finally in more recent times the plain tectonic building bleaching our urban tapestry. Henceforth the answer to the question of what makes a building Glaswegian is rapidly changing faces from the stereo-tonic ornamental to the minimalistic tectonic.

1 Frampton Kenneth, “Studies in Tectonic Culture” MIT PRESS, page 65


Key Themes: Culture, Tectonics, Materiality