Thursday, March 28, 2013

New E-Book on University Library Design

With a refurbishment of the GSA Main Library planned in the Summer, the new e-book we've just added to the library catalogue couldn't be any more relevant. 'University Libraries and Space in the Digital World' considers the issues impacting on library design, both historically, and in the context of today's libraries with their focus on digital technologies. The book explores the use of space by bringing together international case studies and academic perspectives. There's also a look to the future use of library spaces - something we're on tenterhooks to learn more about as planning for the refurbishment continues.

Search for the book on the library catalogue and follow the link to access the resource online. You'll need your MyGSA log-in details to read.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Glasgow Architect Practice Make Shortlist for RIAS Award

The Ghost of Water Row, an architectural art installation which existed for one night in Govan, has made it to the final 25 nominees for Scotland's most coveted architecture prize. The phantasmagorical structure made of Scottish pale spruce and permeable fabric will be judged against multi-million pound ventures, including Edinburgh's redeveloped Assembly Rooms, when the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) select a 2013 award-winner.

The comparatively modest project by Edo Architecture pays homage to the weaving trade which was established at Water Row in Govan before being replaced by Glasgow's flourishing ship industry in the early 20th century. It was built as part of a community engagement project and coincided with commemorative celebrations for the late Glaswegian sculptor George Wylie. Despite being created on a shoe-string budget, the structure's retrospective emphasis on local history has won favour among the judges who are also inspired by its ambition for a creative future in a site better known for its redevelopment focus than rich cultural heritage.

By encouraging the local community to engage with a bygone time, Edo Architecture hope to raise the ghost of Govan's cultural past. Read more about the project and the history of the site at the links below:

Friday, March 22, 2013

WIRES - Women in Renewable Energy

Remember as you traipse through the blustery snow on this Spring day, that the cold and windy climes of Scotland are useful for generating a large proportion of the country's economy. As we capitalise on the money generated from our renewable energy sources and subsequent developments in the industry, there is a thriving employment sector springing up. Surprising then, that of this large demographic, (covering careers such as engineers, lawyers, environmentalists and admin staff) women account for just 17%.

That's according to WIRES, a forum for female professionals working in the industry. Its aims are to support and inspire women to seize the emerging employment opportunities, and highlight the benefits to business of diversifying in a sector where women are chronically under-represented. The thinking is that if employers and industry representatives can be made to recognise the talents of women studying and working in renewable energies, then Scotland can be helped to achieve its potential as a world leader in renewable energy- with a lot more than just the poor weather going for us! 

Events are occasionally held in Scotland with talks given from MSPs and women in the industry. Visit the WIRES website, or follow the group on LinkedIn:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Department of Architecture Celebration Event at Strathclyde University

The University of Strathclyde Architecture Department are hosting a joint event with the new Glasgow Society, to celebrate its purpose-built building at 131 Rottenrow and to showcase the works of GSA graduate and sculptor, Charles Anderson. The evening event on 26th March will be split into two parts; the first focused on Charles Anderson's successful career as a professional mural painter and sculptor, and the second on the construction of the architecture school by Fielden and Associates in 1965-66.

Charles Anderson studied Drawing & Painting at the School of Art under Donald Donaldson and Mary Armour, graduating with the Diploma in 1959. The many examples of his sculptural works to be found in Scotland include the Glasgow Charing Cross wall mural and concrete wall sculpture at the entrance to the Strathclyde Architecture School Building the event is being held. The second half of the evening will be led by Professor Frank A. Walker, an academic in the Strathclyde department and John C. Cunningham, another successful GSA graduate who was chief-architect on the Architecture Department project.

The event is bound to be of interest for all who have an interest in 1960's Scottish art and architecture, not least given its apt location in the iconic Strathclyde Architecture School Building.

Anyone interested in attending would be wise to book a place in advance at this link:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia Cabinet Display in Library

Library materials sit alongside items from the recently catalogued and conserved Gillespie, Kidd & Coia archive in a new display cabinet located at the entrance to the Library. Amongst the pieces which took our fancy are spectacles, rulers and drafting tools, a study of the 1970 Glasgow Summer School at which Jack Coia taught, and a humorous collection of misaddressed mail which the partners chose to keep for their amusement.

An introduction to Glasgow's most famous architecture firm of the twentieth century and captions relating to the materials provide more information. These can also be found, along with bibliographies of related sources, in the ‘Library Display Cabinets’ folder as part of the Archives and Collections course on the VLE

Watch out for more posts about our cabinet displays which we hope to fill with lots more interesting items over the coming months. Each display will aim to highlight the connections between library holdings and those in the Archives & Collections, and will cover a broad range of taught subject areas, and GSA alumni. Ask at the librarians' office or at Archives & Collections if you have any questions and check the newly-revamped ACC blog for further inspiration. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Walking Heads - City Tours App!

Downloadable audio tours encouraging anyone interested in exploring Glasgow's alternative, low-fi culture on foot are available from the website of Walking Heads, the team responsible for the app's creation and the organisation of walking tours around the city.

Two tours: one, exploring Glasgow's music scene; the other, Edinburgh's comedy circuit, are available as mobile apps for devices including iPhone and Android phones and MP3 players. Radio presenter and DJ Jim Gellatly acts as tour guide on an audio musical odyssey into 100 years of Glasgow's rich musical heritage, stopping along the way at some of the buildings which have coupled as some of the city's favorite music haunts. Among the highlights of architectural interest are the City Halls, The Old Fruitmarket, Barrowlands, King Tut's and The Panoptican.

The group occasionally run attended tours which are guided by two irreverent guides and receive rave reviews. Keep an eye on the website for details of forthcoming tours which take you off the beaten track in an exploration of some of the history cemented in Glasgow's buildings.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

New online resource from NLS - 'Gazetteers of Scotland,' 1803-1901

Gazetteers are listings of geographic names which provide historic information about towns, cities and their features. These topographical encyclopedias have traditionally been consulted in paper-form by researchers interested in the local history of places and their antiquities. Now, thanks to a digital project by the National Library of Scotland (NLS), it is possible to browse and search 20 volumes of the most popular descriptive gazetteers of 19th-century Scotland, covering towns, counties, parishes and glens online.

The gazetteers are housed in NLS' digital library which can be accessed at the link below. The text from the paper copies has been transcribed making it possible to search by keyword using the search engine in the left-hand margin. You might find detailed historical and geographical descriptions about Scotland's principal antique buildings and estates useful - search either by name, or alphabetically, by the area in which you know them to be built. Some old illustrations and maps took our fancy...

Friday, March 01, 2013

Kernels of History - Glasgow's Odeon Cinema

With demolition imminent at Glasgow's Odeon Cinema on Renfield Street, a posting by the Urban Exploration Forums gives us snapshots of this one-time great institution. 

Once the busiest picture-house in the city, the Odeon was designed by architects Frank T. Verity & Samuel Beverly in the early 1930s. It was originally built as a single 2800-seater cinema and opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1934. The building was promptly snapped up by the Odeon chain and flourished as a popular music venue - the Beatles and the Rolling Stones both famously played here in its halcyon days! The cinema was divided into smaller screens in 1969-70, by which time the neon lights lighting-up the uber-cool curved entrance and bare brick walls were also gone. The history books may critique Odeon for stripping the building of its glamorous 30s interiors to bring it in line with the company's corporate image yet, thanks to the building's Grade B listed status, the Art Deco facade and entrance-hall should be retained. 

In the days before Cineworld's domination, the Odeon, for many, was the main place to queue around the block, waiting for the doors to open on the latest picture. Those doors may have closed to the public in 2006, the building due to be transformed into another office block, but the photographs will ensure its legacy is always shown.