Iconic Glasgow multi-storeys to be demolished

Whitevale and Bluevale

SCOTLAND’S tallest residential multi-storeys will disappear from the Glasgow skyline in a landmark demolition.

The iconic Whitevale and Bluevale high-rise flats in the Gallowgate will be deconstructed piece by piece.

The 31-storey blocks, which stretch to 85 metres, will be demolished by specialist staff on a platform placed on top of the building.

Dundee-based Demolition contractor Safedem will begin lifting the platform on to the roof of 109 Bluevale Street next month. Work is expected to be complete by summer 2015.

The demolition is part of Glasgow Housing Association’s commitment to regenerating communities across the city.

Alex McGuire, Director of Property for GHA’s parent company Wheatley Group said, “The Gallowgate Twins have a special place in people’s hearts and in Glasgow’s history, but their time has come to an end. This unique demolition is another important step in the ongoing regeneration of housing in the city and will ensure our homes are fit for future generations.”

The ‘TopDownWay’ demolition technology – which has been used before in Italy and France – was chosen due to the close proximity of the neighbouring block and nearby roads and also the unique core structure of the blocks.

Some of the tenants who lived at Bluevale and Whitevale moved into the 62-home GHA development across the road which opened last year. Other tenants moved to upgraded GHA homes in the areas of their choice or into houses belonging to other Registered Social Landlords.

Bluevale and Whitevale were regarded as Scotland’s tallest residential buildings when they were built in 1969. They were eclipsed in the early 1970s by three London tower blocks in the 42-storey Barbican Estate.

 The deconstruction of 51 Whitevale Street will begin soon after, with the site cleared by 2016.

The deconstruction system is unique as it avoids the need for scaffolding. A platform on top of the building allows staff to remove walls and floors piece by piece. Once work on each floor is complete, the platform descends down the building until it reaches ground level.

William Sinclair, Safedem Managing Director, explained, “We carefully assess every project before developing the safest and most appropriate method of demolition. The ‘TopDownWay’ is an innovative system designed for the deconstruction of high-rise structures in close proximity to nearby properties.”

The future use of the Whitevale and Bluevale site will be subject to discussion with Glasgow City Council, in line with the city’s local housing strategy.