Saturday, 3 October 2009
Terrific Tesco - Lucky Port Glasgow!
At last I've managed to collect my thoughts on the Big Tesco at Port Glasgow, Scotland's biggest and best store. I've mentioned this so many times before and frankly I've been so overwhelmed by wonder and excitement that I wasn't able to put pen to paper. Where do you start with something as good as this and how do you start to explain all the complex cross-cutting themes that underpin this fantastic achievement? First of all let's get the disappointment out of the way - I don't know who designed this. Looking at the sheer panache and style it could certainly be one of my favourites but equally it could be SMC Parr or Halliday Fraser Munro - someone in the office said they both had a no-nonsense approach to bashing out entirely commercial solutions. This would fit the bill for Tesco - excellent in fact!
Let's have a look at another photo. In this one above you can see the sheer scale of the development - acres of car parking draining directly into the River Clyde which is a readymade filter bed for the SUDS system. Also you can see the way that the site has been built up from the surrounding ground level - this is required by new Scottish Government legislation which says that all new development must be built 2 metres higher than existing levels to prevent flooding. This means that while surrounding areas may be inundated and destroyed in the future, Tesco will be safe - a clever move. Incidentally this would mean that Park Page's stupid wee library in Port Glasgow's derelict town centre would also be destroyed - that will be a blessing for the town! Anyway, you can see that Tesco has a direct footpath connection to the riverside. This is so that dad and the kids can go down to the river and throw stones at empty Buckfast bottles while mum does the shopping - so it's a big tick for a family day out!
You could get lost in this Tesco and helpfully, in common with other Central Scotland superstores, pigeons are allowed to nest on the internal structure of the roof - so you just need to look up and see where the pigeons are and they can guide you to the checkouts. Pigeons inside, seagulls on the roof outside - Tesco have generously provided a huge roof (echoing the old shipyard buildings of the town) for seagulls to sit around on. No photovoltaics here though they are trying to put up a couple of windmills to show people that they are taking the sustainability agenda seriously. Well it's inevitable that some quiche-eating hippies will hang out there, buying petrol for their camper vans and looking to score points against Tesco.
Yes - this is a development of pure brilliance! Congratulations to everyone involved for their outstanding creative input and their care and concern for the future wellbeing of the area. Lucky Port Glasgow!