Glasgow made the Clyde | The Clyde made Glasgow
The history of the river Clyde is the history of Glasgow. We can chart the rise of the city from a small, salmon fishing village to a centre for international trade and industry and the ‘Second City of the Empireʼ through its increasing depth and widening banks.
I focused on the traces that remain from this period of prosperity and the consequent decline. Cast iron bollards and railway tracks still mark the land along the river; their surfaces scarred with the actions of industrial and environmental erosion. Although they are now redundant and unused, they remain to provide a direct link to the past.
The iconic Finnieston Crane is most notable abandoned relic on the river and provides the centre point for my project. The surrounding land is excavated and deepened to reference the various depths of the river through history and then carved into separate spaces determined by the lines of the remaining railway grooves. It is a civic space given back to the people of the city as a place of emotional resonance, education and self-reflection. The tracks are extruded to create walls and covered with the marks, scratches and indentations which can still be found on surfaces along the Clyde. Using laser scanning technology and 3d reproduction techniques, this information is transferred faithfully to the walls allowing visitors to connect directly to this period of history with out the need for words, images or film.
The experience culminates in an ascendence to a platform suspended within the body of the crane. The interior is an open, multi-functional space and allows visitors to get up-close to the surface of the crane. Apertures on each elevation frame views out to the city and the river as well as focusing on to details of the structure, revealing the passage of time in the texture of its surface.