Memories of Place : Archaos, Glasgow

The site forms part of an urban block in Glasgow’s City Centre defined by principle streets; St Vincent, Queen, Argyle and Buchanan Street. The city form and the surrounding area is urban in character made from various tones and textures of stone and brick.

Archaos nightclub was one of the city’s hottest legendary music and dance venues in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s – A strong cultural institution to many.

The site, now vacant for 10 years, is formed by a collection of 3 – 4 storey former warehouse buildings with retail and bar use on the ground floor and the former Archaos nightclub space on the upper floors.

The building is not architecturally precious or special, but as a piece of memory and memorial this old building, from once a warehouse to then nightclub, belongs to a moment in time.

As a practice, and as individuals perhaps nostalgic, we felt the impulse to record and document this place before the building is re-absorbed back into Glasgow as a new typology.

In carrying out our documentation we commissioned Dapple Photography to assist in recording the current space and this point in time in which, we believe, the resultant images help capture a lost atmosphere and a space full of decay, colour, texture and memory.

As a practice, or as a means of working, we like to fully understanding the conditions of a place or building in which we are asked to look at. By analysing conditions through means of survey or, behind the camera, by photograph we tend to believe this technique and careful approach enriches and aids our design process and thinking.

This project and place is now in development.  There are many ideas to be discussed and developed in terms of an architectural approach to the building. We believe heritage creating a sense of place is vital to all projects and hopefully this building can evolve into a unique solution where ghost signs and clues from the past can be retained to help reinforce our future proposal.

We knew from the start that this place would hold a lot of memories for people, so we knew we had a responsibility to capture some of that.