St. Enoch Centre
The St. Enoch Centre is a shopping mall located in the central area of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. The Architects were the GMW Architects. The construction, undertaken by Sir Robert McAlpine, began in 1986, and the building was opened to the public in May 1989. It was officially opened by the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in February of the following year.
Located on the site of the former St Enoch Station, the building is just off Glasgow's famous shopping thoroughfare, Argyle Street and overlooks the historic St. Enoch Square and the original Subway station building. The present St Enoch subway station is accessible by escalators.
Whilst the target of many architectural critics, the building is notable for its massive glass roof, which makes it the largest glass-covered enclosed area in Europe. Not only does this substantially reduce heating and lighting loads - the mall area is lit entirely by natural daylight in summer, whilst the solar heat generated by the roof means that mechanical heating is only required for a week on average per year - it also earned the building its affectionate nickname "The Glasgow Greenhouse". The roof's steel framework was fabricated by the shipbuilders Scott Lithgow.
The glass roofed element surrounds a seven storey car park, and when originally opened, an ice rink. This was closed in 1999 when a refurbishment programme (initiated to compete with the newer Buchanan Galleries), saw it being replaced by more shops and an enlarged restaurant area.
Since its opening, St Enoch's anchor tenants have been British Home Stores on the eastern end of the complex, and Boots on the western end adjacent to St Enoch square. Although not part of the mall, there is a link bridge over Osbourne Street to the Debenhams department store on the north side of the building - this was originally the historic Lewis's store on Argyle Street which itself had undergone a major renovation prior to St Enoch's opening.
The mall has undergone two major refurbishments. Between 2000-2001 the ice rink was closed, and converted into an extended food court, and the second floor above the food court area was converted into an entertainment stage. The Argyle Street exit was demolished and rebuilt with an extended mezzanine level housing a TK Maxx store (now closed), and additional shop units with new escalators to serve them. There were other minor updates - the baulstrades and handrails were replaced, and the spiral staircase in the centre of the main mall was removed, whilst the hanging wall gardens on the car park exterior walls were replaced by projection screens.
In 2008, a £100 Million refurbishment began that was expected to be complete by the end of 2009, but will be complete indefinitely in Summer 2010. This refubishment will expand the floor area to 1.3m sq. ft and includes a new entrance at the corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, whilst the Argyle Street entrance built in 2000 was demolished for a second time to make way for a new facade, resulting in the closure of the TK Maxx store. In line with the extensions, the original 1980s floor tiling was replaced and the escalators at both ends of the main mall were moved to different locations and renewed.
Hamleys, G-Star RAW, H&M, Folli Follie, Henleys and Lambretta are some of the few new retail units as part of the refurbishment. Initially, the shopping centre is aiming to tender to a more upmarket niche to compete well with the high street and rival mall Buchanan Galleries. The Tesco Metro store formerly on Argyle Street relocated to the lower ground level of the extension, whilst the TK Maxx store that was displaced from the mall relocated to the vacant Tesco site.
St Enoch's Square is also being redeveloped in order to encourage a better public communication. The units overlooking the square will be occupied by food outlets to encourage a new civic space for Glasgow on the square and encourage the public to be able to use the space easily.
Debenham's Department Store have also recently announced that they will be undergoing a renovation as part of the centre's development, including a premier restaurant.