Glasgow & West Scotland

Scotland's tallest residential high-rise flats come down

Whitevale and Bluevale flats in Gallowgate Image copyright GHA
Image caption The so-called 'Gallowgate twins' were built in 1969

Work is starting to demolish Scotland's tallest residential high-rise flats.

The Whitevale and Bluevale flats, in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow, will be brought down piece by piece.

The 31-storey blocks, which stand about 85m (278 feet) high, will be demolished by specialist staff on a platform placed on top of the building.

Once the platform is in place, Bluevale will be brought down piece by piece between January and summer 2015. Whitevale will follow by 2016.

Alex McGuire, director of property for Glasgow Housing Association's (GHA) 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 top-down demolition method was chosen due to the towers' closeness to busy roads and a nearby retail park.

The system avoids the need for scaffolding and will see a platform placed on top of each building.

'Safest method'

This will allow contractors 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.

Safedem managing director, William Sinclair, said: "We carefully assess every project before developing the safest and most appropriate method of demolition.

"The top-down way is an innovative system designed for the deconstruction of high-rise structures in close proximity to nearby properties."

Bluevale and Whitevale are taller than Glasgow's Red Road flats, although the top floor accommodation in the latter is higher than the Gallowgate flats.

Both towers 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.

GHA said the future of the Whitevale and Bluevale site, once cleared, would be "subject to discussion with Glasgow City Council".

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