The winner in the search to find Scotland’s best building of the last hundred years is . . . a shopping mall in Glasgow.
Princes Square in the centre of the city has been voted the country’s favourite modern structure, beating competition from significant cultural landmarks including the Scottish parliament and the National Museum of Scotland.
The award has prompted a heated exchange in architectural circles with experts describing the choice as “undeserving” and “crass” while one critic was told “he should get out more”.
Housed in a Victorian building on Buchanan Street, Princes Square underwent significant development in 1987 by the Edinburgh architects Hugh Martin & Partners, when a sweeping staircase, new lighting and a decorative peacock sculpture were added to the façade. The project won a raft of design awards as well as celebrity admiration, with the writer Bill Bryson describing it as “one of the most intelligent pieces of urban renewal”.
Three decades later the retail centre can add a new accolade to that list. In a year-long process that involved the public nominating 400 of their favourite buildings, 100 were chosen by a panel including historians and art critics, before a shortlist of ten were announced month and final began.