Saturday, 30 April 2011

Green Roofs

Looking around the web at green roofs. These are often turf, but sometimes complete gardens, or even used to grow vegetables and herbs. They are insulating, reducing heating costs (and ergo CO2 emissions), absorb pollution and CO2, increases biodiversity, provides habitats for small animals and birds, and make citys look a lot prettier..

Page here about the Chicago green roof programme

another page here by a company that makes green roof with lots of pics

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Pics of Site

Managed to get access to a balcony in the Hilton, courtesy of Bert, their security manager and got some nice shots I've stitched together into a panorama taking in the motorway, St Patricks primary and most of the bridge (seen on the left side)...

Eduardao Chilleda

been looking at the work of Eduardao Chilleda, the Basque sculptor who created many monumental abstract sculptures...

'Berlin' for the Bundeskanzleramt in Berlin, errected 2000

Peine del Viento, in San Sebastien, Spain

Museo Chilleda Leku (unfortunately closed due to the recession)
Wikipedia Page
Interview on

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ivy can protect walls and reduce pollution

An Oxford University study commissioned by English Heritage finds that Ivy actually protects walls by creating a micro-atmosphere that protects walls against cold-shocks. It also helps reduce pollution...

Wondering what the Kingston Bridge and overpasses would look like covered in Ivy... probably much better - feel a photoshop moment coming on.. too bad I don't have it.. will have to try in the school library...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Found a nice free (if a little technical) program for making panoramas - Called Hugin - get it here

Stitched a few panoramas from shots I've taken around the M8

Views of the M8

Finding it hard to make an image that gives a good overview of the site (I don't have a fish-eye lens, or a helicopter unfortunately)..

So fishing on the web found these:
Looking south from Charing Cross (you can see the Bridge to Nowhere - with the spiral shape to the right)

Shot from high up in the Hilton - think I will pop down there when it's sunny and see if I can convince someone to let me shoot a better quality and wider version of this view.

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Ken suggested I look at Christo's presentations/proposals for artworks - as they are compelling and persuasive images which helped convince people to allow their artworks to take place.

drawings for "Wrapped Roman Wall" (Italy 1974)

drawings for "The Wall" (Germany 1999)

drawings for "The Gates"(New York City - 1979-2005)

The images are created with a variety of media - often using collage, pencil, enamel paint, crayons, pastels, and fabric- usually on top of a photograph of the proposed site (for bigger works often an aerial photo). I really like these images - they are artworks in their own right. I can see that these will have inspired, informed and convinced people to help make these reality.

Check out their site here:

Monday, 18 April 2011

Woodland Structure

Article about layers of woodland structure here

more health near motorways

Another study about the harmful effects of traffic fumes on children - this time neural affects - with children exposed to traffic fumes exhibiting lower IQ score - even after adjusting for socio-economic status, exposure to tobacco smoke etc.

This used to be all blamed on the lead in petrol, but now it's becoming apparent that the micro-fine soot (particulate matter) is very bad for you too.

I made a map on google maps that shows a 500m zone around the M8 covering the area near the bridge and have placed markers for the schools and nurseries I've found within this area. So glad I didn't go to any of them, I've got asthma and dyslexia and by the sounds of this: I would have been even worse..

View 500m around m8 in a larger map

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Garnethill Park

Interesting page by John Kraska about Garnethill Park here

Lots of info about the Murals and Park.

Health near motorways...

Air pollution near motorways not only increases likelihood of asthma etc, but a study published in the Lancet identified permanent and life-limiting damage to children's lungs if they live within 500 metres of a motorway - diesel fumes especially mean people grow up with significantly reduced lung capacity...

Guardian Article here from 2007

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Played around making a wee maquette this week in studio - experimenting with trying to make an abstract shape that presents a figurative shape when viewed from the right angle - thinking about making a sculpture that reveals breifly to people driving along the M8...

Green Bridges

Found this photo of a bridge in Budapest that was 'greened' in 2004 (I think it was only temporary unfortunately)...

The German environmental artist Dieter Magnus (who designed Garnethill Park) has greened various bridges in Germany, including this one in Mainze:

They help reduce pollution and noise - provide a way for wildlife to get between green spaces as well as providing a much nicer place to cross the road for pedestrians etc.

Helping pollution with plants

Plants and trees can reduce pollution from traffic - helping absorb toxins, improve air quality and reducing noise pollution..

Building Green: A Guide to Using Plants on Roofs, Walls and Pavements (1993)

by the London Ecology Unit...

Sound proofing

Thinking about the level of noise pollution next to the M8 and found out there is such a thing as sound panels for dealing with this exact problem...

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Steam Engines

Having a look on the web at steam engines,

Came across this image which I find pretty amazing... the end of an era...
from this site about the Woodhams of Barry - Locomotive Scrap yard, where many old locomotives were scrapped at the end of the 1960's...

Also found images and drawings of a beam engine here, from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (try saying that in one breath! even RCAHMS isn't much better)

Glasgow's past

Thinking about Glasgow's past - especially transport - the route of the proposed cycle path will go from the clyde, over the railway at Anderston and over the M8 (where an old tram yard used to be) so it pretty much incorporates all of Glasgows transport history - to cap it all it will probably be the route of choice for any visitors to Glasgow to travel by foot or bike from Central Station to the new Riverside Transport Museum.

So here's links to:
The Riverside Museum pageappeal site and faqs (due to open soon - can't wait)
The Scottish Maritime Museum
and what I've mostly been looking at: The Scottish Maritimes photostream on flickr - which has an interesting collection of historical imagery...

Egyptian State Railways 2-6-2T - loading locomotives onto a ship, Glasgow Docks 1926

Sustran's Bike Trail page - Hillend Loch

Hillend Loch Bike Trail page here

This is the central section of the N75 route, which connect the East and West coasts of Scotland via Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This route is currently being changed as the Bathgate to Airdrie section was built on the old railway line which is now being reinstated, a new cyclepath is being constructed alongside it. National Rail have assured me they are resiting all the sculptures and waymarkers. Though the Bedrock Bike is being resited on the Union Canal - which I thought was a bit odd as the wheels are made of old mill wheels that were found by the railway line - so this will decontextualise it somewhat...

Bedrock Bike by Dave Holladay

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Got a copy of maps of the area from 1896, and 1934 - unfortunately I had to sign a piece of paper saying I wouldn't upload them to the internet - thought it was a bit mad - surely that's out of copyright now?

anyway - these maps have given me an idea of what was there before it was levelled to make way for the M8... The Anderston footbridge looks like it would have run along the north boundary line of the grounds of the Anderston United Presbyterian Church and the south side of the Bishop St. Engineering works.

Anderston United Presbyterian Church - then Anderston Free Church (from 1900 onward) - viewed from South.  The footbridge is situated somewhat behind where this church was.

Bishop St. Engineering Works, with foundry to right, viewed from West - If the footbridge was in this shot it, we would probably see the West end of it on the right side of the photo leading away from the viewpoint.

Roadside Attractions

The M8 sculptures remind me of America's roadside attractions - sculptures that are often in the worst possible taste - that nonetheless find a place in many peoples hearts - often kitsch and tacky, covering a huge range of subject matter - they are often a lot (LOT) larger than life, and the only thing they seem to have in common is their lack of subtlety and bold, brash attitude...

Glasgow's culture has a fondness for americana, and I feel it is more than amenable to this particular kind - it seems in congruence with Glasgow's propensity for the large, loud and bold.

Here's some links to some of the cheesiest, tackiest, and fun nonsense around:

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

More Sustrans Art Projects

More Sustrans art: with a community focus (see Sustran's Art and the Community Page here)

Secrets of Nuneaton by Lesley Kerman

"artist Lesley Kerman proposed a series of clear resin bricks containing items associated with the history of Nuneaton to be installed on National Route 52. Local residents were invited to a local shop in the centre of Nuneaton to share their thoughts and memories about the area."

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Worlds Largest Bicycle

The world record for the largest bicycle is apparently held by Didi Senft from Kolpin in Germany.

It's 7.8m long and 3.7m high

Ailsa Craig Bicycles

Glasgow's Bicycle History

Ailsa Craig - the now defunct makers of marine engines started out in Glasgow - apparently known as Craig Bicycles...

nothing like a bit of synchronicity...

Sculptures along the M8

Other Sculptures along the M8 include:

"Sawtooth Ramps" by Patricia Leighton
(often known as the Blackburn Pyramids)

"The Horn" by Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion

"Big Heids" by David Mach

"Heavy Horse" by Andy Scott

Paint your own Cycleway

Last September Glasgow residents were invited to paint their cycleway as part of the Connect2 project - The Bridge to Nowhere

link here

and another article here

Glasgow Council Page on the Bridge to Nowhere

Glasgow City Council page on the Bridge to Nowhere project

Sustrans Art

Sustrans (the sustainable transport charity) commissions art and research projects as part of it's mission to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport more.

Lot's of info about it:

Projects include:

Sensory Journeys (artist Christian Nold) - fascinating sensory maps developed with schoolchildren highlighting the difference in experience between walking/cycling or being driven

Portrait Bench - people from each local community in the Connect2 programme will choose 3 local heroes and their portraits will be cut out of corten steel and situated with a bench on the path - I wonder who Glasgow will choose for the Bridge to Nowhere paths...

Tranquility (by Liminal - a partnership between architect Frances Crow, and sound artist and composer David Prior) - a multi-disciplinary investigation commissioned by Sustrans with support from The Wellcome Trust to investigate the perception of sound and the effect of unwanted sounds on an individual's psychology. This project had several outputs - one of which, the Organ of Corti won the PRSF New Music Award.

The Organ of Corti

and there's more, but later...

Proposal - Pitch - Project

For my next school project: I've chosen to devise a proposal, or series of proposals, for the 'Bridge to Nowhere' in Glasgow, which is an unfinished pedestrian bridge over the M8 at Anderston that is due to be redeveloped as a cycle and pedestrian bridge, with links to the Clyde, Central Station and Kelvingrove Park; as part of the Lottery funded Sustrans Connect 2 project.

Sustrans Page about the Connect2 project
Sustrans Page about completing the Bridge to Nowhere