ASH was commissioned as landscape designers for the development of Selfridge's city centre site in Trongate, Glasgow

ASH was commissioned by Selfridges Retail Ltd to undertake masterplanning studies for a temporary/semi-permanent development of their city centre site in the Trongate area of the city; an under-used, dilapidated eyesore, but offering obvious great commercial and urban place-making potential.

Key Tasks

Landscape design


Stakeholder consultation

Public consultation

Community artwork liaison



What we did

ASH was part of a multi-disciplinary team asked to investigate the site's potential for a revenue-making scheme that also included – at its core – areas of public realm and temporary performance/exhibition areas, with landscaping and uses that complemented the surrounding area.

Working in close consultation with Glasgow City Council, the strategy called for much more than simply designating an empty space for multi-use, but for the synthesis of a commercial imperative with a truly open and lively public space.

The range of potential uses designed into the scheme is wide; typically including:

  • Markets
  • Festivals
  • Events
  • Public art and exhibitions
  • Performances
  • Contemplation
  • Boulevard for pop-up street cafes and stalls

Re-using the site's assets was a key component of the design philosophy – from the re-location of a building frontage to the main gateway on Trongate to the exploitation of the unattractive backs of existing buildings that would be retained to support a tensile banner structure that could be used for the projection of advertising, film and other artistic imagery.

A creative lighting scheme would bring the place to life at night making it a social place, rather than a place to avoid. The sensitive landscaping proposals accommodate this range of uses and complement the local character of the site's historic setting.

The site would become a desirable stopping point/meeting place in addition to providing a key link between the affluent Merchant City and neighbouring Trongate and surrounding street.

The design, therefore, pays homage to the site's history, recognises its location as a potential linking mechanism between different areas of the city, and as a place where the city's artistic reputation as “rough-edged cool” (The Independent, 21 March 2010) could be expressed. The proposals offer an exciting multi-media, multi-use, socially-integrating hub.

The hard and soft landscaping of the proposals were chosen for ease of maintenance, functional flexibility and to complement the surrounding streetscape.

Selfridges have since sold the site which is now proposed to be a mixed-use development and most of the old buildings have been demolished.

Find out more

We’re always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out more about the services we can offer for your project, you can email us on or call 0141 227 3388.