Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sketchup Model

The Sketchup model of the heritage park is now available to download. Please visit the resources page for the download link

The 3D model is still a work in progress and further updates to the model will be added in due course.


More Revised Concept Images

More images from a revised 3D concept. This was developed taking more accurate dimensions from Google Earth and using a higher resolution satellite image import into sketchup to trace the layout of the docks and quays. It also accounts for the different levels that exist on the quays – which have been estimated from photographs of the site. The dimensions in the model are not completely accurate and are only for conceptual illustration.

A revised concept of a row of flats and commercial units along Govan Road has also been included. This is devised with demand for some degree of residential/commercial use in mind but in a way that it does not encroach onto the park – instead forming the boundary. While longer overall than the original concept – the idea of a continuous block has been replaced with a row of separate buildings. It has been integrated with a deck that would open the park onto Govan Road and has the overall look of a ship. It is anticipated the first 2 level, on the quay and the deck, would be commercial units (cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, etc) that would be leased to independent businesses and not major restaurant/coffee shop chains (or at least the presence of such businesses would be strictly limited). It is estimated the row could include up to 75-100 flats depending on size. This would be the maximum extent of any construction on the site – only marquees and free standing cabins would be used on the other quays and this would also be stipulated in the park deeds.

I am also working on an alternative concept for this that would use the deck onto Govan Road as designed but have only two levels, using wood and sandstone and having only commercial units in a more rustic style. Feedback regarding which people think is best (and importantly most viable) would be welcome. This will be taken into consideration in developing a finalised concept to be submitted to Glasgow City Council and others during the City Development Plan consultation. I would also like to seek feedback from anyone able to assist with developing a cost analysis of implementing a park concept along these lines.

The overall concept in terms of layout and utilisation of space is otherwise largely unchanged from the previous version (

The trees in the model are based on conifers as they are easy to render and having a low polygon-count don’t demand much graphic memory. Though I anticipate a variety of both evergreen and deciduous trees, including apple and other fruit trees, would be used throughout the park.

The Sketchup file will be published shortly.

Govan Graving Docks heritage park pump house.

View of the pump house from the north west. A water feature has been added in front of the building which could either be a lido or a pond with fish, aquatic plants and model boats. A conservatory extension has been added for additional cafe space. A new quay wall is show along the River Clyde replacing the previous quay which has collapsed completely.

Govan Graving Docks shipbuilding heritage park concept - quay between drydock three and the river

The narrow part of the quay to the north of dry dock 3 between the dock and the river. The concept envisages this would be a garden quay. Two levels exist on this quay as shown and the wall could be used for a variety of climbing plants. The grass areas could be planted with a variety of trees, shrubs and other plants – including fruit trees. Plants could be grown in maritime artifacts like old rowing boats or salvaged fixtures from ships arranged in the grass areas. It is also anticipated that a stepped garden would be created on the walls of this drydock. A trellis arch at the end of the path of the lower quay.

View of drydock 3

View over drydock three showing house boats, pontoons and floating gardens in the dock. Bridges have been added across the middle of the drydock and a row of flats and commercial units on Govan Road.

Access from Govan Road

Main Govan Road entrance. The deck opens on to the street enabling pedestrian access to the commercial units and walkways/views on the deck level and offering a vantage point of the park and skyline. A wide flight of steps and two elevators provide access down to the quay.

Quay between drydock 3 and Govan Rd

Commercial units and flats on the quay at Govan Road. The basements (quay side) and ground floors (street level) are commercial units and these could be cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, etc.

Drydock 3 Govan Road Quay

The existing stairwells in the dock are used to create access to pontoons in drydock 3

Govan Graving docks shipbuilding heritage park

Arial view of the entire park as it might look form the Science Centre tower. A bridge opens up access from Pacific Quay to the garden quay to the north of drydock 3. In order to use the stairwells on drydock 3 for pontoon access the water level will need to be lowered below that of the river. In order to maintain this level while still allowing vessels to enter and leave the dock it will be necessary to install a lock system. This could be achieved with an additional caisson gate at the end of the quay as shown in the image. This could accommodate vessels up to approx. 30m (~100ft) in length and up to 40m if the lock gate was angled to use the full length of the south quay based on taking measurements from Google Earth.

Govan Graving Docks heritage park basin

The basin to the west of the graving docks. A new stepped quay is shown around the basin which would accommodate a marina for house boats and rental/visitor moorings. Unchanged from the previous model on the left is a fenced nature reserve (shown in dark green) with bird pond and park grass areas (shown in lighter green) while the basin quays are flanked on the other sides by a nature reserve / ecology park area.

Pump House Restoration Concept

3D rendering of restored pump house

3D rendering of restored pump house

Govan Graving Docks - Dry dock 1 and the pump house

Govan Graving Docks – Dry dock 1 and the pump house

A 3D rendering of what the pump house could look like if restored as the heritage park concept envisages. The quay to the east of the pump house could be kept free of permanent exhibits and installations and used for seasonal events, street performers, temporary outdoor exhibitions, etc.

Just a reminder here’s what it looks like at present:



Maritime Museum Proposal from 1989

A must-read article from The Glasgow Herald, 2nd November 1989 (the year after the docks were decommissioned), reporting on a bid to transform Govan Graving Docks into a maritime museum.

Sheds an interesting light on the current situation of the site and concerns over its deterioration – “in direct contravention of statutes concerning the maintenance of A-listed sites”.,455450

This is what Historic Scotland have to say about maintenance of listed buildings:

Heritage Park Market Area

The heritage park concept proposes that a permanent market area be created on the quay between dry docks 2 and 3.

This market area would consist of wooden huts (made from sustainable Scottish timber) and would create opportunities for micro-businesses selling such things as art, crafts, clothing, hand made goods, preserved food products (e.g. jams/pickles), craft brewery products, etc.

There would also be food stalls and while street food often has a reputation for being unhealthy, it is hoped that this could host an eclectic mix of the best of Scottish and international street food – encouraging use of sustainably sourced, local, organic and free-range produce. Picnic tables could be lined along part of the nearby quaysides, under canvas canopies to keep the Scottish weather at bay.

This type of market is often seen at seasonal festivals and fairs however the heritage park would aim to have this as a year round set up. Though food stall holders might choose to alter their menus on a seasonal basis.

If as hoped, a trust is set up to manage the heritage park, then these stall holders could be given trust membership as part of their stall rental package. Business incubator support could also be given to new micro-businesses taking on market stalls in the park to help with all aspects of setting up and running a profitable stall.

The proposal suggests up to 36 market huts and up to 18 food stalls could be accommodated on this quay.

Heritage Park Job Creation

A rough estimate shows that the heritage park as proposed in the design concept could create up to 289 permanent full time jobs, in the park and leased commercial facilities, including commercial units on Govan Road, market huts, food stalls and proposed floating facilities.

The assumptions used in arriving at this figure are as follows. If you think this figure should be larger or smaller please post in the comments.

  •  Up to 15 small commercial units on the quay in the block along Govan Road, average of 3 staff per unit  (45)
  • 16-18 food stalls, average 4 staff per stall (72)
  • 36 Market huts, average 2 staff per hut (72)
  • 12 staff for floating bar
  • 30 staff for restored ship (restaurant, conference/banqueting facilities, possible hotel)
  • 4 Staff for exhibition marquee
  • 6 Staff for pump house cafe
  • 6 staff for pump house visitor centre
  • 4 general maintenance staff
  • 2 nature reserve wardens
  • 15 security staff
  • 5 curators
  • 10 miscellaneous staff
  • 6 Admin and managment staff