J.D Wetherspoon, the down-market pub chained famed for cheap lager, bad curries, and supporting Brexit, has made a major move into the Glasgow hotel market with a new proposal to sit on one of Glasgow's prime streets.
The plans overlooking Jamaica Street have been designed by KDPA for the vacant site next to the grade A listed Crystal Palace, formerly known as Gardener's Warehouse, which was built in 1856 and was the first fully cast iron fronted commercial building constructed in the United Kingdom. It now serves as a pub for J.D Wetherspoon.
Although the pub chain is developing it, there will likely be few actual links to the pub in the marketing of the building. After all, Wetherspoon's is not the sort of brand to be attached in the marketing of an up-scale property with the name of Crystal Palace Hotel, which is drawn from the fact that the architect of the neighbouring building was said to be inspired by Paxton's work in south London.
The original proposals saw something that would more or less follow the roofline of its illustrious neighbour with only five floors, but now additional space has been added on top with another five levels, with a sky garden and bar topping it. The hotel will also be spread into the empty floors of the existing Crystal Palace building.
The design of the building with its modernist projecting bays looking onto Jamaica Street, particularly with the height increasing, may appear incongruous to some when taking into account the fine Victorian buildings standing either side and the small matter of it towering over a building so critically acclaimed described as "one of the great landmarks in Western architectural history". As such, the plans for the hotel next door are bound to be controversial.