Clyde Auditorium - The Armadillo:
Opened in 1997 and designed by Foster and Partners. The Clyde auditorium is a 3000 seater auditorium sited beside the SECC on the north bank of the River Clyde. Nicknamed the Armadillo the design is meant to echo a series of interlocking ship's hulls. In reality whilst being a building of note and fulfilling the idea of a 'signature' building, one wonders whether it is more than just an architectural gimmick in terms of being just a form placed beside the Clyde which happily adorns postcards of Glasgow. Nicknamed the armadillo, it is windowless and secretive, it's form doing nothing to inform the viewer of it's function. Once inside it is hard to imagine what the outer envelope could be as the interior seems to bear no relation to the exterior. The tubular steelwork at time creates ugly junctions as whilst one may expect such a simple form to have an inherently simple and elegant structure, in reality the demands of the interior denies this.
On a positive note, it does as mentioned provide a role as an architectural pin-up and successfully function as an auditorium, but for those hoping to find a Foster building of significance this is not it.

street address: Exhibition Way, Finnieston, Glasgow, G3 8HN
Latitude / Longitude: 55.859649,-4.287497 (sourced using Google Maps)

view from the south-west


view of south elevation from across the Clyde


overlapping/interlocking hulls of the design, note the access ladder between shells. The crane in the background working on the new arena being constructed to the north-east of the Armadillo.


view west of the entrance on the east elevation


interlocking hulls from the south-east


view west of the entrance on the east elevation


south elevation with the glazed east entrance


entrance on the east facade and the underside of the shell


view west down the south side


view east along the south elevation


rear view


goods entrance at the rear (west) end


metal cladding detail and the connection through to the SECC


the Armadillo reflected in the Crown Plaza hotel located west of the building


view of the west elevation from further down the Clyde


view of the west elevation from further down the Clyde


back to top


panoramic view from the south bank of the River Clyde, with the Armadillo to the east (left), then the site of the new arena under construction (2011), the Clydeport Titan Crane and the new 'squinty' bridge over the Clyde

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