THE GREAT EASTERN- 10TH OF OCTOBER, 2012
As part of my first year at Glasgow School of Art, all students in first year are required to take part in a Cross School Project. This brings together students from across different courses at the art school and requires them to create a piece of work based on the brief given. The title of the course is ‘Lost’ and along with a site in Glasgow given to each group by their designated tutor, each group must create a piece of work conveying the idea of loss. As well as the studio based work, each individual student is required to keep a reflective journal to document and reflect on the process. This is my on line journal.
On the 10th of October we visited the site we were given to base our Cross School Project on. The site chosen for my group 2A and also group 2 B and C was The Great Eastern, 100 Duke St in Glasgow.
We visited the sight early afternoon. As we walked to the site many of the areas leading to the building were run down. There were empty shops and boarded up houses. As we got closer to the site, however, the areas surrounding the site were under redevelopment. A new car park had been built down the street and many high rise modern flats were being erected in the area.
We reached the front of The Great Eastern. I was firstly struck by the size of the building. It was extremely wide and the entire front was dotted with many windows spanning over about 5 floors. Having looked at the building on line before our visit I had not realised the great size of it. My opinion of the building was altered, as when standing underneath looking up at the building, it has a grand and powerful presence and you almost feel engulfed by it’s power, which I had not thought of before visiting the site. The building’s exterior seemed very grand and historical. Our tutor then informed us that the building used to be a homeless shelter for men and was then closed down and now had been renovated, much like the rest of the area and a lot of other historical buildings in Glasgow, and made into flats.
My first reaction to this, was an extreme desire to explore inside the building. This, however, was not possible. The building, as it is now flats, has a gated entrance and a completely different layout than when it was used as a homeless shelter.
After exploring around the area and having a look around the back of the building I realised that only the original façade of the building still existed and the rest had been rebuilt.
My group and I decided after having a look around the site, that we would go away and research the building and it’s history as much as possible before our first tutorial on Monday the 15th of October. I felt that I wanted to know more about the building and I was eager to find out about it’s past life, what it was used for prior to being a homeless shelter and people’s opinions of it.