Phoenix Flowers

(Garscube Link, Metal Petals)

A distinctive landmark located alongside the A81 Garscube Road in Central Glasgow, the Phoenix Flowers (or Metal Petals) are a group of large, brightly-coloured aluminium flowers which line the underpass beneath the M8 motorway and are illuminated at night. Constructed in 2009-10, there are fifty red, yellow and pink flowers, each standing up to 8m (26 feet) in height. They form part of the Garscube Link, connecting the city centre with the Spiers Lock on the Glasgow Branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal, and commemorate Phoenix Park, an area of greenspace lost to the development of the motorway in the 1960s. The link was the work of 7N Architects and RankinFraser Landscape Architecture for the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (GCRP), a partnership between Glasgow City Council and ISIS Waterside Regeneration, supported by British Waterways Scotland. The link cost £1.2 million and won the 'Best Future Building' category at 2010 Scottish Design Awards.

Phoenix Park was developed from 1892 on land vacated by the Phoenix Foundry, was run by Thomas Edington (1814-59), and notable for producing much of Glasgow's ornamental iron-work. This land had been purchased by Glasgow Corporation at the immense cost of £25,000. The park had flowers, shrubs and trees, a bandstand, gym and a large ornamental fountain. It gave its name to Phoenix Park Kindergarten which was, in 1913, the first nursery school to open in Glasgow. This provided childcare for female munitions workers during the First World War, but closed in 1998.

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