''Swan in Flight'' design wins canopy competition

24 Jan 2007

A new £200k canopy for the pedestrian bridge over the Forth & Clyde Canal at Clydebank Shopping Centre is to be designed by Neil McLean of Glasgow architects RMJM, following a major design competition amongst architects, it was announced today (24 January 2007).

Neil McLean's winning design reflects a swan in flight over the canal, with two long cantilevering wing spans emerging from a central supporting steel structure.

"The winning entry stood out as an inspired solution and an iconic structure.  It is strikingly elegant and sophisticated.  It has beauty with lasting value and will look well from all approaches, not least from the canal itself", said Andrew Wright, leading architect and past president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), who chaired the judging panel.

Sixty six architects submitted designs in the novel competition - initiated by RIAS and Clydebank Re-built, the town's pathfinder urban regeneration company -  to design a canopy to replace the existing 25-year old metal-latticed framed which local people had criticised as being "unsightly".

"We were delighted with the wide response to the competition from architects in Scotland, from the rest of the UK and a few from abroad.  Many found real inspiration in their design approach from Clydebank's illustrious past and its plans for the future", added Mr Wright.

Construction work on the new canopy is expected to start in August and it should be completed by December.

The winning design could be enhanced during the hours of darkness through a programme of changing light effects as "a beacon to the regeneration of the area".

The canopy project is funded by West Dunbartonshire Council through a grant from the Scottish Executive's Cities Growth Fund, Strathclyde European Partnership Urban II  programme, and Clydebank Re-built.   The new canopy will be a feature in the eventual link up of the town centre with the regenerated Queens Quays, the former John Brown shipyards site.

Four designs were short-listed in December by the judging panel.  The four short-listed designs were from architects Graeme Andrew of ATA Studios, Glasgow; Constantine Koritsas, London; Ged Young of AIM Architects, Dundee with Arups Engineering and Neil McLean of RMJM, Glasgow with Buro Happold Engineers.

A two- week exhibition of the winning design, together with the short-listed designs and a selection of the other entries is to open in Clydebank Shopping Centre next month.  It will be opened by John McFall MP, chair of Clydebank Re-built on Friday 9th February.

Note to news desk

The canopy design competition was launched by RIAS(Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) and Clydebank Re-built, the town's pathfinder urban regeneration company in September 2006, with closing date for entries on 17 November.   The judging panel included expert architects and engineers, and representatives from West Dunbartonshire Council, British Waterways Scotland, Nelson Bakewell, property managers for the shopping centre and Clydebank Re-built.

Further information from

John Brown for Clydebank Re-built 0141 959 4380 or 07881 818474 (mobile)

  • Winning canopy design Neil McLean of Glasgow Architects RMJM