Afterglow: Luma Tower, Glasgow’s Shining Art Deco Icon

LUMA Tower 8

The process of converting the former factory into residential housing was a long and convoluted one given the importance of the edifice to Glasgow’s architectural history. Kudos for all parties concerned for seeing the light, so to speak, and full props to Flickr user Hugh Nicholson for the evocative twilight image above taken in late January of 2008.

LUMA Tower 5

LUMA Tower 5a

LUMA Tower 5b

LUMA Tower 9

In the event, the combined efforts of the Glasgow Regional Alliance, Glasgow City Council, the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, the European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Homes supported plans put forth by Cornehus McClymont Architects for a 43-flat residential community in the old factory building, plus an additional 12 flats in a trio of style-related outbuildings. The glazed tower, by the way, is now evidently a small gym and workout room for the use of the residents. Flickr user Scott Young took the above images in May of 2007.

LUMA Tower 12c

LUMA Tower 12

LUMA Tower 12a

LUMA Tower 12b

The repurposed and revitalized Luma Tower officially reopened in 1996 and by all accounts every one of its flats were quickly snapped up. Residents had barely time to unpack before the awards began rolling in: RIBA 1997, the RICS Urban Renewal Award for 1997, Civic Trust Award 1998 (“An outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the environment”), Europa Nostra Award 1998, and the Tennant Garmory Partnership’s Landscape Institute Design Award for 1999 to name just a few. Things have gotten to the point where some lower-floor residents have complained about curious tourists eyeballing them through their front windows.

LUMA Tower 10

Now illuminated by a custom installation of blue & green neon lighting, Luma Tower’s iconic tower once more blazes forth though these days it’s all about form, not function. Drivers traveling westbound on the nearby M8 motorway (between Junctions 24 and 25) will espy the reborn & relit Luma Tower from the comfort of their vehicles, giving new meaning to the term “traveling light”.