This actually sounds more like the description of the sort of visionary project carried out on the Continent decades earlier, not Britain, and not Glasgow.
I'm surprised they didn't also find a nuclear bunker hidden down there, kept secret and in readiness just for Glasgow City Council to disappear into if the sky had filled with mushroom shaped clouds one day
An iconic feature of Glasgow’s skyline, the Red Road flats, set to be demolished this year, have an underground world that has lain unseen for a generation, discovers Martyn McLaughlin
THEY are vast, steel-framed structures reaching up to the heavens, cities in the sky which afforded thousands an existence above terra firma. For better or worse, the Red Road flats have become an iconic feature of the skyline in Scotland’s biggest city, their looming presence a titanic symbol of a social experiment designed to cure Glasgow’s poor, yet which came to ail them.
But far down, deep below the dizzying summits of their towering blocks, there exists another life to the Red Road, a subterranean bolthole where, over a dram or a game of bingo, those from the 30th floor could mix with those from the third.
Photographer Chris Leslie and illustrator Mitch Miller were among the first people in nearly two decades to visit the underground space, found under the car park at 10-30 Petershill Court. Its star attraction is the Mecca Bingo and Social Club, a dilapidated yet poignant symbol of Glasgow’s past. With seating for around 1,000 people, the auditorium held prize bingo, part of national games, and boasted a function suite for weddings, christenings, and other social occasions. Buses brought players there from all over the city, and they descended beneath ground, took their fill from the buffet, and settled down for a game in the hope of victory (winners would receive a special Red Road cheque, which could be cashed at the Bank of Mecca). Next door stood The Brig, a nautically themed bolthole where punters could enjoy a drink and, appetite permitting, a roll and sausage.
Miller says: “Even in the derelict condition we found them in, the bingo hall and The Brig were signs that life at Red Road was full of warmth, good humour, eccentricity and plenty of surprises. For the last few years we’ve worked closely with the Red Road Cultural Project. When the New Glasgow Society asked us to exhibit at their gallery we saw an excellent opportunity to celebrate some of the work we’d done as part of the project.”
Once the tallest structures in Europe, the towers that never lived up to the architect's dream. Beneath the structures still lies a forgotten underground world that offers a glimpse of the high life at red road.
Beneath the red road flats lies an abandoned bingo hall. In its heyday, this was a place where dreams came true. Landmark Glasgow flats set for demolition
Artists documenting the last days of the red road flats were given exclusive access to this underground space before it is buried and they created this collection of photographs and drawings. Next door to the bingo was the Brig Bar.
Piece by piece the towers are coming down. The skeletons of the high rises are now slowing emerging as teams stripped back the towers ahead of the demolition later this year.
In a matter of months, the structures will have disappeared but its hoped that this unique project will ensure that the stories of those who lived here will not be forgotten.
What went wrong, do you think? Social and societal changes overtook events, rendering the flats and associated lifestyle 'old-fashioned'? At what point did the flats become an encumbrance rather than something that could've been tarted up with a concierge (say), and an extortionate price-tag?
This was Stalin's solution to housing the population, clearly just the same as the leader's country dachas, since everyone is equal and has the same entitlement under communism
These flats still exist in Russia, and are no longer maintained by the state - except where near universities - and people still live in them.
The students complain about the conditions, but the government says it provides the funding to maintain them, but by the time each corrupt official in the chain has had their cut... there's nothing left for work on the buildings.
Many Russian photo-bloggers visit these places, like the bunkers I feature, but I don't see any point in including those stories - it's not really our field.