The Armadillo and the SECC
What used to be the site of the Queen’s Docks in on the north bank of the River Clyde is now home to some of Scotland’s most modern landmarks. Largely hidden behind the Clyde Auditorium in the photo above, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, better known simply as the SECC, is Scotland’s largest exhibition centre, hosting concerts, exhibitions and conferences. The Main Building was completed and opened in 1985, with several more halls added later. With concerts taking place pretty much every other night in the SECC’s halls, there’s really no point in listing artists who have performed there. Better idea: who have you seen perform at the SECC? (I’ve only seen Eddie Izzard.)
The Clyde Auditorium, the iconic and modern concert venue seen above next to and reflected on the Crowne Plaza hotel, opened in 1997 to compliment the SECC complex. It is connected to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the Crowne Plaza for easy access and exit for high profile performers.
Out of shot is the newest multi-million pound regeneration project in the area, the centrepiece of which is the tentatively named “Scotland’s National Arena”, a 12,500 seat indoor arena. Upon completion it will be the largest purpose built indoor arena in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK.
Glasgow Trivia #12: The Clyde Auditorium is commonly referred to as “The Armadillo”. Apparently the animal was not the inspiration for the building, nor was the Sydney Opera House the inspiration for the building, but rather the shape was modelled after an interlocking series of ship’s hulls, in reference to the Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage. The Clyde Arc, seen in yesterday’s photo, is commonly referred to as “Squinty Bridge”, presumably because of its rather odd design. The SECC used to carry the nickname of “The Big Red Shed” because of its outward appearance, but in 1997 it was repainted a dull grey. With a name like “Scotland’s National Arena”, it probably won’t take long for the upcoming building to be rechristened by Glaswegians. Other examples of this nicknaming habit include “The Barras” for a market in the East End and “Clockwork Orange” for the city’s subway system, but more on those later. Do you know of any other nicknames Glasgow’s landmarks?
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