Hello and a very warm welcome to our eighth blog.  I trust that you are all well, settling into the everchanging new routine and for some of you, settling your children in following their return to school.

Continuing with my theme of introducing key innovation assets within Glasgow City Innovation District, this week’s spotlight is on South Block

South Block is a 50,000 sq ft four-storey studio complex in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City.  In a previous life, this building was a textiles warehouse before undergoing a £3.5million refurbishment and regeneration by Wasps studio – a visionary Scottish Social enterprise and charity.  Nord Architects were responsible for transforming this previously sad space into the unique collaborative interactive space we have today. 

Since opening, the building has not only transformed how artist and the likes work, collaborate and showcase their works but has also won numerous awards across many categories including Social Enterprise, Scottish building of the year, Conservation and Climate change to name but a few!

Exterior of South Block at night

The refurbished building provides 96 studios for visual and applied artists, cultural enterprises as well as creative businesses.  At the time of refurbishment, Wasps were mindful of the amount of time people spend in the office and it was important to them to ensure the refurbished space created a welcoming environment for everyone.  South Block offers potential for creative people irrespective of their trade: a visual artist, social entrepreneur or a commercial business owner.  Wasps aspiration was to create a warm, welcoming environment to encourage tenants to make inspiring work, develop their career, grow their business – and at the same time meet and collaborate with like-minded people.  This aspiration has been more than fully achieved.

South Block is not just a multi-studio building but is a place where you can hire rooms, host meetings, screenings, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, launch events or pop-up shops.  Add your name to the Wasps waiting list if you are interested in renting studio space. South Block has a variety of options available to those looking for a temporary space within a creative hub in an unbeatable location.

Like all good buildings nowadays, there is also easy access to good coffee provided by Dear Green – who frequently change the coffee bean offerings from their seasonal roastery selection given they have easy access to their own roasting site and are proud that all coffees are ethically sourced and fully traced to the origin.

As well as collaborations within South Block, a number of the businesses are active collaborators with other businesses across Glasgow City Innovation District and beyond.  We look forward to seeing these interactions increase as we build and increase not just Glasgow’s awareness of the wealth of talent within its environs and the greater benefits achieved from collaboration and innovation but extend this nationally and internationally as we highlight the wealth of talent, skills and experience in our midst.

Event at South Block