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McDonalds Fast Food Restaurant & Drive-thru - DEMOLISHED FEB 2013:
Located in Linthouse, just west of Govan this McDonalds restaurant and drive-thru has sat empty for a few years. A single storey yellow brick off-site pre-fabricated building with restaurant area at the front and centre and then the kitchen and store sited to the rear with a drive-thru route circling around the building. Fenced off since being abandoned the building has been broken into many times and the only surprise is it hasn't been burnt out completely yet or fallen prey to the demolition crews. Stripped of all branding and features of its former role as a fast food emporium for the world's most recognisable cow processors the only logos from the past can be found on signage at the drive in and on a cctv sign.
The building is an example of the chain's former image, which ran for some 30 years till being phased out post-2006 for new build restaurants, although many examples still populate the retail parks of the world. The building sports the signature mansard roof (though strictly speaking not a true mansard) which was first used to lend the buildings a sense of style, authority and history. This roof style originated in 17th century French renaissance architecture and was latterly popularised by the Victorians; a history as far away from the fst food of the mid-west as it is possible to imagine. The use of this roof profile became a signature of McDonalds worldwide, as the history of the mansard was largely forgotten, it instead became a symbol of low rise shopping developments as it proliferated across McDonald's fast food outlets worldwide. Thus the roof style bacame the opposite of the culture and history it was formerly employed to impart as it became more synonymous with its new patron rather than its architectural past.
The design style in this now derelict building can be seen as part of the global signature for McDonalds up till 2006. The fast food popular culture aspect and the imposition of the same design style regardless of site and location has rendered these buildings as parodies of architecture, though no doubt manu architects would refer to these buildings as just that; buildings, preferring to bestow the world architecture man's more precious built creations. The worth of these McDonalds late 20th century buildings is held in the same esteem as the food they serve(d); junk food = design junk - a transistory building destined for the skip of architectural history.

However whilst it is tempting to ignore such pedestrian examples of design, it must be remembered that exactly this ignorance means that one day soon they will all have be eradicated as fashions move on and designs are refreshed and updated. Should an example of such a building be saved? Like many mass-produced articles these buildings no doubt will be lost forever en masse, despite having played a part in the everyday lives for millions of people. When one considers how the most banal of mass produced articles when old can achieve a previously unimagined value this question takes on a new meaning. For example as can be seen in museums worldwide with displays of 20th century design and novelties, when we encounter long forgotten articles from times past, for instance electrical goods from childhood, cars that maybe grandparents drove, ancient cola cans, or banal structures from our past which are soaked in memory, then these previously banal objects assume a great deal of pathos and meaning. These articles are as much part of our history as any other. In the same way that the current dismissal by many of the brutalism of the post war years is leading to a cleansing of architectural history, so too do these mass-produced temple sof the fryer stand to be wiped from the built environment, an architectural ethnic cleansing for those buildings deemed beneath contempt, albeit in a realm of far less significance and pain.

Trash is as much the history of modern man as the ornamental fake classicism of the multiple stone edifices erected by the our Victorian forefathers and currently held aloft as an architectural pinnacle by so many in the northern cities. Thus in the case of these kit built fast food restaurants which many currently dismiss they may yet assume great cultural signficance in time, as the representation of modern culture, of a symbol when a new type of building became possible as the marriage of high technology, precise planning and off-site manufacture was rediscovered in the late 20th century. Perhaps in fifty years time a museum may have a mocked up McDonalds restaurant with mansard roof and the garish red and yellow colour scheme found worldwide for so many years, and for those who grew up with such plastic edifices of our Americanised fossil-fuelled culture and have not seen or thought of them for half a century they may well reminisce about the loss of late 20th century icons such as this McDonalds drive-thru.......

street address: Moss Road, Linthouse, Glasgow, G51 4JT
Latitude / Longitude: 55.86343,-4.334813 (sourced using Google Maps)




drive-thru former entrance


approach from the main road towards the north and east elevations


parking bays sited outside the building


north-west corner and ripped away hoardings where the building has been broken into


looking down the east elevation from the north-east corner


north elevation, it is assumed the steel barrels are fly-tipped


north-west corner, behind the heras fence is the drive-thru road


view north along the west elevation, the former drive-thru road, with the serving booths to the side of the large red steel posts sited to prevent collisions from vehicles


view into the building through a former drive-thru order window


broken into, the building has been vandalised internally


air conditioning and extraction pipes and fittings strewn around the floor and hanging from the ceiling


brackets for former roof signage advertising the restaurant to the A739 to the south


damaged roof tiles, and former power supply to the signage


the signature McDonalds mansard roof


south elevation and the brick wall of the storage area at the restaurant's rear


anti-climb measures at the rear


view into the former storage and delivery area at the rear


the ever 'inventive' local grafitti


south-west corner


view from the south


vandalised roof at the rear


former 'drive-thru' entrance with the Southern General hospital in the background


drive thru entrance and the long east elevation onto the small retail car park area


drive thru clearance signage


east elevation and the signature mansard roof


view north up the full length of the east elevation


car park signage and one of the only two McDonalds logos left at the site, reflecting the way when abandoned the former McDonalds' buildings are stripped of their corporate identity.




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view looking north-west - to the left of the photograph can be seen the low square tower of one of the Southern General Hospital buildings, ahead is the south elevation of the fenced off McDonalds, to the right the Lidl store also occupying the small retail site adjacent to the A739 which connects with the Clyde tunnel some 250 metres to the north-east
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