Alston is a new destination restaurant hidden away underneath Glasgow Central Station. Serving prime Scottish steak. The restaurant occupies the old catacombs below the Gordon Street entrance to the station. This subterranean warren of tunnels beneath the concourse that originally housed the liquor and grain brought into the city are now transformed into an 80 cover restaurant, holding bar, and open charcoal kitchen.

A new perforate metal staircase forms the vertical transition between the ground floor entrance and the restaurant below. Using individual backlight toughened glass lenses this staircase acts as a chandelier hanging through the triple height space and illuminating the rugged basalt walls from which it it’s formed.

Upon entry, visitors walk past the open kitchen and are met by the 5 meter Arabascato marble holding bar. At one end of the bar a cluster of pendant lights formed from old decanters reference the previous uses performed by the space. Beyond the bar the formal restaurant occupies the original barrel vaults beneath the station’s ticket of ce. Mirror applied to the gable walls at the end of each vault create the illusion of in nite space. This paired with concealed architectural lighting ensures that the venue instantly appears welcoming to visitors and invites them the explore the den of interconnected spaces.

The new venue takes its name from Alston Street, one of the primary thoroughfares bisecting the Grahamstone Village area of Glasgow. This Street and the district to which it belonged were redeveloped to form the station in the late 19th Century.

Work completed for Jestico & Whiles 2011-2014. Photography © Will Pryce