My Story

As Paisley waved off its bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the bid documents themselves were all given a unique twist.

Artists, designers and groups with links to the town were invited to design bespoke front covers for the documents.

Bound with thread donated from Coats, the company to whom Paisley’s fortunes were tied and which is still a global force, each has its own Paisley inspired design.

As they are handed over to the judging panel of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who organise the competition, we can reveal the inspiration behind some of the 25 covers.

Read Graeme Andrew's story below.

Architect Graeme Andrew was so inspired after being introduced to Paisley’s Thomas Coats Observatory by renowned sculptor Sandy Stoddart as a student, that he based part of his final year project on it.

Over the years he has retained close ties to the iconic building and was inspired to submit his design as one of special Paisley 2021 design covers.

Graeme, who’s the co-founder of architecture firm ataSTUDIO, said: “Before then I was vaguely aware there was a museum with an old observatory behind it but I was never really that interested.



“Some people do sky scrapers in New York or opera houses in Barcelona for their university projects, but I chose Paisley.

“To understand a building you have to draw it. When I researched, designed and detailed a remodelling of the observatory I discovered the undocumented beauty of its geometry.

“I’ve shown this in my drawing. The building is beautiful in its own right, but a different dimension is added through the creation of an imaginary star.

“As you climb through the tower to see the star, you pass through the star in the heart of it.”

Graeme, who grew up in Paisley, says that the 2021 UK City of Culture bid could be life changing for the town.

He added: “The town needs people to come in from the suburbs and use more of what’s here and realise there are facilities here - and get better facilities

“I think culture’s going to be what drives Paisley forward.”