It started life in the 60s as a concrete megastructure.
Open University, From Here to Modernity
The idea was that it would sit above a main road, so people could drive to the shopping centre and then walk around the shops without having to worry about traffic. I believe the floating structure was orignally intended for 'executive' apartments.
Over the years, a few half-hearted attempts were made to make it more friendly - for example the floating level was painted black and white and some parts have been demolished - but the overall effect was to make it even more disjointed.
Other efforts to spruce up the building (the pictures below were taken from the opposite end) have hardly been more successful.
I guess the moral is, if you're going for brutalism, don't do it by halves!
adrian welch / isabelle lomholt, Glasgowarchitecture.co.uk
McWesty Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cu...own_Centre.jpg