Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Abby Hopes (She/Her)


The Lynn Scobie Memorial Prize for Architecture

Abby Hopes is a Part 1 Architectural Assistant who believes architecture is fundamentally about people. She aims to challenge the social, political and environmental conditions created by the built environment in order to empower and change lives for the better. Abby hopes to facilitate a more inclusive world through her practice, one which represents the diverse needs and experiences of our society. Approaching architecture with a duty of care, Abby prioritises the human experience and is highly informed by her considerate research of users and context.

This empathetic approach to architecture was recognised in the Women in Property National Student Awards 2021, where Abby was awarded winner in the Central Scotland branch. The judging panel noted that she is “exceptional, engaged, animated, she will make things happen. She is self-aware and objective with huge empathy for others- a rare attribute.”

Abby is a Student Mentor for the Widening Participation department at GSA. For the past three years, she has advocated for accessibility within arts education- helping to provide young people with opportunities, regardless of their socio-economic background. She enjoys hands-on engagement with young people through assisting in portfolio classes and creative workshops.

Abby is actively seeking a Part 1 role within an architecture practice that she can learn from and utilise her diverse experiences of facilitation in a multidisciplinary environment. She is interested in social architecture, community engagement and participatory design methods. Abby is excited to work closely with clients in practice to encourage holistic creation of spaces.

Make Do


A collaborative project with Timothy Ashworth and Andrew Turner.

The InterACT project supported the development of Abby’s performance hall design for Sistema Scotland. Working with a civil engineering and a quantity surveying student, Abby project managed the design team. Their blended approach to collaboration and communication allowed the team to holistically contribute to the design development whilst remaining under the budget of £3.5million.


Inspired by pitched tent-like structures, the proposal involved a Glulam structural system which is exposed externally, revealing the CLT acoustic panel internal volume of the performance hall.

Exploded Structural System

Structural system developed by the civil engineer and architect for the team's final presentation.

A Community Ceilidh

Perspective section showcasing structural system in relation to user activity

Make Do

This project grew from Abby’s own experience of orchestra residential stays as a young person. Her memory recalls a positive, organic experience- which grew from the gathering of people, the making of music. No matter the context- the people made it special.

Sistema Scotland emulate her experience with their work, transforming lives through musical education whilst ‘making do’ within the constraints of their provided built environment. The proposal is a direct response to the culture of Sistema- by facilitating gathering on a human scale. Ownership and agency over space are central to the idea, allowing young people to feel a sense of belonging within the public and private realm.

To “make do” assumes to settle for lesser. But with the climate emergency as our reality, we must use what we already have to our advantage. The proposal responds to this notion through its adaptive reuse of materials, and by utilising the natural environment to generate energy. The collage of built forms respond to the existing landscape on the edge of the River Leven, an assemblage of buildings, for the assembly of people.

Site Axonometric

'Placing' the buildings on top of the existing landscape

Sketchbook Work

Exploring concepts of young people occupying space within the public realm

Scales of Gathering

Diagrams taken from user activity research

Collage of Buildings

Patchwork approach to repurposing existing building materials

Platforms for Play

Concept Diagram

Ground Floor Plan

Making Dens in the Dormitories

The retreat facilitates children's imagination, even in the quieter moments of the day.

Façade Studies

Site Section

Perform, Practice, Play, Rest

Residential Retreat Section

Practice + Play

Gathering by the Loch

The community flow out of the performance hall to the deck, a moment which frames the idyllic landscape of Loch Lomond.

A Sistema Concert Rehearsal