Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 4

Euan Anderson (he/him)

Throughout this year I have particularly focused on architecture that works with existing communities, taking into account the needs of the people who live there while encouraging spaces that cater to all and encourage social and positive change. Following this I have tried to create spaces in my designs that work for users both local and further away and support disadvantaged groups and peoples, while still taking advantage of the theoretical nature of the projects by attempting to provide drastic and meaningful change – whether in domestic or public living.

Particularly in our exploration of the Barras and Calton within the East End of Glasgow, I took the opportunity to imagine the potential we have as we look forward to coming out of the current global crisis. While trying to retain a somewhat down-to-earth approach through simple – yet clear – design, I also tried make clear my focus on sustainability and relatability across the urban scale with an approach that was open to all.

Starting with a focus on the interplay between domesticity/labour we designed a liveable unit that could be used and adapted to fit the user – my response can be seen in the Cellular Domestic Concept below. Moving to focus on the Barras specifically, we explored both residential and civic designs and interventions which can be seen in my projects Barras Communal Social Housing and Calton Community Education Hub respectively.

Though I’m still looking to progress and develop my projects further in my own time, the examples and work here give a clear sense to my approach over this year, and – though perhaps not as finessed as I’d like – the thesis statements and ideals that I’ve communicated here have hopefully come across clear.

Calton Community Education Hub
Cellular Domestic Unit
Barras Communal Social Housing

Calton Community Education Hub

The civic centre as a concept is more out of reach in our current crisis than it has been in liveable memory. However it also gives the opportunity to reassess parts of life we previously took for granted or were assumed to be unchangable – particularly in regards to education and the new ways and methods of learning across ages and groups.

With worklife increasingly changing as we move further into the 21st century, and ‘jobs for life’ fast becoming a distant memory for people of all ages – it begs the question of what support is there for the growing number of people who need to adjust their career path later in life. While education has historically been seen as a paternalistic thing, focused on children only – there is more and more awareness for the need of continual learning and re-learning throughout your life. Whether its simply different cultural norms or reskilling completely in a ‘reinvention of the self’, it is clear that deciding a career path as a teenager is not for everyone and in fact people should be encouraged to explore new things at any point in their life.

Support of this kind is particuarly absent for more working class and less well-off communities – such as that of Calton, which suffers from some of the highest poverty rates, particuarly for children, in Glasgow. In order to help tackle this as a key focus, this proposal aims to provide charitable facilities for education and learning for the surrounding community of Calton, particularly focusing on the creative arts which are often elitist and out-of-reach for many people across society. It will also facilitate performance and exhibition needs for both learning and visiting artists – creating a new way of community learning and encouraging new skills at all ages. With this it will have capabilities for people suffering from mental health issues and provide an opportunity for those suffering from poverty. It looks to foster a healthy, nurturing learning environment that is open to all and provide for those who may not otherwise have access to certain facilities – whether its workshops and traditional artistic tools, or performance spaces and digital work.

The traditional way of learning and education – from school at a young age to university if you’re lucky or priviledged enough, to finally a job that you’re in for life – is becoming increasingly outdated – particularly as work becomes more and more precarious for employees who are often let go without warning or families having to juggle several. Instead this proposal suggests a more circular approach to learning, where you can come back to education as and when you need it, whether its for a new career and skillset or even just to achieve self-fulfillment creatively or otherwise.

perspective section through stairway and performance spaces

location and site plan of proposal

including roof plan with public garden

ground floor in context

spaces: 1. adaptable exhibition space; 2. creative workshop; 3. photography labs; 4. music studios; 5. arts and crafts shop; 6. WC and other spaces eg plant room.

first floor plan

7. performance rehearsal space / secondary performance space (black box); 8. teaching spaces; 9. one on one spaces / therapy rooms ; 9. art therapy spaces; 10. private work spaces; 11. open study spaces.

second floor plan

12. main performance space with retractable seating (double heighted); 13. cafe / bar space; 14. open library spaces ; 15. open teaching and discussion spaces

third floor plan

16. administration spaces; 17. private work areas

spatial breakdown diagram

the general breakdown of each floor is broken down here, with the central stairway tying the building together - in yellow - along with the ‘key spaces’ which are stacked on top of each other in the green area. these include an exhibition space on the ground floor as well as a main performance with double heighted space on the third. in the red there are the fire cores providing safety throughout, as well as two set of large lifts at each end to provide accessibility regardless of the central seating staircase. Due to the split height on each floor as well there are also internal small lifts to provide for everyone. lastly, in the blue are the more cellular functions of the proposal, as broken down in the plans.

cross section through central stairway

key core space connecting the floors throughout the proposal

elevations of proposal

from top to bottom: Moncur St, Stevenson St and front entrance views

detailed cross section

construction detail showing material and structure from roof garden to ground

Cellular Domestic Unit

With labour and domesicity increasingly combined in our lives, with this approach I sought to make the two work together in a space that looked to the future and so could be adjustable depending on the needs of the occupants.

I centred the unit around three cores of: circulation, kitchen and balcony space, and bathroom space. These can be configured in a way for single or communal occupants, shown in the various options in plan. However I also explored the idea of separating each function across a floor and making the ‘unit’ into a tower form – with an area of 40m2 for each floor it can accommodate the brief in this way also.

As a result, plans where the functions of kitchen space, bedrooms, living and working/study spaces are all spilit up depending on the floor – effectively creating a cohousing tower – can be seen on the next pages also, with the entrance floor which could also act as an open workshop/store below.

View from Proposed Unit

long section view of stacked units

axonometric of unit example

base plan and example option

additional unit plan options

additional unit plan options

cross section through stacked units

exterior view of proposal

Barras Communal Social Housing

With an opportunity for a housing proposal in the heart of the historic Barras district of Glasgow brings the opportunity for a new approach to housing in the area – while specifically working to tackle child poverty which has historically been an issue across Scotland for decades.

This proposal suggests that a communal, co-living experience would work to home and provide purpose for both the adults and children in families suffering from poverty – as well as create a healthy community that could interact with the existing Barras district to help in its rejuvenation and repurpose itself.

Through several shared living spaces between two families but separate sleeping quarters the housing itself provides a support network aided by the development of a community hub with multi-purpose halls, nursery and study areas. On site care can provide support in a more professional manner, with education and recreation opportunities for both adults and children helping to provide a stable environment for the inhabitants.

Domestic Approach:

Communal living to create support network for parents – providing stable environments for education, socialisation and development skills.

Labour Approach:

Defined indoor and outdoor work spaces – dedicated study and independent work spaces contrasted with the shared central space including maintaining an intensely planted garden area.

sketch visual

looking to communal housing

aerial view of the proposal

within context including the refurbishment of buildings on London and Stevenson Street

location plan

within the east end of glasgow

site plan

showing retained buildings and new developments in the barras

Exploded Axonometric

showing the different communal and private spaces

standard unit floor plans

ground floor - kitchen and dining space first floor (and more depending on family size) - bedroom spaces second floor - lounge and balcony space top floor - private study and roof garden

ground floor site plan in context

first floor site plan

front elevation

bain street view

various unit plans

showing the changes made to the existing buildings as well as the corner and smaller individual units - all in scale

Community Hub Plans

ground floor - multi-purpose hall and community hub first floor - nursery and caretaking spaces second floor - small library and education spaces third floor - private spaces and study areas

perspective section

through unit in context

sketch visual

looking to community centre