Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 5

Eve Parsons


Joe Park Award

Opening The Edge

Opening The Edge

We are facing a climate crisis that requires us to rethink about how we live together, in whatever form and scale that might be. We are required to reconsider our connections across borders as political and geographical relationships are under sharp focus. It is no longer a question of political leaning, but of necessity, as the survival of millions of people directly effected by the climate crisis rely on it. In tandem with this, political polarisation is increasing and social divisions are in danger of widening further. It is imperative then, that we are serious about how we rethink our relationship with both ourselves and others.

Architecture is not separated from the world it is in fact inside the world. So how can we support our social cohesion, or our social contract so to speak through our cities’ built form?

By creating a new spatial contract within an existing building, this thesis works to develop a platform that supports a widened and more diverse opportunity for discourse in Glasgow. The aim being, that by ‘rehearsing’ a new social contract in the microcosm of a building we can then disperse the experiences felt into the wider world, hopefully improving social cohesion and mutual appreciation generally.

By looking to understand how defining elements of a city’s built form reveal moments of the past, the proposal aims to question the ‘collective memory’ that Glasgow has developed since becoming the Second City of the Empire by evaluating how built thresholds and city fragments contribute to today’s collective rhetoric. By developing new threshold forms the proposal aims to become a physical representation of the parallel between the ‘lived and the built’, whilst being a place that inherently questions the colonial building styles that dominate in the city centre today.




Migration Routes

Migration is not a new phenomena. Humans left Africa less than 100 000 years ago and since that time have settled in every corner of the earth. But globally we are currently seeing stark changes and as the High Commissioner of the UN states ‘we are witnessing a paradigm shift, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything that we have seen before.’


An early concept sketch looking at how a symmetry between the lived and the built could be imagined. Taking inspiration from the book, ‘Architecture Without Architects’ by Bernard Rudofsky, buildings constructed from vernacular and traditional building techniques from across the world create a public square.

Democratic Building Systems

Through Richard Sennett’s open city theory the project considers how a symmetry can be developed through the lived and the built. The open city theory highlights that the more differences there are in a place the more that we can feel where we are. In the context of multicultural Glasgow, this call for wider representation via the city’s architecture is somewhat fitting. How, in a city historically built from stone and cast iron can an aesthetic that represents a wider demographic be developed?

Urban Fragments

Nodes, Landmarks, Edges and Boundaries

Site Plan

Egyptian Halls_ Union Street Proposed Elevation

Cross Section

Proposed Ground Floor Plan

Internal Elevations

Union Street View

Mitchell Street View

Internal View Looking Towards Union Street

Curating Journeys

Curating Jouneys