Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Joseph Staitis (he/him)

Graduate of Mackintosh School of Architecture, with a keen eye for detail and presentation. Lover of plans, sections and development work through a variety of media creating a strong cohesive narrative.

Outwith study, I am a lover of creative arts; particularly cinema, theatre and music I currently practicing photography and teaching myself to play the keyboard.

Seeking a position as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant to widen my knowledge and experience within the growing discipline of architecture and design.

V&A Publication
GoodPress Book
Stage 3 URBANIA Retreat&Concert Hall
Stage 2- Live&Work Row Housing
Stage 2- The Convivial Library
Stage 1- Thermae
Stage 1- The Cube

Stage 3 URBANIA Retreat&Concert Hall

We were briefed to design a concert hall and retreat for Sistema Scotland, a charity that uses shared learning of music as a tool to better the lives of its residents in Balloch. Key themes of the brief were the consideration of Energy, Culture and Landscape, where we were free to explore these independently.

The architectural intent of the project was derived from journey- from Balloch town centre, through the park and ultimately to the beach on site. The building should respond and correspond with this idea, and act as a link when this journey is broken, at the car park.

To emphasize journey, I was primarily inspired by Hans Schaoroun, and how he crafts orientation, placement and overall form into the heart of his work. I liked especially the way he broke down space into smaller clusters, which I have replicated to a degree in the retreat.

This focus on a cluster approach has, however, some negative environmental impacts, such as having a high surface area to volume ratio, which means more heat loss is likely to take place. More material will also be needed to be consumed for a build like this.

Therefore, I have tried to rebalance the architectural intent with sustainable technology; using sustainable methods and materials wherever possible, maximizing passive gains- such as solar gain and prevailing wind to combat overheating.

I believe that architectural intent should work with technology, where neither should dominate the other, as in my view, the most successful project creates a unique blend of these potentially polarizing ideologies.

Site Research

Studies where taken to develop an understanding of the landscape and environmental impacts of the site.

Site Plan

Simple and inclusive access is key to the project. Understanding access and journey helps orientate the user and enforces the symbolic themes and ethics of Sistema's work.

Deconstruction of Mass

I was inspired by the efficiency of contemporary mass housing, yet felt a blocky multi storey building would not suit the site or desires by the client. I began to deconstruct and focus on the interaction of spaces before reassembling the form.

Reassembly of Form

Inspired by historic streets such as the Shambles and Clovelly, I reassembled the reateat to create journey through circulation. Themes of interaction and connectivity where key. This injected a flare of uniqueness and personality to the space, which should emulate and foster a sense of home and education.


Study into journey and access in relation to site

Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Front Elevation

Rear Elevation

Facade Study

Technical Section of the Street

Long Section

Concert Hall Floor Plan

Concert Hall Section

Concert Hall Technology

Environmental Section

Sustainable Development Goals

Site Drawing

Stage 2- Live&Work Row Housing

The aim of this project was to create a scheme of houses that consists of 18-24 units, but with an added work space.

The site of New Lanark held many aspects of consideration, such as its steep topography and World Heritage status. These 2 factors were integral to the success of the project.

Physically, as the topography determined form, and ethically as New Lanark must follow strict criteria to keep its World Heritage status.

Research has proven that New Lanark was a place ahead of its time, pushing the boundaries of architecture and its ethical value, hence I believe that the ideology behind New Lanark should be conserved, and not so much the physical structure.

New Lanark was a radical scheme that had the workers at its heart, it allowed cleaner working conditions, green space, days off, schooling for children and a fair wage- community was key.

This ideology for care is what I want to preserve, and believe this concept can be modernized.

Research found that being outdoors and in nature can help accelerate the healing process, taking full advantage of the sites and their surroundings.

Location Plan

Access to the site was a key consideration due to its steep topography.

Outdoor Work

The proposal would offer a large range of outdoor activities which run in teams, to further create connection, cooperation and teamwork within the residents. Studies have shown being outdoors also help in the healing process.

Floor Plan

Exploded Axo

Long Section

Site Model

View at Top of Stairs

Room for 4 People

Work Configuration

Silent Monitor

A unique deatil of New Lanark, used as a passive method of social control. The colours reflect how effienct the workers are, but in the proposal this colour scheme has been used to create teams within the monoliths and bring people together.

Stage 2- The Convivial Library

The ideology of design was inspired by Walter Segal’s “Walters way” a self build timber housing commune in England during the 1970s.

Key aspects of this methodology were convivial living and sustainability of materials, both of which I believe are extremely relevant in today’s climate.

I was inspired by the tree-like structure inside the library and the poetic relationship between manufactured structure and organic form.

Campo Baeza’s work and Carlo Scarpas “castelvecchio” were two main studies that helped me greater understand the relationship of nature, boundaries and levels in an architectural spatial context.

I wanted each space to be unique and meets the needs of specific age demographics that use the library, whilst offering a range of media and facilities to draw people back to revisit and reuse the library.

Site Photograph

“A tree blossoms in the library, the books are her Fruit, the structure her trunk. She is, was, and always will be Knowledge. It is our choice, our genesis. Pick a book, take a bite.”

Ground Floor

First Floor Plan



Mass Model

Mass Model, Close View

Mass Model, Intervention

Stage 1- Thermae


Stage 1- The Cube