Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Livia Merle (She/Her)

I am currently a stage 3 student, seeking a part one placement opportunity, who has developed an interest in sustainable design and how this can be integrated within the landscape to create comfortable and beautiful environments whilst being mindful of energy and resources. My studies have provided me with an enthusiasm for design and model making and I aim to further develop my knowledge of architecture and discover new professional methods and approaches over the next year.


Architectural Technology
Balloch Music Retreat

Architectural Technology

For the technical project, focussing on the residential building, we were asked to engage with the demands of the zero energy and carbon agendas and how this can be impacted by building form, orientation, materiality and structure. Which prepared our knowledge for the interact project, where I was able to work with a structural engineer and a quantity surveyor in order to produce a design for the performance hall incorporating structural design elements whilst keeping within the budget provided.

Perspective Sections

Principles of Building

Study of the residential building's envelope and facade detail.

Structural Design

Product of the Interact project focusing on the structure of the performance hall.

Balloch Music Retreat

My design for a music retreat located on the banks of Loch Lomond is for the charity Sistema Scotland, who work with children from challenging backgrounds and aim to transform their lives through music. The scheme carefully integrates both the surrounding landscape and the client’s needs creating a private space away from the busy, neighbouring town centre of Balloch.
My project focusses on the aspect of retreat following the clients preference for somewhere the children can escape their normal city lives whilst also respecting the area of natural beauty the site is located in. Using the original topography and vegetation, already providing privacy to the site, three main spaces were created in the landscape all reflecting the function of the building nearest; an area to play, an area to circulate and an area to perform. This allows the landscape to be integrated with the design as well as strengthening the relationship between the residential building and the performance hall.
The residential block is alive with colours indicating the different spaces within making the building an easier and more exciting experience for the children. In order to strive for a low carbon design, locally sourced materials have been used in construction, as well as green roofs and a small body of water in between helping boost the microclimate and introduce natural cooling.

Concepts & The Site

Early Models

Experimenting with building form and the positioning on site.


Cross Sections


Interior Perspective

Highlighting the views of the Loch from the residential building.

Exterior Perspectives

The three main spaces created in the landscape.


Displaying the scheme as a whole and how the buildings work with the landscape features.