Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Polly Swaile (She/Her)

I am a stage 3 Architecture student, this series features this year’s work in designing a response to the client SISTEMA’s need for a new Residential Retreat and Performance building, located in Blloch. This project’s themes were Energy, Landscape and Culture. Though this I particularly developed an interest in the low carbon approach, exploring the ways in which the buildings fabric and structural systems enable the user to live sustainably, integrating the design of the building  into the landscape.

Performance Hall and Residential Retreat at Balloch

Performance Hall and Residential Retreat at Balloch

The design for the performance hall and residential building at Loch Lomond Scotland perches to the north east side of the pier at Balloch. The design acts as a reflection of the dynamic landscape of the area, inspired by the geometry of natural features of the topography and the loch, the angular structure works to abstract the from of the building, breaking up the profile and influencing a subtle play of light when viewed for different perspectives, particularly from across the River Leven. It is made using renewable cladding of weathered silver timber from locally sourced Scotlarch, timber shingles, a structure containing recycled steel, glulam truss systems and load bearing brettstapel panels. The result is a building that has low carbon emissions within the construction and using phases. It utilizes passive design strategies to physically and environmentally embrace the landscape and culture of Balloch. The buildings work to emphasize the surrounding environment, reconnecting to nature while encouraging inquisitive exploration. The residential maintains a human scale, the comforting sense of the individual, not an impersonal public building, to best accommodate for the children’s psychological needs. The building proposal aims to work alongside the goals of the charity, SISTEMA to empower children through music, architecturally accommodating the needs of social development through appropriate assembly  spaces and enables reflective decompression through retreat.

Concept Drawing

Concept diagram exploring the journey of the children of SISTEMA from Govan hill in Glasgow , in this circumstance by train to Balloch, marking the transition between urban and rural, from regular built up city streets to the dynamic landscape of Loch Lomond. The changeable nature of the natural environment dependant on weather and lighting that strongly alters our preception of a place inspired my initial impression of the site. Here I have expanded this exploration to consider how it might affect the children on the transition to the residential retreat through the built environment, the surrounding topography, through studying hill shading and the routes both natural and manmade along with the prevailing influence of the natural features once at the site.

1.200 ON A1 PLAN

Performance Building; Practice Rooms perspective
Residential Building
Residential Building; Retreat Spaces

1:200 on A1 South Elevation of Performance Building entry and staggered section through the Residential Building.
1:200 on A1 Residential Section though Convivial Space and Practice Rooms

Residential Building Detail
1:200 on A1 East Elevation
Exploded Structural layers of Residential Building
Axonometric Drawing of Primary Structural Features

1:200 on A1 Performance Building Section