Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 4

Serene Nemer (she/her)

The Barras Cross Cultural Exchange

The Barras Cross Cultural Exchange

It can be argued that we are living in an increasingly cellular society. With domestic and productive life progressively merging, as well as many experiences being at our fingertips digitally, there is a greater emphasis needed on communal spaces.


“Food can be an act of solidarity. It can be used to explore the social relationships and the places where we live…” Rumpus Room article, December 2020


The thesis centres around the notion of shared culture. It considers the changing demographics within the Calton and Bridgeton areas of Glasgow and wider – within Scotland. It takes the idea of food being an act of solidarity as well as the social and educational theme of cultural buildings and expand that into a hybrid civic building with a multifaceted programme by incorporating the different elements of culture.

In doing so it hopes to work on an individual scale connecting people through food, craft, literature, movement and language. As well as on the city scale reconnecting The Barras to the wider city.

Through smaller and larger scale collective experiences, the architecture of The Barras Cross Cultural Exchange aims to provide people with the opportunity for reflection and connection through a shared understanding of cultures.



Communities within Glasgow

Culture through Performance

A view from the centre of the auditorium

Urban, Spatial and Material Strategies

Urban, Spatial and Material Strategies

Ground Floor

The foyer and supporting programme of the workshop and cooking centre

First Floor

The auditorium and supporting programme of a library, children's centre and rehearsal studio

Second Floor

The Auditorium and supporting programme including the language exchange and office

Cross Section (BB)

The entrance sequence and auditorium

The City

Amenities within Glasgow overlayed on top of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Calton, Glasgow

The Barras Cross Cultural Exchange situated amongst existing cultural venues in the area

Long Detailed Section (AA)

Different scales of connection


A view of the cloister looking into the central courtyard

Cross Section (CC)

The courtyard and supporting programme spaces

The Approach

A view of the entrance from Saint Lukes