Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 5

Sonia Gerawat

The Agora of Glasgow

The Agora of Glasgow

“At the end of the day, the protests change the narration of the city,” – Tali Hatuka

Derived from the Greek term Agora is defined as a place of assembly, a designated area in the city to accommodate the social and political order of the city. This project seeks to have a dialogue and a counterpoint to respect and acknowledge the City Chambers. Socially engaged art — often defined as collaborative, community-driven work that engages with social issues — has emerged as a powerful approach for in confronting current political and social challenges is incorporated into the programme as a method of engaging with the public.

The programme is a contemporary interpretation of the agora functioning as a true point of convergence, bustling with people, a perfect meeting and conversation spot where the ideals of art and beauty are revived. The scheme is located under the existing square creating a ramped plaza for the public as a place of gather and rest. Here, visitors can also witness performances and large-scale artwork installations. The below ground, a more structured and organised space, catered to the community representatives focusing on a public forum space as a position to embrace and acknowledge the specific needs and agendas of the communities and hence to widen the public participation. The outcome of this programme is to engage with culture, seek a relationship with its audience, and to promote interaction and change.

Aerial View of George Square

Protest March Route

The meeting point is by the Prince of Wales bridge located at Kelvingrove Park, travelling towards the city centre, passing Sauchiehall St, Blythswood Square, on to West George Street, Nelson Mandela Place, crossing Buchanan St and finally arriving at George Square.

Urban Characteristics

Elements of architecture that offers an informal and formal atmosphere

Exploration of Thresholds

A series of sunken entrances offering a place to gather and socialize

George Square Edge

The edge of the square is concealed by a mix of commercial and retail buildings along with monumental buildings nearby such as Nelson Mandela’s Place and Gallery of Modern Art. These views currently the sense of arrival at the square. With the obvious underwhelming view, the goal is to reclaim the square from the over-commercialisation of Buchanan Street and to reinstate it as the heart of the city.

Lightwell Concept Model

Site Plan

Roof Plan

Ground Plan

Forum Plan

Section B-B

Long Section

A long section through the building displaying the connection and interaction between the spaces above and below with its surroundings

Street View

The ‘agora’ consisting of a forum space and a place of gathering seeks to increase the amount of people using the newly improved square that represents the current city of Glasgow

Gallery Space I

A space capturing and displaying artistic creations of the past and current events of George Square

Gallery Space + Internal Garden


A place to reflect on your own thoughts or to rest and linger

The Forum Space

A place of knowledge exchange and engage