Tarn-Afeni Zaidi (She/Her)
Tarn is a Diploma and First Class Honours Degree graduate from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. During her years of architectural education, she has developed an interest in ethical and sustainable architecture that remains contextually conscious to its surroundings. She is inspired by the intimate connections between people and place and creating solutions to contemporary social and environmental challenges. Her projects focus primarily on the city of Glasgow, but she also has a passion and intrigue that stretches to the wider context of Scotland in both rural and urban settings.
Artists in Residence
This project bridges the fragmented gap between social divisions and the young and old within Merchant City by introducing transformative, mutable spaces for knowledge exchanges. Strengthening the social and civic infrastructure and maintaining a cultural and contextual link to the existing urban fabric were key components within the design. The idea of learning through making is key to bridging this gap. Passing skills to future generations in a more personal setting by inviting someone into your own private studio provides a more intimate learning experience, allowing others to enjoy your craft. The city is renowned for its art and culture scene; the idea of combining education as a form of public and private labour, coupled with domesticity, arose from the study into urban demographics, the environment and the national and international importance of Glasgow.
Whilst introducing a more permanent function to Merchant City, the temporal nature will not be ignored. Artists are able to rent the residential units, making use of the shared labour spaces which accommodate a variety of crafts. During their stay, a shared social and learning experience can take place between the residents and artists. Many studios already exist in the east end and south side of Glasgow, but not necessarily in the heart of the city. Proposing a building with significance and of a permanent stature externally but transient interior best describes Merchant City as a district. Residential units with a more permanent function also feature as part of the masterplan, creating a varied and active district, day and night.
The proposed building with its brick and arched façades sit well within its context, even with a seemingly institutional appearance at first, it is intended to be a permanent structure, changing periodically internally. The proposal reclaims the aesthetic of a building which is otherwise formal and controlled – this residential artists block is for the people.
Residential Unit for a Single Occupant
Ground Floor Plan in Context - Scale 1:500
Labour and Domesticity Intersect within the Building
The Acropolis of New Industrial Education
This thesis aims to respond to two juxtaposing ideas that are present within the city; former historic industrial districts, with a now forgotten identity and unoccupied vacant land, and Glasgow’s current ethical and sustainability ambitions, which are recognised both nationally and internationally. Reflection and research emerged as two key ideas, defining two distinct buildings of education.
Historical analysis and empirical data formed the primary methodology and research, coupled with contemporary analysis into Scotland’s, and specifically Glasgow’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis. My focus narrowed to Port Dundas, separated from the rest of the city by the M8. This area became a site of intrigue; it was once a dominant figure at the height of industry; however, little remains of its fundamental role other than a few remnants scattered across the landscape. It came as no surprise that deprivation intersected with the loss of industry here, and further research uncovered the alarming statistics of low education rates, fuel poverty and derelict land. This topic became important to me, having grown up in the former mining village of Muirkirk, 43 miles south-east of Glasgow and witnessing first-hand the impacts of that the sudden departure of industry had on its people and environment.
Scotland is fast becoming the testbed for new and exciting sustainable energy and technology solutions – some of which are currently taking place in Glasgow, the city which will proudly host COP26 this year. Glasgow is active in its role tackling the climate crisis, and this realisation became a key element in defining the topics of ethics and sustainability within the thesis.
The proposed buildings and linear parks hope to create spaces of reflection, energy production and contemporary research, offering new opportunities for education and renewable energy solutions to power the buildings themselves and the wider context north of Glasgow. The Building of Research becomes a place of ‘active’ learning through workshops, laboratories, classrooms, an informal lecture space and functioning water tower. The Building of Reflection celebrates industry at varying levels: district, city-wide and nationally. It comprises galleries and exhibition spaces, archives, and libraries – spaces of ‘passive’ learning.
The architectural technology thesis is embedded within the proposal. The linear park will supply ‘Green Heat Energy’ through the use of ground source heat pumps installed underneath the park, re-thinking our vacant land through familiar building and technology strategies, while providing a new park typology and enjoyable green spaces in the city.