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.