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.

Masterplan in Context

Scale 1:2500

A Collective Library

Spaces of knowledge exchange between residents and the public.

A Shared Culinary Education

A place for gathering and shared social experiences, the kitchen becomes the heart of the multigenerational residential building.

A Reflective Sanctuary

Private balcony spaces overlook Merchant City and are shared with neighbours.

Residential Unit for a Single Occupant

The module can be repeated to form larger family units. The kitchen has been removed and instead becomes a place of social gathering and learning within the heart of the building. Inhabited walls and thick floors allow for storage and divisions of space.

Ground Floor Plan in Context - Scale 1:500

This plan focuses on the commercial aspects of the design, comprising an exhibition space, workshop and various units hosting cafes and yoga studios. Parks and colonnades subtly divide the public realm spaces. A monument can be seen from afar, placed centrally within the masterplan, acting as a beacon and a viewing platform across the city. The other residential blocks are for multigenerational purposes, for those in the community who wish to have a more permanent rather than transient residence.

First Floor Plan in Context - Scale 1:500

Central cores interchange on each level to form circulation spaces as well as a shared kitchen or a communal library. Light and Heavy labour feature on each wing respectively, with direct access to the workshops and exhibition spaces below.

Long Section

Scale 1:500

Labour and Domesticity Intersect within the Building

The library features a double-height space, allowing light to filter into the deep plan of the building. The communal kitchen also forms the core of the building. As well as the Light and Heavy labour wings, a painting studio takes place on the rooftop - a space often neglected within cities.