RIBA Silver Medal 2015/ High Commendation RSA: New Contemporaries 2016/ Chosen Participant RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture 2015/ Chosen Nominee Dunbar-Nasmith Clousden Prize for Academic Excellence 2015/ Winner
The thesis, titled Chlorophyllous Ubanism, posits an approach to urbanism and architecture which is more appropriate to the feculant characteristics of the Mumbai metropolis. It revisualises the city as being in a state of continuous redefinition and revaluation between that which can be described as ‘red’, the feculant ecologies of the environment, and that which is ‘green’, the economies of the colonial cotton industry. Wherever possible the proposal seeks to create opportunities where the communal and the shared can be promoted; to develop economies which facilitate the interaction between individuals; to make spaces which foster these situations; to inhabit territories which allow people the space to express and to live.
The thesis posits that architecture and territories should aim to provide a platform for the culture and society of now and the future. If Mumbai is increasingly being populated by gated communities, large-scale infrastructure and the systematic de-industrialisation of its already flagging industrial economies then what is proposed is a counter to these forms of territorialisation, architecture and economies. The thesis proposes a series of architectural interventions (Farm, Factory, School, Bank, Market, Laboratory and Embassy) which aim to promote and develop the existing vitality of the city while also reconnecting the citizens of Mumbai with the value of their immediate environments in an attempt to ensure its longevity.
The project, undertaken in the Bauhaus- Universität Weimar’s IAAD programme, looks to tackle the concept of creating a high-rise building within a European context. The design draws inspiration from Hans Kolhoff’s 1993 masterplan for Alexanderplatz in Berlin and looks to accommodate a school and a library within a ‘European Skyscraper’.
A solid rectilinear block reasserts the public domain, its prominent entrances drawing in a public which was once lost to the space. It is this continuation of the landscape of Alexanderplatz into the building which forms the main concept of the design. While this landscape works its way up to the tower, a sub-landscape is created below. While library users read, browse and gather in the library spaces above; children explore the cavernous surroundings of the school landscape below. These blocks free up the main body of the school for group functions and events while also performing an important function in maintaining the link between library and school. The blocks puncture through the library landscape creating views from the classrooms down onto the large library learning spaces below.
A connection between pupil and public, between different methods of learning and between two differing architectural spaces. This language of blocks within a landscape is continued up into the tower which houses the library. The blocks in this scenario house the books, with the free landscape wrapping around these.
The proposal is for a multi-use urban housing scheme in the East end of Glasgow which sits within a strategic masterplan and responds to place. The scheme required housing for 40-60 individuals. The design and masterplanning of the site aims to provide good- quality affordable housing while also being a force for rejuvenation in an area which suffers from some of the highest rates of poverty in Scotland.
The scheme looks to provide housing/work/support for those affected by homelessness. Furthermore it aims to create a working self-sustainable community using allotments, markets and independent retail units, with the long term goal being to enhance the East end through a considered approach to living, working, life and education. The main driver of the project is concerned with the deprivation found within the area. The East End of Glasgow has the highest rates of poverty and homelessness in the city, and these rates are increasing due to the current financial climate, with more people losing their jobs and homes due to financial problems.
The aim of the development is to provide a gateway project to re-house and re-train people, this wil be achieved by: the construction of good quality affordable housing units; the construction of new facilities (e.g library, farm, retail); the concept of a self sustainable community; the growth of cottage industry; the emphasis on basic skills. These interventions, within an area which severely needs a boost, are an attempt to pull Dennistoun, and the East end of Glasgow, out of the endemic poverty and deprivation which is to be found there.