MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Adam Cowan (He/Him)

Part 2 Architectural assistant whose practice is underpinned by a passion for sustainability, innovation and desire to enrich communities and society. Excellent drawing, digital and design practice combined with a strong drive for learning and collaboration. Organised and resilient with experience in balancing several projects and roles. Currently seeking a part 2 position with a skilled, socially responsible practice. I am very happy to be contacted via the links provided.

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Mending Marollen: A Climate Campus

Mending Marollen: A Climate Campus

A Thesis About Repair, Connection & Collective Resource by Adam Cowan

This project responds to the potentially claustrophobic density of Brussels’ historic territory, Marollen. The thesis focuses on how integrating institutions into the city can both repair damaged urban fabric and tackle the systems issue of climate change. This drove the design of a climate campus – an international hub for institutions and activists that draws on Brussels’ geopolitical position in Europe.

Unpicking the patterns of Marollen, from the urban scale to the city block, down to the block interiors informed how to densify a challenging site, re-knitting the urban crust, and repairing the wounds of Brusselisation. The new block uses thresholds, sight lines and meandering routes between interior and exterior spaces, retaining the intrigue of the historic blocks while creating a dense yet permeable block interspersed with quality public spaces.

It is not possible to talk about repair without acknowledging the precarious social, political, and environmental landscapes we live in. A city where citizens are increasingly apathetic and helpless at the declining state of their future is not an ethical city. Existing frameworks to tackle the climate emergency have proved unfit in the past and present. This thesis responds to the invisible presence of transparent public institutions in Marollen, proposing a civic campus housing three new institutions.

These will be a People’s House, a Climate Union and a Manufacturing School. The synergy of these institutions will instigate holistic ethical responses to the climate crisis, mobilising vast sections of society in education, negotiation, protest and collective action. The resultant campus will be a hub of palpable activism which empowers and creates activists, our generators of change, stimulating exponential progress against the complex climate emergency.


Socio-political context

Location Plan

Block Interiors

Historic Block Studies

Concept Model

City Relationships


Site Plan

Site Overview

People’s House Perspective Section

Block Interior Perspective Section

Contextual Section

Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

People's House Ground Floor Plan

People's House First Floor Plan

North-West Axonometric

Thesis Diagrams

Atrium Perspective Section

Street Façade & Entrance

Atrium & Civic Stair

Block Interior & Palais de Justice

Pedestrian Street

Auditorium Interior