MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Alberto Ortiz Abad

(He/ Him)
Knowehead Terrace
Pollokshields East


The project’s objective is to revitalise the neighbourhood of Pollokshields by enriching its architectural landscape and broader ecosystem. Drawing inspiration from the area’s historical context, street layout, and architectural diversity, the initiatives aim to explore potential solutions for addressing societal inequalities within the community. There is a pressing need to reimagine the way we design and make places, homes, public buildings, infrastructures, even the way we live, share, and coexist in communities.

This ambitious regeneration also deals with climate and nature emergencies seeking to transpose them into opportunities for better design, better placemaking and overall wellbeing. The urban housing regeneration and the new public building offer vibrant public spaces, a new pedestrianised high street, rain gardens, community gardens, community canteen, as well as employment spaces. These developments collectively aspire to establish a new, regenerative approach to community-building, fostering a more productive, creative, and sustainable local economy for a better future in Pollokshields and its wider context.

These plans aim to generate employment opportunities and provide training avenues for disadvantaged individuals and families, especially those experiencing homelessness. By offering affordable high-quality housing and improving overall quality of life, these initiatives seek to benefit a diverse community of families while promoting social inclusion and economic empowerment for all residents.

With a commitment to environmental awareness and community wellbeing, the project seeks to assess better practices for future developments. The overarching goal is to cultivate a renewed sense of place and belonging. This can be achieved through proactive measures and long-term thinking, prioritising the needs of both people and, planet.

Neighbourhood Strategy
What are the ‘duties and obligations’ of these buildings?

Knowehead Terrace

The proposed Urban Housing project does not merely aim to address the issues explored at the neighbourhood scale; it also seeks to reimagine what constitutes a contemporary home in today’s context. Over the past years, a tremendous housing crisis has over-passed the social aspect of housing for all. This rough period is leaving many people homeless, and they are having to move into temporary accommodation or into the streets. Hence, central to this endeavour is a commitment towards tackling the homelessness crisis by delivering affordable high-quality homes that support the most vulnerable.

Crucial to the success of the project is the implementation and careful consideration of the new strategies. How these ideas are translated into built form will be pivotal in shaping the future of the neighbourhood. The project is not just about providing a house or a roof to sleep under for the homeless; it’s about creating a sense of belonging, fostering community cohesion, and enriching the lives of the neighbourhood’s residents.

Above all, the new scheme aims to provide a safe and inclusive space for the new residents. People that might not have had the opportunity to live in a house before or has been living in different temporary accomodation. The design provides an opportunity for the new inhabitants to share and exchange. In addition, the internalised deck access offers not only circulation space but also, an extension of the living room space. A place to meet your neighbours on your way home, a place to sit down and enjoy the southern courtyard view or access the projected balconies.

Urban Housing_Site Strategy Axonometric

Hand drawing - Ink on tracing paper


Urban Housing_Building Strategy Axonometric

Hand drawing - Ink on tracing paper


Pollokshields East

In the context of Living in Agreement, architects wield significant influence in shaping urban environments to better serve people. While decisions are not solely within the purview of the architecture community, architects can greatly enhance cityscapes through informed decision-making and by implementing sustainable strategies to revitalise decaying neighbourhoods.

With the current ongoing housing crisis, there is a pressing need to not only enhance urban landscapes but also to provide enduring, high-quality buildings for future generations. The existing building stock, primarily housing, suffers from poor quality and exorbitant rental prices, plunging many families and individuals into poverty and depriving them of stable homes. Consequently, a large segment of the population step in temporary accommodations, which often, offer no improvement over their previous living conditions.

Central to addressing this issue is the exploration of viable solutions to alleviate the homelessness crisis in the UK. The urban building focuses on adding value and regenerating the site with a keen emphasis on prioritising homeless individuals. The new public infrastructure offers the residents a safe and inclusive space open to all individuals. Due to the high cost of living, the design integrates essential services such as a canteen, support networks, learning and employment opportunities, and access to technology. In addition, the building provides a small dog care centre to support the residents with their pet care on a daily basis.

South Façade Render

Waiting Area

Canteen Space