Interior Design School of Design

Alexandra Haplichnik

(She/ her)

When given freedom to design a project of any kind one usually picks what’s close or important to them. For me, it was both. I am a creative individual that sometimes struggles with usual university timings, waking up early, concentrating during the standard 9 to 5 hours and being productive in distracting atmospheres and is constantly fighting for improvement. I decided to use this year as an opportunity for a proposal that would drastically change my student experience, and hopefully will be as useful to others. For a whole year I used all of my skill set and network to build the required base for my proposal. My aim was to create a space that would potentially accommodate different students of Glasgow universities and it has been realised in best of my abilities. Thus, I present to you the GSC – Glasgow Student City, a space built for students by a student. This project combines my existing knowledge, my passion for research and creation, my years of studies, and my own expertise, as a potential user of the space. Further down the road I would want to continue developing this project, in deeper details, and through smaller steps, improve it bit by bit, making the space more user-friendly, more accommodating and more universal.

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GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Journey
GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Extras
GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Details
GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Floor Plans
GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Research

GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Journey

Glasgow Student City (GSC) is a space designed for the university students of Glasgow. It provides 24/7 study spaces, networking and growth opportunities, places to make and spend time with friends, places to talk with specialists, and places to develop and practice. This space is for anyone who doesn’t suit the normal 9 to 5 cafe/ studio/ library/university hours. The space where buzz and life never die, a space with hot food, sleeping pods, and all the necessities for it to become a destination.

I invite you to join me on this journey through the GSC. I wish this experience to be interactive and intriguing. Please feel free to engage the model and the material library in your exploration. Take it apart, play with it, engage all your senses and enjoy the immersive experience through the Glasgow Student Space, the first study space for all the university students, uniting Strathclyde University, Glasgow University, Glasgow School of Art, Royal Conservatoire, and Caledonian University students. Learn, Connect, Share, – all this is possible at GSC.


The Story

Why does this space have to exist? Why is it important?

As a student, I have sometimes struggled to find a place in Glasgow where I could study after 8 pm, without paying, or without being looked at weirdly for spending more than 3 hours at the same table. I have always loved nature and wished I could study outside even in winter. I sometimes want to study by myself and sometimes could use a chat or a piece of advice. Thus, this project is the combination of my dreams, the beauty of Glasgow, and its future. Through surveys and chats, I discovered I wasn’t the only one. Thus, this space is for all of the students who want the freedom to choose where, how, and when to study, without any limitations.

Exterior Section

Have a first glimpse at the space that tries to unite students, nature, and opportunities.
Interior Section

GSC - Welsome - Interior Section

This watercolor section is aimed to transport one into the magical world of biophilic design and nature, filled with life and sound.


Use this little plan to help navigate through the journey of the GSC.
Glasgow Student City entrance

Reception Area

By getting rid of the classical idea of the Reception and instead placing comfortable chairs and tables the reception creates trust and overcomes the boundary of Staff-Student conversation. It aims to boost the ease of asking for help and approaching a member of staff.

Journey Stop 1 - Biophilic Area

From Reception one ends up in a biophilic area divided into small corners by the soundproof panels to provide different levels of privacy and noise. This area is placed within a 20m void, allowing for the view of the open, glass ceiling. It provides a range of sitting options, that support collaborative tasks as well as spending time by oneself.
The biophilic area has a variety of open spaces filled with trees and greenery, that aim to bring nature inside the building, relaxing the mind and body and providing natural white noise created by the water in the chandeliers and the movement of trees. The smell also boosts the feeling of being outside, followed by the skylight and big windows allowing the natural light in.

Journey Stop 2 - The Transition Path

One of the main spaces of the whole building is the Transition Path. This path wall is visible from every corner of the space. It is the centre of the Student City, all the life and activities revolve around it. The main purpose of this path is to connect and divide. It unites the space, providing views of the Biophilic area from different levels and perspectives, but at the same time, it separates the study areas into relaxation and leisure zones, creating a route for students from studying to relaxing, building a healthy study habit.
GSC (Glasgow Student City) Collaborative Study Area

GSC - Glasgow Student City

One of two study spaces - Collaborative Study. A place filled with buzz and energy, boosting creative thinking and ideas. It is bright a spacious, designed to provide multiple collaborative spaces for groups of different sizes and encourage communication and productivity. The space has 2 separate meeting areas, they can be seen behind the blue soundproofing panel, creating a bit of privacy for a louder discussion. The natural shape of the furniture and the tables aims to mimic nature and the roots of the trees, following the natural outline of the transition Path.

Journey Stop 4 - The Private Study Area

This space has been specifically designed to create the feeling of distance between the users. The lighting in this space is adjustable, allowing each student to create the atmosphere they need for deep concentration. The space is created from Sound-absorbing pannels, making it quiet and perfect for a deep, uninterrupted concentration.
As the private study space is fully based on small light sources such as floor lamps, the corridors should not ruin the atmosphere of privacy, but at the same time be well-lit to safely guide the users through the journey. Thus, the main lighting system in the halls is dim warm neon strip lights at the top and bottom of the soundproof pannels that navigate the space and create multiple small corridors.
Panels also create nooks and spaces for different purposes, for example, this round space is best suitable for a relaxed reading session, uniting the students into the silent reading club, and creating an atmosphere of understanding and belonging.

Journey Stop 5 - Cafeteria

This is the space for relaxation, communication, and most importantly - view. Every spot in this 24/7 cafeteria is filled with breathtaking views that will make students forget about their deadlines and worries at least for a short period of time, transfering the mind from the screens to nature and life. The two main views are of the Glasgow West End and the biophilic area with the biophilic wall and plant-covered lighting. Three main sitting areas are the sitting stairs, the mezzanine (both of which face a window wall view to the West End) and a terrace (facing the biophilic area). The stair sitting provides a flexible seating arrangement, where a group of friends will feel as comfortable as a single individual and the space won’t be wasted. The main advantage of this sitting is a large amount of Cork Cushions that make the sitting experience not only exciting but also enjoyable.
The views in the Cafe are aiming to work like a distraction from a busy screen life. It captures attention and removes the nervous feeling of eating alone or not having anything to say when sitting with a new group of people. It puts one in a separate world free of worries and problems. It gives a healthy break from a busy life.

GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Extras

The Journey to Remember
The GSC is designed to create unlimited opportunities for students and staff to explore, develop, learn and share. It hopes to inspire and teach. Through exploring this space one can expect to gain healthy habits for unharmful studying, meet new people, network, grow, and most importantly, be at the peak of productivity. In support of those healthy habits, the space offers some Extras for relaxation.

The Game Room

A space with board game nooks, billiard table, football table, and table tennis and constantly alive and constantly welcoming.

The Auditorium

A space that serves two functions: To learn and to deliver. This space can be used by staff and students alike, creating a personal TED Talk arena. It provides an opportunity to find a new passion, learn something interesting and new, or on the other hand practice a speech and seek comments on your work.

The Mental Health Support Office

The main part of healthy studying is understanding what is healthy and what works. Mental health support is open to anyone in the building. It works on a first come and first served basis, providing an opportunity for those in need or those in search to try and understand oneself better.

The Sleeping Area

A dream of every student. A sleeping area consists of 2 zones - rentable sleeping pods that work on a first come first served basis aimed for longer, deeper naps, and a net hammock above the pods, filled with pillows and blankets, to provide a quick, quiet rest for the body and soul.

GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Details

The Project has many interesting interior details, below are just the few.

The Hall Chandelier

The Building Sound Map

The Soundproof Paneling

The Collaborative Study Desks

The Sollaborative Study Desk - Detail

The Collaborative Study Sofa

The Private Study Desk

The Private Study - Reading Corner

Material Specification - Cork Leather

GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Floor Plans

Ground Floor

Floor 1

Floor 2

Floor 3

Floor 4

Floor 5

GSC – Glasgow Student City – The Research