MSA Stage 3 School of Architecture

Aoibhe Jessen



Bairds Brae is an edible education plan extending beyond the historical tavern walls which encase the building. The poetic relationship between foliage and history extends through constructing a ‘blind’ brick wall. The main entrance sits between the canal pathway and Garscube Road, while the production gateway’s position is along the canal. Residents use a private side entrance away from the canal path, accessed on Bairds Brae Lane. The building pays homage to the canal’s industrial past using reclaimed brick and larch cladding that will blend in with the landscape as it naturally ages.


Bairds Brae is a highly functional building centred around growth and education. Based on the diagonal split, which forms the public realm, its shape is a negative of the tree plot. While it takes unoccupied space, it remains sensitive to its surroundings. An oasis in the urban landscape, Bairds Brae is keen to carry on the council’s urban biodiversity agenda.


The diagonal void occupies three storeys; glulam beams direct visitors’ gaze from the canal to the forest. Light spills through the southern windows on bare brick and screed floors. Northern light is funnelled through the brick wall, indirectly illuminating shelves where books and supplies sit. The lantern roof acts as a guide from far away and peaks at various levels on the top floor. The building is compact in form, juxtaposed by significant ceiling heights. Residents can access the communal kitchen in the southern courtyard, where numerous edible plants grow. A steel staircase leads inhabitants to their balconies and residencies, which are compact, passive arrangements.