MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Beatrice Rogojan

I am an architecture student passionate about the cutting-edge world of XR technology, aiming to bring the power of emerging technologies together with architectural design. I strive to create designs that push the boundaries of architectural space and prioritize sustainability, well-being and accessibility. By merging innovative approaches with a deep sense of responsibility towards the environment, I aim to contribute to developing places that harmonize with nature, minimize resource consumption, and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals and communities.

Urban Building – X R C E N T R E
Urban Housing – E A R T H H.

Urban Building – X R C E N T R E

The urban building project is situated on the Northwestern side of Dennistoun, with direct access to the train station and Alexandra Parade Street, the primary arterial road in the neighbourhood.
There is an existing petrol station and car washing space on site, and even though these facilities serve their purpose, there are at least four more petrol stations within just a few miles. Nevertheless, the urban building project strives for a “greener future”, with more 15-minute cities encouraging active transportation while fossil fuel vehicles will be replaced with zero emissions. Furthermore, as Dennistoun has a predominantly young population, the neighbourhood would benefit from more dynamic, vibrant and future-centric facilities. Hence, the urban design proposal envisions a cultural, educational, and scientific centre that focuses on art, technology, and innovation, with the ambition of replacing a facility that no longer contributes to a greener future with a place where younger generations can learn how to build a better one.

The location of the project is geographically beneficial for the local art community as the northern side of Dennistoun is surrounded by other small exhibitions places, art studio spaces and art charities; hence the urban building can act as an incubator for collaboration and new opportunities for local students, artists, and businesses that want to learn how to implement the latest technologies in their practices.
The urban building promotes a programme that seeks to bring the young community together with artists, scientists and technologists to explore the cutting-edge world of emerging technologies through live performances, exhibitions, workshops and various laboratories and learning spaces.

The key features of the urban building:

The Entertainment Tower (Main Gathering Space):
• Space for immersive live performances that showcase the intersection of art and technology, featuring works by artists and technologists at the forefront of these fields.
• A flexible and dynamic space that can be easily adapted to accommodate various events and activities.

The Vertical Exhibition Tower
• A tower that showcases 3D printed sculptures and immersive art exhibitions on different floors, providing a “Mixed Reality” way of experiencing artworks: either through holographic interactions or through a VR(Virtual Reality) or AR( Augmented Reality) head-mounted display.

The Learning Tower
• Rooms to accommodate educational programmes, workshops, laboratories, and lectures on emerging technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and XR( Extended Reality Technologies) for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The urban building’s long axis is oriented towards the North to face Alexandra Parade Street, making it more ‘visible’ to the public. At the same time, it is positioned on the site’s western side to provide a generous public space on the south-eastern side with an outdoor cinema, skate ramp and a café for the local community.
In terms of materiality, the building seeks to blend in the context and uses the surrounding buildings’ materials as a reference. However, alternative, more sustainable materials include fibre cement cladding and rammed earth for the first two floors. The main feature of the interior spaces is the contrast between light and dark areas that aspire to create a sense of a cave-like experience from the moment someone enters the building. The “black boxes” rooms in the building aim to alter the users’ perception of physical boundaries with immersive projections; hence the need for natural light in these spaces is minimised.
The monolithic building form was inspired by the A-listed Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, only a few blocks from the site. Therefore, the urban building aspires to be Dennistoun “stone”, imposing a unique sculptural aesthetic for the North-West area in Dennistoun. ­














Urban Housing – E A R T H H.

The urban housing’ site is located on the southeastern side of the neighbourhood, directly adjacent to the underground railway that crosses the area. The southern side of Dennistoun is surrounded by an industrial area, and it is considered to be the neighbourhood’s most “deprived” zone as regards income, employment rate, health, education/skills, housing, geographic access, and crime rank, according to “Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020”.

The current location accommodates various spaces for car maintenance and cleaning as well as a café, albeit the overall atmosphere displays an industrial character with a disorganised appearance. However, the site location benefits from a Southern Sun exposure and a generous green area with many trees and great access to the city centre via Duke Street.

Considering the downsides and the benefits of the location, the urban housing project strives to revitalise the area’s urban fabric and social aspects by creating a place that prioritises safety, accessibility, sustainability and place-making.
The urban housing project seeks to attract young families to regenerate Dennistoun’s most underprivileged area, relying on the young generation to transform the Southern side of the neighbourhood into a vibrant and thriving community.

The housing project design aims to respond to a complex site while turning the disadvantages into advantages, focusing on creating inclusive and appealing private and public spaces for the local community.
The site development focuses on creating three realms: the private, the semi-public and the public. The private realm, which are the housing blocks, closes the boundary of the existing buildings nearby, creating a semi-public space/enclosed courtyard protected from the prevailing winds while offering a safe space for children who live in the proposed and existing housing to play and socialise. The public realm provide a  generous area in front of the proposed housing that accommodates an outdoor auditorium which acts as a ‘public room’ for conversations and gatherings, a skate ramp, multiple green zones, and paths that connect the site to the nearby streets. The public realm aims to strengthen the sense of community and togetherness through the generous proposed outdoor spaces that can accommodate various activities like a local fair, an outdoor movie night or various competitions for children (skating, cycling).

The project facilitates various typologies of houses, such as maisonettes for larger families and one to two beds units for smaller families or single parents. The main feature of the housing blocks is the winter gardens which each flat/maisonette benefits from. The form of the winter gardens displays a ‘new bay window’ typology inspired by the neighbourhood’s existing housings. All winter gardens are oriented towards the South and are designed to provide a bright and warmer place where people can enjoy their free time. Moreover, the Winter garden plays a crucial role in activating the public space/ “play area” designed right across them while acting as a buffer zone for the noise coming from the railway.

The ‘Earth Housing’ project focuses on ecological and economical design aspects through circular materials. Therefore, the primary materials proposed are reinforced rammed earth walls and CLT roofs and floor slabs. The urban housing choice of rammed earth as the primary material intends to popularise this ancient but, simultaneously, very new material (with the latest technological improvements) that strive to innovate sustainable design.