Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Berk Aral (he/him)

I am a recent Part 1  graduate currently seeking employment as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant. Please reach me via email if you wish to contact me.

My architectural approach stems from a delicate balance of imposition and yielding. I base my way of working around the existing societal realities rather than the imposition of unrealistic ideals. Yet, the acceptance of certain realities does not preclude idealism.

My ideal is for architecture to be born out of a rational reaction to the situation it is placed in. An approach that is centred around observation, research and analysis forms the basis of my design process. One of my biggest strengths is my capacity to yield to the existing social, cultural and climatic forces that govern a place. By yielding to these forces, I allow myself to propose an architecture that is deeply rooted in the qualities that are associated with a certain place.

The experience I gained through my previous undergraduate studies, BA (Hons) Spatial Design at UAL, help me see buildings not as singular static objects but rather as a collection of carefully curated spaces. My work starts by determining the kind of spaces a project requires in order to address the needs of its users. The order in which I join and orient these spaces then enhances the quality of the individual spaces as well as facilitates social connections in between them. The resulting architecture is one that carefully considers the parameters that it is connected to and subsequently responds in a form that is moulded by the social, cultural and climatic forces exerted on it.

Reinvention of a Long Gone Past
Reinvention of a Long Gone Past – First Iteration
“Deurbanization” of the Row House

Reinvention of a Long Gone Past

This project investigates how the social and cultural past of a place can inspire and enhance its current development. This approach does not stem from a romanticised or nostalgic attachment to the past but from an almost archaeological mindset that aims to uncover the merits of the past. In this respect, the project looks back at Balloch’s history to reinvent the cultural and social spirit that was once present in the pier area.

The client, Sistema, is a charity that aims to transform the lives of underprivileged children through music. Although music is central to Sistema’s philosophy, they prioritise social action over traditional music education. By doing so, they not only develop their students but also enhance the social context they place themselves in by acting as a social catalyst.

Balloch has lost the vibrant public presence it once possessed in its pier area. This project uses the railway that was once going through the project site as the starting point of the reinvention of a long gone past. The proposal aims to regenerate the pier area through the insertion of a musical retreat and a performance hall.

(Further Project Information and Content Will Be Added in Due Course)

Project Introduction

The merits of the past underpinning the methodology of the proposal: This slide is made up of an image displaying the railway that once connected Glasgow to Balloch Pier, the old Balloch train station and the series of buildings that I propose in relationship to the railway that was once there. The quote underneath this image by Ungers summarizes the approach that I take that stems from a consciousness of the history of Balloch. (Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Why is the railway important? What kind of public activity did it promote?

Two maps compare the level of settlement in 1860 and 2020. Three images display the vibrant public scene that was once present at the pier area. (Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Where are public squares located traditionally? What does a public square add to a public space?

Top images displaying Taksim Square in Istanbul as an example of a public square that is placed in historic location. Bottom images displaying Sergels Torg in Stockholm as as example of how a public square can be a stage for a variety of activities that promote identity and unity. (Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

The Old Railway as the Main Axis

(Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Division of Space and Orientation

(Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Tectonics of the Retreat

(Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Performance Hall Concept - Reference to the Old Factory

(Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)

Reinvention of a Long Gone Past – First Iteration

This project is the completed first iteration of the project above. Please enjoy the content below, while the final iteration of the project is being prepared for final display.

Reinvention of a Long Gone Past

Masterplan Strategy - Connection and Disconnection

Site Strategy - The Client as the Social Catalyst

Musical Retreat - Conceptual Approach

Musical Retreat - Plan Drawings

Musical Retreat - Sections

Musical Retreat - Enclosure and Facade

Musical Retreat - Structural Composition

Performance Hall - Conceptual Approach

Performance Hall - Plan Drawings

Performance Hall - Key Section and Structure

“Deurbanization” of the Row House

This two weeks project seeks to place the row house typology in a location that does not represent the conditions it is designed for. By transporting this typology that is meant for dense urban environments to a rural setting, the proposal aims to cater to families who want to escape the chaos of urban life without compromising the qualities of living in a community.

(Further Project Information and Content Will Be Added in Due Course)

Row House Approach from Down the Hill

(Please Click on Image to View as a Slideshow)