Bianka Laura Bizubova (She / Her)
I believe that ruins have the potential to become a historical frame for a contemporary space. I am drawn to the genius loci of abandoned buildings and their architectural features that I can translate into a new design and use. Anything we restore is less dangerous to our future than anything we built new. My final year project acts upon opportunities to create a more sustainable future with innovations that drive positive change.
“The best way to predict the future is to design it.” – Buckminster Fuller
Acre House Design Lab
My chosen site is a dilapidated building located in Maryhill, Glasgow. The Acre House is a 2-storey Italianate villa with a 3-stage tower. It was built in about 1880 no one seems to know who the house was built for and by whom. It fell out of use in 2004. It is still lying empty, and damaged by severe fires.
My motive is an innovative renovation and sustainable revitalization of this building. Even in ruins, their foundations prove robust enough to support a new structure for new generations.
My proposal is an adaptive reuse proposal using the ruin’s envelope.
What is a Research and design lab?
The Design Research Lab is a dry laboratory for experimental design and research reflecting on digital society. The Design Research Lab investigates possible futures through playful interventions, critical making, and collaborative reasoning. As a platform and network, they are deeply involved with the requirements and policies needed for society’s inclusive and sustainable development from a design perspective. It requires an interdisciplinary team of designers, researchers, tech enthusiasts and critical thinkers.
Why Acre Design Lab?
For the Acre House, I have decided to reuse the building and use it sustainably as a symbol of adaptive architecture. I want the Acre House to support all residents, employees and students. The Acre House is in the West of Scotland Science Park. Being surrounded by research facilities can help the Design Research Lab grow and educate the current community. On the other hand, it connects people across Glasgow (architects, designers, activists, students, families, researchers) interested in working toward a better future for our everyday lives. Design Research Labs are researching new opportunities for a better everyday life and designing solutions for people and the planet. Innovate new materials, hold events to educate people, and promote progress.
Will sustainable innovation and design become the future of every design and architectural studio?
It’s our responsibility to create sustainable and ethical designs. Design shouldn’t be used to exploit the environment. It should act upon identified opportunities to develop better and more sustainable ways of living.
Adaptive reuse of the Glasgow Acre House ruin becomes a Design Lab. It has excellent potential to become a space for innovative design within its ruin envelope. It is neighbouring by residential flats and houses, but the site is very intimate, due to trees hiding it from the street.
It is substantial to mention that the Acre House stands near The West of Scotland Science Park. The park provides a location for a broad scope of facilities to gain support from- laboratories, environmental institutions, technology innovation companies and other research labs across the area.
The Acre facility will become a space where we can bring together experts and creatives from multiple fields-collaboration networks to bring people together and provide conditions that support creative collisions. Repurposing the Acre House will evidence a sustainable future and, in addition, keep the facilities’ ideology.Thinking isn’t done by individuals; it is done by communities. The Design Lab innovate and promote its progress through pop-ups, hackathons, exhibitions and panel discussions. It will invite people to work with them on projects and research developments.
The Acre Design Labs´ focal points are urbanisation, climate change, resource scarcity and innovation of sustainable materials and designs.The facility provides a cafe space where people can socialise and interact with the already-produced innovations.The building will be preserved sustainably from the exterior to its interior. The Acre Design Lab will use its vast land as a part of the research process for growing plants or accommodating insects and animals. It will offer space for exhibitions, community events or just a garden space for employees and the public to enjoy.The interior will become a gallery of innovative sustainable materials in use. It will include public spaces such as café, exhibition spaces and workshops for visitors to interact with the topic of sustainability and innovation. The first floor will be a private zone for workspaces, offices and archives for employees.
The Acre House is the opposite of what it used to be. The empty, abandoned ruin is now revived in full of life and creative ideas that empower people to drive positive change.
1. Exhibition – The exhibition space is for sharing ideas to receive feedback, enabling The Design Lab to adjust and improve design solutions. Collaboration makes it possible to quickly validate a design concept’s feasibility and desirability to a broader audience.
2. Workshop – The workshop is a flexible space for educational, research and creative activities. Pop Ups, hackathons, exhibitions and panel discussions. They are inviting residents to work with the Design Lab as a community.
3. Café – The café supports the research and education part of this facility. Space where ideas mingle, swap and create new forms. Thinking isn’t done by individuals; it is done by communities.
4. Archives – On the first floor, the archives work as a material library and store already-produced innovations. The ground floor archive is a shop where people can buy Lab-created Designs and, in this way, fund Acre Design Lab.
5. Office – The office is a private part of the building for employees to work, connected to the Lab workshop—an environment where people and ideas can meet.
6. Lab – The Lab workshop is where experts and creatives from multiple fields collaborate. They use special equipment, test, prototype and create new design processes.
Design Lab Exhibition Space
Ground Floor Archive
Tower Detail Section
Design Lab Office
I am saving the Acre House and repairing it therefore; the scaffolding uncovers the story of the building coming together with the building construction materials that are used in its interior. The scaffolding inspiration is translated into the interior design of Acre House as wooden construction that creates structure together with fabric to support the first floor and creates a flexible space for the exhibition space located below the first floor and highlights the building’s void. The wooden construction creates a skeleton for the lift and exterior courtyard spaces.