MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Cara Taggart

I am most interested in the social and environmental facets of architecture. Exploring Marseille, a city often likened to my home city of Glasgow, the Thesis allowed for the development of ideas and the testing of a radical approach to both educational architecture and the urban condition of France’s ‘second city’.

‘Neighbourhood of Play’
Models and Artefacts
Research Themes

‘Neighbourhood of Play’

The thesis explores the role of play in education and children’s agency over their space in the city. Challenging the traditional primary school typology the proposal extends into the community and binds fragmented urban blocks, creating a landscape of play and a series of public amenities. It aims to integrate into the neighbourhood, bring life back to the streets and create safe public spaces for people of all ages.

The architecture and landscape respond to the human scale of the city, varying in height while playfully emanating across the grid that reinforces the axis of Rue D’Aubagne. The design allows for playfulness, imagination and a certain level of risk, embodying the ideas of a new education system.

The project challenges the typology of the traditional classroom: questioning typical educational environments. Instead, the thesis proposes a series of learning towers and pavilions encouraging movement through the site throughout the day. Raising the buildings off the ground extends the playscape while offering a buffer that maintains the privacy and safety of the children. While acknowledging the importance of these aspects, the thesis is a provocation for a new educational model and aims to act in a radical manner towards a new way of learning.

Buildings and landscape are designed with consideration of the Mediterranean climate and respond architecturally to climactic changes. The architecture alters to seasonal changes and human comfort with the façade fins and use of thermal mass aiming to minimise energy use. The proposal is colourful and contrasts with the existing context while retaining the warm tones of Marseille’s vernacular. Also in consideration is material importance, waste bricks utilise the remnant materials of demolished buildings, retaining the material quality of the neighbourhood and reducing their environmental impact.

Site Axonometirc

Exploded Concept

Site Plan

Developed Section

Arts and Library Drawing Set

Learning Tower Drawing Set

Assembly Hall Drawing Set

Performance Hall Drawing Set

External & Internal Views

Detail Perspective Section - Performance Hall

Facade Studies

Structural Axonometrics

Landscape Study

Models and Artefacts

Throughout the process, concept models were used for testing of materials and form. A selection of final models is also included that aim to communicate the scheme at a variety of scales: from the integration into the existing urban fabric, to the testing of technical aspects of structure and facade details.

Waste Brick Material Processing

Concept Model - Landscape

Concept Model - Testing of Site Strategy

Concept Model - Inspired by Per Kirkeby

1:1000 Model

1:50 Model

1-20 Facade Model

Research Themes

Existing and Proposed

Typology Studies of Marseille's Schools

Playspaces in the City

Classroom Precedent Analysis

Aldo van Eyck - 17 Playgrounds

Neighbourhood Mapping

Existing Elevation