I, as a graduating student at the Glasgow School of Art, would like to state my support for the Pause or Pay Campaign.
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Chloe Spiess is an American architect in training. Spiess graduated with her B.S.Arch from the Ohio State University in 2017 and proceeded to find work in an architecture firm in San Diego for two years. During her time at Ohio State, her interests in architecture focused on considerate design reflecting the history and needs of a place.
“each of us is not simply a machine “sleeping, eating, drinking, and performing its numerous other animal functions- but also seeing, touching, and remembering familiar associations and all the other intangible activities of the mind and soul; all of which I personally believe are of far greater importance and in far greater need of consideration than our purely practical functions in life.”
– Alexander Girard
The project – a physical critique on the present-day relationship between labour and domesticity, developed in three phases and scales: a cell unit, a masterplan, and a housing block.
For the working parent, navigating the time/interaction between labour and domesticity is crucial, for their own well-being, the well-being of the next generation, and the impact of their labour and dreams. I believe that by increasing living arrangement flexibility, “sharing” the burden of domestic labour between genders and under-employed neighbours, providing opportunities for rest, wonder, and exploration, working parents and their families will have more time to focus on what they deem most important.
The Cell – I started with a double-unit 2-story cell with a shared terrace for an inter-generational family, wrapped around a tree. Crucially, each unit possessed an independent entrance. As I adapted the initial cell to the form generated in the masterplan, the stair-and-tree-well lost the tree and was pushed to the edge of the unit, creating a filtered-light effect and providing a green-house-like effect inside.
The Masterplan — was the result of the collective work of Samuel Us, Tess Hillan, Gabriella Togni, Norbu Verhagen, and myself. Multiple courtyards take the central idea of my cell and expand it with gardens and plazas in the centres. As a prospective development along the high street of Glasgow – Trongate, we felt that such a project had a duty to provide an alternative to the commercialism of the surrounding area. Towards this aim, we imagined a series of public, semi-public and resident-only open spaces to make up for the lack of similar spaces in the Merchant City.
The Block – The block of the masterplan that I chose resides in the South-Western corner of the site. Hedged by the main street of Trongate and the side-street of Hutcheson, the block is a sandwich of dental offices, live/work units, a creche, a grocer market on the ground floor, housing in the middle, and entertainment (badminton court, petting zoo, community garden, café/bar, and therapy offices on the top with a view of the magnificent Merchant City skyline.
Graphic style – During the last few weeks of the project, I was also reading a book about Alexander Girard – pioneering designer of the mid-century modern movement and friend of Charles and Ray Eames. His playful use of colour and texture inspired me to go wild with my graphics, as well as add a kinetic rain-screen to the deck-access units.