Prize Winner

James Brough Memorial Prize

Interior Design School of Design

Emma Louise Fullerton

Throughout this last year, the core of my project work has been heavily influenced by nature and biophilic design, with a particular focus on how these elements can be introduced to a modern urbanised landscape to help improve student well-being in Glasgow. The key focus of this interest is to fully understand how people interact with the space and place around them and how to enhance that relationship through spatial design, with the aim of improving physical and mental well-being, as well as cognitive function, in our everyday lives – something I am keen to develop more in the future.

.introducing serendipity
.building the concept
.lower ground level
.upper ground level
.first level
.second level
.third level
.outdoor space
.concept model
.full proposal portfolio

.introducing serendipity

The heart of my project this year was looking at the well-being – both physical and mental – of students still recovering from the impact of the pandemic as well as the cost of living crisis. The cost of living crisis has made social lives outside of the ‘classroom’ unaffordable to a large group of students, in turn increasing loneliness amongst this demographic. My proposal aims to create an affordable ‘third space’ for students a space between home and education that welcomes them to disconnect from the chaos of the urban, studying life and just enjoy a moment of stillness and engage in a variety of spaces and activities:

                             Dis-connect to Re-connect.

Being conscious of adaptive reuse I decided to use an old Glasgow Board School, originally Canning Place Public School. This building has been lying derelict and I wanted to give it a new lease of life whilst paying homage to its educational typology. Taking inspiration from the overgrown nature I have used biophilic design as my key process throughout the year.

.building the concept

The proposal outlines the brands identity in four pillars of wellness; mind, social, spirit and movement. With the aim of reconnecting students in one space and encouraging face to face interaction. The spatial planning of the space takes great consideration of ‘mixing’ these elements to increase the chance of random meetings and serendipitous connections.

Through this proposal I hope to create a concept of a space that is accessible for all – both physically and financially – a space that brings students from all over Glasgow together instead of everyone using their own dedicated student services allowing student to mix socially outside of their institution, ensuring no one is left behind. Overall it offers a safe space to go when life just gets a bit overwhelming – a common experience in higher education.

  • Movement: Serendipity offers activities that encourage movement such as yoga, rock climbing and a park area in the hopes of benefiting students physical well-being.
  • Social: Serendipity offers space that encourage face to face interaction such as a social cafe, group study and a therapy space.
  • Spirit: Serendipity offers activities and spaces that encourages the building of a community spirit such as shared allotments and a community shop.
  • Mind: Serendipity offers spaces that gives students the ability to focus and work on their mental well-being such as the library or sensory space.


.zoning of space

.renovated atrium visual

.section to show atruim

.lower ground level

.community shop – The community shop offers students access to a swap shop to exchange clothes, second-hand books at a reasonable price and the opportunity for students to sell their own products in store.

.glen cafe – Glen cafe offers students an accessible and affordable coffee spot that also offers healthy snacks and drinks. Whether for a quick take away coffee or a small sit down break the cafe offers that opportunity. Named after the sites old name Allen Glen.

.lower ground isometric

.lower ground plan

. glen cafe visual

.community shop visual

.upper ground level

.social cafe – This cafe seating space offers booth seating for groups to sit together as well as modular seating that can be moved into different arrangements to accommodate a variety of uses and groups. The cafe also offers healthy lunches and small snacks for a quick lunch drop in or after activity snack.

.new staircase – These stairs are one of the main design features that this proposal has introduced -this staircase connects the upper ground level with the first level through the newly introduced void and over the ‘oasis’ below.


.upper ground isometric

.upper ground plan

.social cafe visual

. new stairs detail

.new stairs visual

.first level

.group study space – The group study space features a new double height space and seating for group study. This space can be used as a sociable space or a space for individual study. The double height space allows the windows to flood the space with natural light during the day.

.library space – This library holds academic books that students can access to help aid their studies. The archways are once again inspired from the windows at the front of the building and create a ‘tunnel’ like pathway through the shelves.

.rock climbing studio – This rock climbing studio provides students with a fun group activity. Safety harnesses and staff will always be present to ensure safety of users. Classes will also be held in this space.

.gallery space – The gallery space allows students to display their work either as a part of a crit or an independent curation. The adjustable gallery tables allow the user to adjust and use the space however the please – either as full wall space, floor space or table space.

.gallery table detail – These adjustable gallery tables allow different gallery set-ups to take place in the space.

.first level isometric

.first level plan

.group study visual

.library visual

.rock climbing studio visual

.gallery space

.gallery table detail

.second level

.quiet study space – The quiet study space gives students a quiet space to escape to study independently – but still providing human interaction with people around them.

.spin class studio – This space offers access to stationary bikes to encourage movement and physical activity, classes will also be held in this space. The bespoke window allows users to see through to the rock climbing studio building a atmosphere of energy.

.second level isometric

.second level plan

.spin class visual

.quiet study space visual

.third level

.sensory space – This sensory space gives students a space to escape to when they just need a moment away or are over-stimulated. The backlit Corian texture walls provide a multi-sensory experience and the projector displays calming video and sound. The space can also be used for film nights.

.therapy space – This space can be used as a therapy space, either for group therapy or a drama therapy studio. Providing a space for people to share issues and communicate in a group setting.



.workshop space – The workshop space can be booked by students to work on group projects and classes and workshops are also held in this space such as crafts or life drawing.

.studio space – The studio space is an open space that can be used for a variety of activities from yoga, pilates or even dance classes. there is a large storage closet attached to store equipment when not in use. The new skylight allows natural light to flood the studio space.

.new skylight – The introduction of this skylight allows the sun to flow in most of the day to the studio area inside adding a simple but striking architectural detail.

.third level isometric

.third level plan

.sensory space visual

.therapy space visual

.new skylight isometric

.new skylight detail

.fitness studio visual

.workshop visual

.outdoor space

.outdoor amphitheatre space –  The newly added amphitheatre outside offers the opportunity for activities to take place outside when the weather is appropriate such as yoga or dance classes or even outdoor drama performances.

.allotments – The allotments allow the community to build a garden up together, the allotments are raised to ensure they are accessible for everyone using the space, the product of these gardens can also be sold in the community shop.




.city park – The City Park is a small outdoor space that offers students the opportunity to walk about or sit in nature as a small getaway or hang out in the warmer weather.

.outdoor space isometric

.outdoor space plan

.raised allotments visual

.outdoor amphitheatre visual

.city park visual

. raised allotment detail

.concept model

I wanted to have a physical representation of my expert area of interest so I decided to make an acrylic model so you could see the central tree growing through the building and connecting all the spaces together – it also indicates the nature happening on the outside connecting the inside and outside.

                                  1.5 mm Clear Acrylic and 1.5 mm MDF

.concept model | front view

.concept model | right elevation view

.concept model | back elevation view

.concept model | left elevation view

.full proposal portfolio

If you want to explore this proposal in more depth, please feel free to flip through these full documents!

.serendipity proposal portfolio | all measurements @ A3 printing scale

.reconnection journal | all measurements @ 297 x 297 mm printing scale