Eryn McQuillan (she/ her)
Let Water Flourish
As climate effects bring more adverse weather conditions, increased flood risk and rising sea levels, Glasgow, the second rainiest city in the UK which grew along the edges of the River Clyde must reconsider how it accommodates water in the built environment. My Thesis aims to challenge Glasgow’s relationship to water and the existing dichotomy of wet and dry landscapes.
Often, contemporary architecture battles to keep water out, attempting to resist the impact of time and the elements through hard impermeable surfaces and “waterproofing” in contrast to Scotland’s traditional architecture which incorporated weathering details and more porous materials with an acceptance of the process of weathering and therefore a more sensitive understanding of the relationship between water and the built environment. Within my proposal, traditional detailing is used as a lens to reconsider contemporary relationships between water and the built environment.
The thesis will be explored through a Museum of the Clyde where new riverfront galleries will extend from a collection of existing buildings. The historical infrastructure of the Museum of the Clyde which includes the original Clyde Navigation Trust and industrial warehouses will house permanent collections exploring the history of the Clyde, the role that the Clyde Navigation played during the industrial revolution and the use of water in industrial trade. The new interventions will house temporary exhibitions and allow the Clyde to be connected back to the city centre beneath the road with a new conservation/ restoration centre to process temporary and permanent exhibitions repairing the street edge of the city block and connecting old and new.
The architecture of the new interventions seeks to celebrate the presence of water in an urban context in the form of both river and rainfall. Through celebrating water through the architecture, users will be reminded of the power that the weather and climate has on the built environment and a renewed respect for the element will be earned by emphasising the phenomenological experience of water in an urban context.