Meadow Road Redevelopment: Velodrome + Urban Housing
The Urban Building and Urban Housing projects are placed respectively within the Thornwood Meadow Road site. An existing ad-hoc accompaniment of warehouses, a near derelict power transformer hub and half constructed apartment block.
However, what makes this site of particular importance is its links to the Clyde, which in turn, gives access to central Glasgow to the East, Helensburgh and The Trossachs to the West. From a commuter perspective, especially in relation to cycling, the Clyde access gives rare access to uninhibited, traffic free routes to the city centre. This part of Thornwood holds the rare ability to cross over the dual carriageway that splits the neighbourhood with further developments by the Clyde, along with the traffic free route into the city. This is to be celebrated.
As such this is the embodiment of my Urban Housing project. To open up and celebrate the link Meadow Road has with the city, through the Clyde cycleway. As such, to transform Thornwood into a hot destination for cycling.
The urban building will house an amphitheatre of cycling, celebrating the rich culture of the sport in Scotland, the UK and globally. The primary aim is to create a multi levelled velodrome, taking advantage of exterior space that would ordinarily not be used. For example, this idea all began with untapped roof space usage.
As seen in contemporary architecture, the roof surface of many structures are left untapped and unused, which I believe, seems a waste given the area surface it holds. Along with this I aim to maintain the original purpose of the site keeping the Power Hub, akin to Morris and Company Elephant and Castle project, integrating it into the design within the basement spaces of the multi level velodrome.
Therefore, the urban building is to promote the maximisation and efficiency of under utilised space. This can be seen in the existing site. Space that can be utilised but is, at this point, left barren. Connecting to the wider connection with the urban Housing and Thornwood, Urban Building is to be a focal point for the community. With the Clyde expressway connection point, a bastion for the commuter belt into the city centre, the Urban Building is to become a Mecca for Weegie Cyclists.
This year’s edition of MacMag seeks to explore the relationship between the arts and architecture. Through a range of conversations and articles we explore the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary practice, showcasing a celebration of diversity in our architectural education and industry.
The Mackintosh School of Architecture sits within a unique context both geographically and socially; the art school’s presence poses as an intrenchment on the architecture school’s values. This enrichment for the school comes from a reliance on the arts, both academically and in an informal social relationship. MSA prides itself on its contextual relationship with the art school. Our building, the Bourdon, sits with other studios filled with artists, photographers and fashion designers across the street. As students, it is inevitable to be immersed in a diverse array of creative disciplines, whether consciously or subconsciously. This exposure has a profound impact on students’ perspectives, their creative output, and the trajectory of their professional journey beyond academia. Our interviews with Will Knight, former MSA student turned artist, and Andy Summers, an architect, educator and curator, explore this idea further.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who our school is named after, is a prime example of where this collaboration between the arts can be seen working at its best. Charles, and fellow architecture student James Herbert MacNair, formed a creative alliance with sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald, day students at GSA, to produce an innovative and distinctive design style which came to be known as the ‘Glasgow style’. We are reminded of Mackintosh’s legacy every time we pass by the Mackintosh Building. We delved into his work and his approach to the arts and architecture in our conversation with Liz Davidson
The school’s ability for dawning professional and social relationships with the arts is clear. Though can we assume this is carried through to practice?
As students of the Glasgow School of Art we pose the question: what is the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary practice? How do the arts manifest in this? We ask, where is the line between arts and architecture and is this line continuously moving?