MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Jack CS Garvin


In my practice I treat the existing as a valuable resource with inherent character that requires interpretation and articulation. Each project therefore entails a new opportunity for research of elements, qualities and capacities that can be reimagined. The concepts of emotional heritage and memory are the core components of my position with emphasis placed on the inherent value of the ruin and found waste/objects as repositories of memory.

The romantic charging and social commentary of Gordon Matta-Clark and philosophical writings of Jeffrey Malpas are key influences. The work of Flores and Prats has placed the notion of the ruin as a ‘palimpsest’ at the core of emerging experimental preservation techniques. This aligns a physical structure to a multi-layered story which develops over time with intervention involving cleaning, or imperfect erasure, [of parchment] for reuse. As I explored in my dissertation ‘The Linguistics of Romantic Materialism’ I found that the process of weaving the past into the present human experience has the power to not only diminish emotional and cross-cultural waste but also provide a platform for self discovery and remembrance.

It is my belief that the extension of this treatment to the wider building stock could provide a platform for the construction of a future that harnesses humility, self-awareness and empathy.

Crathie Court
Industrial Amnesia

Industrial Amnesia

What difference would it make to the built environment if memory were to become an explicit element in architectural thinking and making?

The Lost Glasgow Archive inhabits the abandoned basement of a failed housing scheme as a storage space for archival and salvaged material. The interlocking volumes introduced above provide a place for the exhibition of valuable memories of Glasgow’s rapidly fading industrial history as well as for contemporary art practice through a performance hall and maker’s studios/gallery that prioritise the upcycling of waste material. The programme is split by a central circulation core that represents the present with a processional stairway that emulates that of a ruin that “climbs up and up, undaunted, to the roofless summit where it meets the sky.” (Macaulay) The circulation core separates the archival and social/art functions that represent the past and future respectively.

The resulting technological ideas that have stemmed from my position include the minimal employment of virgin material and the maximal incorporation of salvaged and locally sourced elements. Extensive research into the existing and pre-existing situation on site as the foundation for the next period of the ruin has led to an architecture of continuation with a material strategy of brick skin and concrete column structure that reflects the present and past industrial contexts. The threading of the found rebar through the envelope both strengthens the concept of weaving the past through the present and provides further embodied carbon savings.

Public Thornwood

Past Thornwood

19th Century (Left), 20th Century (Right)

Drawing with Time

Future, Present, Recent Past and Past






Meadow Road Elevation

Amnesiac Envelope

Meadow Road


Crathie Court

Housing Retrofit & Intervention

A material and tectonic reaction to space and place with the pursuit of visual and experiential beauty through linguistic formation. The needs for the articulation of contrasting existing characters and introduction of irregularity is addressed through the folding and weaving of elements through the window to wall ratio of the adjacent tenement that produces a rhythm of variety and temporal relevance whilst fostering a highly site-specifc architecture. Further to my intention of providing depth to harsh frontages the formed protrusions break the flat facade and could serve as balconies or bay windows.

Having researched Thornwood through the Urban Strategy lens of Landscape, Biodiversity and Amenity my group identified the issue of disconnectivity in the area. This was particularly evident between greenspaces and to the River Clyde due to the motorway imposition. The strategy for reconnection lied in the reactivation of the historic railway tunnel that runs north to south. I therefore chose to develop the section of railway that slices through Crathie Court as this enabled the pursuit of arbitrary space reactivation aswell as post-war housing retrofit.

The retrofit of Crathie Court was driven by analysis of archival and photographic material as well as regular site visits during which I gained an appreciation for the presence of the structure on the surrounding area and identified the southern elevation and rooftop as key areas for intervention in the optimisation and conservation of the existing building. The resulting proposal replaces a partial demolition of the seventh floor to resolve the buidings form and act as a continuation of the newly formed dialect, interlocking the present with the past.

Site Plan


New GF

New Section + Elevation