A ‘blueprint’ and demolition drawing of Thornwood, Glasgow.
The Rosevale Cinema at 467 Dumbarton Road was active from 1921 to 1965 and was a key public building within the neighbourhood of Thornwood. It’s an example of one of the many picture-houses in Glasgow which thrived during this time when film was the biggest form of mass-media entertainment. Designed by architects Duff and Cairns, it was the largest Glasgow cinema to be built into a tenement back court and it’s the only example of this once common typology to survive in the city. The large auditorium originally sat 1,894 people and was accessed from Dumbarton Road through the ground floor of a tenement. In March 1932, the Rosevale was enlarged and refurbished to hold 2,100 seats.
Today, the Rosevale is partly occupied by a charity shop but the majority of it lies empty. The ground floor of the building has been gutted and fitted-out cheaply – however, above the suspended ceiling tiles, the upper part of the cinema remains intact. This project for an Urban Building looks to re-activate this underutilised and cavernous space within the city for the local community.
As a reaction to repeated destruction and damage to the urban fabric in Thornwood, my architectural position is to take a sensitive approach to demolition and to activate otherwise under-used and vacant spaces within the city. The housing proposal brought in density with a tenemental typology to the middle of an underused urban block and reconnected a broken street pattern. The intention was to activate the nooks and crannies of the existing site. For the urban building proposal, the same approach has been taken to re-activate and re-form the existing cinema in order to fully make use of the existing space.
A new tenement and strategy plan is proposed at Ardery St to activate the centre of an underutilised urban block whilst retaining as much of the existing built fabric as is feasible. The housing is slotted into the site and consists of 21 units of two to four bed flats which are intended for families and the elderly. A site-wide landscaping scheme for a pedestrianised street weaves in play areas, street furniture and bio-diverse green spaces, which aim to bring life into the block’s nooks and courtyard spaces. The proposal retains two existing stone façades, acknowledging the site’s history whilst using them to create sheltered front gardens.