Interior Design School of Design

Jiawen Zhang

(SHE/HER)

I have a deep passion for observing how people interact with different spaces. Whether it’s in cafes, public squares, or during my travels, I’m always fascinated by how spaces influence social interactions, privacy, and overall human behavior. This curiosity has significantly shaped my design philosophy.

This passion led me to create “Pioneer Plaza,” a unique community designed specifically for digital nomads. Digital nomads are adventurous and flexible individuals who use technology to break free from traditional work constraints, allowing them to travel the world while maintaining their careers. My aim is to provide a multifunctional space that supports work, socialization, and personal growth for these modern wanderers.

“Pioneer Plaza” is more than just a place to live and work; it’s a community that fosters cultural exchange and innovation. Here, digital nomads can find a sense of belonging, connect with like-minded individuals, and share resources and ideas. I believe that through this multicultural integration, we can spark endless creativity and new ideas.

This community emphasizes openness and inclusivity, offering a platform for people from all over the world to share their experiences and knowledge. Whether you need a quiet workspace or a vibrant social hub, “Pioneer Plaza” caters to your needs. Through this project, I aim to demonstrate the crucial role of spatial design in shaping the future of work and lifestyle.

Let’s explore “Pioneer Plaza” together, a place full of energy and endless possibilities, and see how it brings new opportunities and vitality to Glasgow.

Contact
570612398@qq.com
J.Zhang7@student.gsa.ac.uk
@jiawen-zhang15
Projects
Abstract
Original Architecture
Site Analysis
Facade and Section
Floor Plan Inspiration
Floor Plan
Working Space
Living Space
Social / Communication Space
Collaboration Furniture
Material

Abstract

  • What Is Digital Nomads?

Digital nomads embody a revolutionary modern approach to work and life. They travel globally while maintaining their careers, showcasing remarkable flexibility and autonomy. Digital nomads rely on internet connectivity to work remotely, using technology to break free from traditional constraints of location and time. This lifestyle not only boosts work efficiency but also allows them to immerse in diverse cultures, gaining unique life experiences.

  • Why I Want to Do a Digital Nomad Community?

With the rapid development of digital technology, more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads, seeking flexible and autonomous work lifestyles. This has inspired me to establish a digital nomad community in Glasgow, a city with robust finance and industrial sectors. Such a community would not only utilize the city’s advanced digital infrastructure but also foster diverse economic and innovative growth.

Currently, Glasgow lacks such a shared community, which limits the city’s potential for innovation and talent attraction. By creating a vibrant digital nomad community, we can offer more choices for work and life to residents, enhancing the city’s appeal and vitality.

This community will become a hub for knowledge and creativity in Glasgow, stimulating innovation through the sharing of information and resources. We aim to build a multicultural environment that explores new ways of working and living through cross-cultural cooperation, thereby promoting the city’s social and economic development. This supportive and positive community will help members achieve a balanced work-life dynamic, bringing new opportunities and energy to Glasgow.

The community emphasises the integration of diverse cultures, fostering communication and social engagement among its members. It is designed to help individuals expand their social networks and achieve personal growth. Regardless of where you come from, this community offers an inclusive and open platform where you can draw inspiration and support from a multicultural environment.

Original Architecture

Blending Tradition with Innovation:

  • Located at 26 West Street in Glasgow, this site, once a traditional warehouse, has undergone a vibrant transformation by Bonnypack Company into a basic grocery retail warehouse. Surrounded by a rich cultural atmosphere and well-equipped public facilities, it sits in the northern region of the Clyde. To the west lies an industrial park, And in the east, residential neighbourhoods are booming, offering a diverse mix of population and industry.

 

Cultural Void:

  • Despite its bustling surroundings, there’s a noticeable absence—a dedicated hub for interactive cultural exchange.

 

Taking the Opportunity:

  • This is the reason why I’ve chosen this site, envisioning it as a dynamic hub where digital nomads can gather, connect, and collaborate.

Site Analysis

Pioneer Plaza is located across the Clyde River, with convenient access to multiple major routes leading to the city centre. The multiple route such as M8 also provides easy access to other cities and sites. Most importantly, this location offers exceptional value for money. For digital nomads, accommodation costs are often the biggest expense, but due to its strategic location, Pioneer Plaza offers very affordable rates, making it an ideal choice for digital nomads.

The area, divided by the Clyde River, has diverse zones with cultural and tourism resources, but few hotels, making it an ideal location for the digital nomad community to offer accommodations and workspaces.

In contrast to the city centre, the area across the River Clyde in Glasgow is home to a diverse population, including Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, British and Westerners. This diversity is a key reason why Pioneer Plaza is located here. Cultural exchanges and communication between different ethnic groups have enabled our community to flourish, enriching it and making it more vibrant. This multicultural environment is vital in fostering innovation and creativity amongst digital nomads, enabling them to benefit from a wealth of perspectives and experiences.

ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

SURROUNDING BUILDING

Facade and Section

This is the section and facade of the Pioneer Plaza. The facade is composed of metal and red brick, preserving some of the building’s original materials while incorporating traditional red bricks to create a more diverse visual appeal. The section provides a clear view of the building’s accommodation areas, workspaces, and social areas.

PIONEER PLAZA FACADE

CROSS-SECTION 1

This cross-section provides a clear view of the accommodation areas within the Pioneer Plaza community, featuring single rooms, large single rooms, and family suites. These are designed for digital nomads visiting Glasgow for tourism or business trips

CROSS-SECTION 2

This cross-section provides a clear view of the social and work spaces within the Pioneer Plaza community. The interior is highly diverse, offering an excellent environment for both work and social interaction

Floor Plan Inspiration

My floor plan features a streamlined design inspired by the teacup rides at amusement parks. This streamlined layout enhances interaction because, like the teacup rides, it encourages people to come closer, interact, and share space. By using this design, people naturally engage more with each other, fostering a greater sense of community and connection.

Comparing Curved and Linear Layouts for Digital Nomads The teacup-inspired curved pathways contrast with traditional linear layouts. Unlike a single straight path, the intricate, interwoven design of curved pathways is more suitable for digital nomads. Curved pathways encourage spontaneous interactions and create multiple points of connection, whereas linear paths can isolate individuals and limit opportunities for engagement. This dynamic layout supports a vibrant, interactive environment, essential for the collaborative and flexible lifestyle of digital nomads.

 

INSPIRATION

COMPARED

OUTCOME OF EVALUATION

Floor Plan

The building floor plan consists of two sections: one part is single-story, while the other part has two stories, referred to as Floor Plan 1 and Floor Plan 2, respectively.

Floor Plan 1 is open to everyone and features various types of workspaces, collaboration areas, and leisure areas. It offers diverse settings and furniture arrangements to encourage social interaction and collaboration.

Floor Plan 2, on the other hand, is a private accommodation area that requires prior reservation. Access to this section is restricted to those who have booked in advance, providing digital nomads with dedicated lodging services.

FLOOR PLAN 1

FLOOR PLAN 2

Working Space

The working space at Pioneer Plaza is divided into several areas: co-working spaces, private workstations, meeting rooms, quiet contemplation zones, and creative spaces. These areas provide the community with diverse work environments, including spaces for team collaboration and more private, individual workstations. The working spaces are filled with numerous green plants, creating a refreshing, comfortable, and inspiring atmosphere. All these work areas are open to community members, offering digital nomads an efficient and pleasant workspace where they can focus on their tasks while enjoying the blend of nature and creativity.

DISCUSSION / WORKING AREA

A SPECIAL ENTRANCE

INDIVIDUAL WORKING SPACE

Living Space

The accommodation area at Pioneer Plaza is designed to host digital nomads visiting Glasgow for tourism or business trips. It is divided into two floors:

 

First Floor

  • Single Rooms (11 units): Ideal for short-term stays, such as overnight guests.
  • Shared Kitchen: Equipped with a variety of cooking tools to cater to residents with different dietary habits and those who enjoy cooking. The kitchen can accommodate 15-20 people for dining at the same time.
  • Public Showers: Facilities available for up to 8 people simultaneously.
  • Laundry Room: Equipped with 8 washing machines.

Second Floor

  • Large Single Rooms (4 units): Targeted at guests who seek higher living standards, offering an upgraded single room experience.
  • Suites (4 units): Designed for family travellers, providing more space and convenient amenities for parents and children.

LIVING AREA

These suites boast a unique feature: a U-shaped track cleverly integrates curtains as interior partitions, replacing traditional walls

LIVING AREA

The suites also feature a small balcony, offering residents the opportunity for gardening and planting

Social / Communication Space

The social/communication space is divided into several areas: a theatre space, a market space, a multi-cultural restaurant , a coffee bar, and a creative landscape area. These areas serve the community by providing venues for leisure, entertainment, creative salons, and various other activities. All these spaces are open to everyone, offering digital nomads a place to relax, socialise, and engage in creative and recreational activities.

CAFÉ BAR

OPEN LEISURE AREA

CREATIVE LANDSCAPE SPACE

THEATRE

MULTICULTURAL RESTAURANT

The multicultural restaurant at Pioneer Plaza features weekly themed menus and interactive cooking sessions with professional chefs, allowing digital nomads to experience diverse cuisines and build social connections

Collaboration Furniture

Sharing work before creating the Pioneer Plaza comes with a series of challenges, such as finding adequate space, balancing the intrusion of work into personal life, spending long periods indoors without the usual commuting rituals, and lacking social interaction. To address these issues, a novel solution involving dynamic furniture has been proposed! The moderately sized public spaces within Pioneer Plaza, such as platforms and corridors, have been transformed into multifunctional overflow spaces. Here, you can work and live to your heart’s content, while also enjoying safe and enjoyable social interactions with neighbours. This space resembles a small community, offering a variety of activities waiting for you to explore!

In the Pioneer Plaza living area, I designed a special shared closet. This closet is not just for storage; it can also be transformed between two rooms. When closed, it serves as a storage space for clothes; when opened, the wooden panel becomes a workspace. The uniqueness of this design lies in the opportunity it creates for interaction and communication among digital nomads. Imagine being able to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects with your neighbours right at this shared workspace. This multifunctional closet not only combines living, working, and storage but also fosters a vibrant and interactive community atmosphere. It perfectly embodies the essence of Pioneer Plaza: creating a flexible, collaborative, and efficient lifestyle for digital nomads.

The design of the flexible tabletops is quite ingenious, considering the diverse nature of digital nomads’ work. Different professions have different spatial requirements, and the flexible tabletops can easily adapt to these changes. Whether you need to stand while working, sit for discussions, or move your equipment around for creative projects, the flexible tabletops offer the ideal solution. This design not only greatly improves space utilisation but also adds convenience and comfort. Digital nomads can adjust their work environment according to their needs, enhancing both their efficiency and comfort.

 

Living Space

Closed closet which can be used for hanging clothes

LIVING ROOM

Closet can be open as a co-working desk

COLLABORATION DESK

Freely adjusted in height with an elevating mechanism. Flexible tabletops can also move and rotate

CLOSET DETAIL

CLOSET RENDERING

Material

MATERIAL BOARD