MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

John Pottage

I am an Architectural Technologist with over five years of practice experience. Since graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with distinction in 2017, I have worked in a design focused practice and have had significant involvement in many bespoke projects, ensuring that client specific solutions are delivered from initial concept to site. In 2020 I gained advanced entry to study Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, where I am currently working towards a Diploma of Architecture whilst working in practice on a part-time basis.

Sustainable Civic Architecture / Urban Building
Intertwined Relationships / Urban Housing

Sustainable Civic Architecture / Urban Building

Over the past century the Barra’s urban realm has been eroded, resulting in many unwelcoming vacant plots and insular low-rise suburban developments. A decline of local identity has accompanied the physical erosion, as the streetscape has decayed and important spaces for community interaction have been lost. Careful restoration of the historic urban block will act as a driver for re-energising Calton’s urban realm and creating long-term social sustainability.

In Glasgow, the rate of sports participation is 6% below the Scottish average and the participation of social groups D/E is less than half that of A/B (Sports Scotland). In Calton, 34.9% of the population is social group D/E, 24.6% are income deprived and 50.8% are single parent households (Understanding Glasgow). The careful introduction of sports and arts facilities that are missing in the community will help to achieve long-term social sustainability for Calton, encouraging local engagement through permeable and welcoming civic architecture.

Underpinning this ambition, the architectural expression is derived from the wider civic architecture of Glasgow, stitching the proposal into the wider civic fabric of the city. Whilst the building has a legible civic character, its unique expression is a refinement of traditional civic architecture, utilising informal materials such as weathered steel and corrugated metal cladding in order to dismantle the formal and unapproachable character of traditional civic architecture.

Site Massing

Architectural Expression

Ground Floor Adaptability

Internal Street and Upper Level Floor Plans

Cross Section and Main Hall

Structural Assembly and Elevation Construction

Elevational Treatment

Intertwined Relationships / Urban Housing

The relationship between labour and domesticity in Calton has evolved over time, as the long-established textile industry gradually declined and the historic urban realm eroded as a consequence.

At its peak, in the mid-late 19th century, the thriving textile industry attracted many poor working class people to Calton to work and live in cramped, unhygenic urban conditions (with people often living and working in the same rooms). Four-storey tenement buildings were constructed to house the workforce in urban blocks, in amongst factories, warehouses and work spaces. As a result, Calton developed a tight-knit urban realm with a strong sense of working-class identity.

However, mechanisation and overseas competition caused the textile industry to decline and dissolve, leaving the overcrowded, poor quality housing to gradually fall into disrepair until much of it was demolished in the 20th century. Much of the population was re-housed in new high-rise developments or re-located to New Towns, as Calton became a patchwork of vacant plots and new-build low-rise, insular, suburban developments. The Barras re-emerged as a mercantile quarter, devoid of domestic usage, with a much eroded urban realm.

Restoration of the historic mixed-use urban realm will drive long-term social sustainability within the Barras and Calton, initiating a renewal of local identity. Existing labour infrastructure is strengthened by carefully introducing new high quality housing typologies and labour accommodation that is carefully tailored to suit the demographics of local residents, regardless of social or economic standing. In doing so, the Barras will resist the common trend of gentrification of post-industrial areas that results in urban homogenization and economic pressures imposed upon lower-income residents.

Morphology and Massing

Floor Plans and Long Section

Floor Plans and Cross Section

Community Winter Gardens and Mercantile Courtyard

Elevational Treatment