Women’s Only Co-operative Housing

This project draws inspiration from many of Glasgow’s Spinster housing from the 1950s. At the time, many women were left widowed due to the increase in war fatalities, most of which couldn’t continue to afford the rents and mortgages themselves. My findings have shown that in the 50s alone, there were approximately 9 Spinster blocks dotted all over Glasgow, all of which were discontinued and re-programmed a few decades later.

This project aims to change the narrative of Spinster flats. Essentially creating a women’s-only co housing, where the sole purpose isn’t relief housing, rather, a place or sanctuary for women to live and feel safe together – taking inspiration from Adele Patrick’s ‘Take Root’ initiative in the 90s, where the main reason for their women’s only housing was simply because they wanted to, which is an exceptionally valid reason in itself.

A women’s only co-housing in Thornwood wouldn’t just offer idealistic homes as a primary motive. It is designed to house everyone, especially those most vulnerable. The variation in typology throughout the retrofit can house single mothers with children, elderly women, disabled women, refugee women, victims of assault, rehabilitating women and women fleeing danger. The proposal is open to permanent and temporary housing, accommodating for all of women’s housing needs.

Through my research with the local women of Glasgow, whom once lived in a Spinster or knew someone that did, helped me generate a consensus that it is a cost effective way to live during our cost of living and housing crisis today as many resources are shared and in some cases, child care can be arranged within the co-housing with other tenants.

This is merely a solution.
Rather, an attempt to provoke questions and expose the problem around women’s relationship with housing in Glasgow.

Voices of the Glasgow Spinster Flats

This tapestry holds many voices of the Glasgow Spinster Flats of the 1950's. It explores the 'Spinsters' as an architectural typology and gives a platform for many opinions and voices of that time. Through extensive research and online community engagement, we can understand the importance of the Spinster Flats and how it shaped many lives in Glasgow of that time. This is a body of research which follows the line of enquiry I am carrying out at the Glasgow School of Art - changing the narrative of the Spinster Flats from what was originally relief housing to essential housing and exposing women's relationship to safety and housing in the city of Glasgow. Selected for the 198th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Topography, Central Belt, Scotland


Site Model, Thornwood

Site Model, Thornwood

Photo Model

Rossi plan with Urban Housing and Urban Building

Urban Plan

Existing & Retrofit


Adaptation 2

Adaptation 3

Section through Courtyard

Section through Courtyard 2

Image from Communal Terrace

Image of Communal Garden

A Localised Sexual & Maternal Health Sanctuary for Women of Thornwood

This project aims to draw the research collated in Semester 1 through the Women’s Only Cooperative Housing specifically for Vulnerable Women and Single Mothers.

Glasgow’s population of female refugees, single mothers, female victims of trafficking, vulnerable women of domestic abuse, women fleeing persecution, widowed women etc, are at an all time high. All of which are from Glasgow and many other cultures and backgrounds.

A Women’s Sexual and Maternal Health Sanctuary would assist those who experience structural and systemic obstacles to advocacy, care, and information throughout the many stages of women’s life. It would aim to help unite, safeguard, educate and empower many women across the city. It is something so imperative to their lives that many cultures and backgrounds treat with neglect and violence. It would aim to provide a space for all ages of women, whom potentially don’t have a partner or other female companions or family members to help and guide them through the challenging points in their lives. A place for them to be together and not alone.

The building could include such things as a breast feeding room, women’s library, educational rooms, sexual health clinics, research spaces for students and midwives, rehabilitating botanical gardens, private bereavement spaces, emergency birthing rooms, pregnancy yoga spaces, aromatherapy and thermal hydrotherapy rooms and a general space for all ages of women to unite and be together.

The sanctuary would aim to accommodate and provide spaces for young women beginning their menstrual cycle, to women experiencing pregnancy, to women dealing with bereavements, to women in their postnatal period and to women during the menopause.

The proposal will be closely situated to the Women’s Co-Housing of Semester 1, where both projects will compliment and complete each other.

This project will investigate the same research and confront the same problem women experience in Glasgow, however, will aim to experiment differently on a public and urban scale, to hopefully have two answers to the same question by the end of the semester.

This is not the solution.
Rather, an attempt to provoke questions and expose the problem around the societal attitude and neglect towards women’s sexual health in the city of Glasgow.

Ground Floor

1st Floor

2nd Floor

3rd Floor

4th Floor

Library Axo

Classroom Axo

Room Axo

Waiting Area Axo

Gathering Space

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

Axo of Winter Garden

Axo Section

Roof Plan



Detail 4


Axo Sketch



Rossi plan with Urban Housing and Urban Building

Detail Section

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

East Elevation

North Elevation

South Elevation

West elevation

MacMag 49


This year’s edition seeks to explore the theme of transgression. By definition, transgression is an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence. However, the process of creating this year’s edition has shown us that the term is a lot more nuanced in its application and transgressive acts can take on many forms. We interpret transgression as a polarised form of change, acknowledging the diverse ways architects and designers challenge the status quo, the built environment, and the socio-political sphere.

In this edition, we look to explore ways in which the arts and architecture are critical of practice, education, and politics by creating new ways of living and working through systematic change.

A decade on from the independence referendum, Scotland has evolved into a much more politically engaged country which continues to feel the effects of a post-Brexit hangover. Glasgow, in particular, upholds its proud reputation of being a hotspot for cultivating political activism and championing social justice for all.

Taking inspiration from the city we all share, we explore the questions…

When do you choose to be transgressive? How do you choose which form of transgression is appropriate? How do you sustain it?

Transgression addresses a multiplicity of contemporary notions about what architecture is, what it should be and what its future might be. We hope this edition will act as a catalyst to continue the discourse started in this publication.

Inside Cover


Contents Page


Interview with Dr. Barnabas Calder

Interview with Dr. Adele Patrick

Stage 3 Introduction