Urban Housing – Living Between the Trees

Dennistoun, an area just like many others in Glasgow, is going through a process of rapid gentrification. Where people have come to escape the more affluent areas of the west end and south side. Its strong history is shown through various typologies across the site however, it is noticeably dominated by the tenements which line the bustling Duke Street to the south.

The site, to the east of Dennistoun, is an existing football pitch fenced off from the street, next to the Glasgow Club leisure centre. This land is underused, and it would be in Dennistoun’s interest to open this space to the community. There are trees lining the east and west acting as a soft barrier from the adjacent buildings, creating an opportunity for something unique in the street scape to happen here. Due to the lack of accessible green spaces within the area and the presence of the tree lines, a housing scheme within a semi-public park setting was decided.

Looking at the demographics in the area, less than half the population are elderly or children with 43.4% of households being single parent. With most of the tenements being home to students and young professionals, a more peaceful housing scheme for the elderly and families would help integrate the community. The focus is on two specific groups that are often seen in social housing, the elderly and single parents, therefore multi-generational housing seems the most viable option, creating a housing scheme where both groups could support one another.

After researching the tenement typology in our group task, I would like to move away from this to reiterate the concept of an accessible park setting, without having the barrier of a block and courtyard typology. Instead, taking the Villa typology forward designing two Urban Villas with a transparent space in between, open to the community on both sides with the ability to cross over.

Location within Dennistoun


Creating transparency in a street scape dominated by the block and courtyard typology, in order to produce accessible community green space.

Site Axonometric

Sample Facade Model

Ceramic tile made to resemble the positioning on the housing facades, with a bottle green reflective glaze.

Concept Sketches

From the earlier design stages.

Perspective Exterior

Early Concept Drawing



The internal materiality reflects the existing tree line on site and the colours and textures used within the core of a tree trunk.

Daily Lives Between the Trees

Urban Building – Dennistoun Centre for Art

Throughout the years Glasgow has reinvented itself into a city for the arts, transforming derelict land and warehouses from the decline of heavy industry into spaces to create and experience art. The east end, along with south side, is the fastest developing area for new art spaces, though the area of Dennistoun does not reflect this. With rapid gentrification with people moving from the more affluent areas of southside and the west end and growing student presence, a local space to exhibit art and hold events would help connect this area to wider Glasgow.

Within the building the spaces will reflect Glasgow’s existing spaces for local art, often these ‘found’ spaces offering a range of industrial structure and materials. Located around the site of the former tobacco industry, with Alexandra parade once named ‘tobacco road’, the design will aim to recreate this feeling of found spaces within a new building.

The site is positioned on the main road leading towards the city centre with streets running south directly to Duke Street giving an opportunity to create a connected community facility. The surrounding buildings have a tall presence giving an opportunity to build high, creating this gateway approach before you step into the city centre.

Location within Dennistoun

Site Plan

Site Model

Showing the external materials both blending and contrasting the surrounding context.

Technical Section

Cut through the studio tower, accompanied by a facade model showing the contrasting tech-crete panels reflecting the corrugated warehouses to the north of the site.

North Elevation

West Approach View along Alexandra Parade

East Approach View along Alexandra Parade


Perspective Section

Internal Spatial Characteristics

The internal spaces are formed from the structural arrangement, with more complex exposed structure housing the main spaces within the facility.

The Outdoor Workshop