MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Louis Aston (He/him)

Louis Aston, is currently undertaking BArch (hons) while studying at the Glasgow School of Art. During which he was employed and worked in freelance for architectural practices in Glasgow and the Netherlands to focus predominantly on Public, Civic architecture.

Architecture once again stands at the forefront of change – the industry can either, embrace the societal awareness of climate change or continue down the same path in vain of protecting and nurturing the planet for future generations. This has led ultimately to question; What is a ‘holistically sustainable’ building?

Throughout his research, Louis has studied architectural icons which play a vital role in the understanding of ‘sustainable buildings’ to culminate in his dissertation “New metrics for architectural icons”. This study provided a reference towards the ‘carbon cost’ of architectural aesthetics and experience from the works of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.

This led to the inclusion in Louis’ hypothesis of a ‘holistically sustainable’ building, tested upon contextual site research in one of the most-deprived areas of Scotland. To uncover that ‘sustainable architecture’ broadens past the pre-conception of environmental strategies and material selection to the prolonged habitation and benefits that a contemporary Urban building can serve an iconic, existing community.

'New metrics for architectural icons' by Louis Aston
Works 2021
Urban building, The Barras

Urban building, The Barras

The Urban building, located in the Barras, Glasgow acts as a civic space and extension of the urban fabric to supply and build upon the availability to amenities, where research shows most people in the surrounding area can spend up to a quarter of their weekly income on ‘fuel and power’ for the home. The building aims to centralise everyday tasks for local people, such as bathing, cooking and washing clothes in an effort to reduce the expenditure of resources through the use of renewable energy sources. Passive heating strategies such as a Trombe wall configuration and internal water pumps reduce the need to tumble-dry washed clothes and provide a free alternative for users.

The mental and physical rehabilitation of the local community is paramount to the design, a similar ‘onsen’ bathing ritual through the plunging and relaxing in differing water temperatures encourage physical exercise and mental well-being.

The building is fabricated from almost exclusively timber-based products from the study conducted on architectural icons, recognising the technical shortcoming(s) of modernist design but aesthetic and experience retained to be interpreted by the user.