MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Luke Martinez

As an architectural designer, my journey has been defined by a commitment to addressing urban challenges through innovative design solutions. I’ve sought to push the boundaries of conventional architectural practice, emphasizing sustainability, community engagement, and social responsibility.

My work embodies a holistic approach to design, integrating technology and embracing principles of the circular economy to create spaces that not only enhance the built environment but also prioritize the well-being of communities. I believe that architecture has the power to catalyse positive change, fostering resilience and connectivity within neighbourhoods.

I strive to create vibrant, sustainable environments that promote inclusivity, self-sufficiency, and a sense of belonging. Whether tackling issues of waste management or revitalizing urban spaces, I aim to leverage the transformative potential of design to improve lives and shape a more equitable, resilient future.

Glasgow Waste-to-Energy Recycling Center
Urban Housing: Thornwood Quadrant

Collaborative Work
Architectural Technology – Precedent Study

Glasgow Waste-to-Energy Recycling Center

Ranking as the second poorest local authority area in Scotland for waste recycling and contributing 13% to the country’s waste carbon emissions, Glasgow presently contends with significant challenges in waste management. Despite a modest average of 0.39 tonnes of waste per person annually, Glasgow’s three existing recycling centers operate with limited efficacy, each exclusively handling specific material categories.

The proposed Glasgow Waste to Energy Recycling Center (GWERC) seeks to address these shortcomings. With a primary focus on elevating Glasgow’s recycling rates, the GWERC embodies a circular economy approach, presenting a terrific opportunity for positive transformative change.

The strategic vision extends past recycling, encompassing a multifaceted approach. The GWERC is designed to be a hub for community engagement and education, hosting events and initiatives that empower individuals with the knowledge and skills essential for active participation in the upcycling of goods.

Furthermore, the project recognizes and responds to the diminishing presence of traditional outlets for reused goods, exemplified by the decline of car-boot sales. Regulatory changes limiting material collection pose additional challenges to accessing used goods and materials for repair. The GWERC endeavours to rekindle enthusiasm for these community-driven initiatives, fostering a renewed appreciation for second-hand goods.

Through innovative recycling practices, community engagement, and educational initiatives, the GWERC aspires to position Glasgow as an exemplar of responsible waste management, contributing to a reduction in its carbon footprint while instilling a culture of resourcefulness and resilience within its communities.


SE Axonometric

Circular Economy Proposal

Waste to Energy Process

Detail Section + Elevation

View from Meadow Road

Adjacent to the GWERC, the car park and retail building to the north of the site have been incorporated into the programmatic design. To accommodate community-driven activities such as car boot markets, a portion of the car park has been partially pedestrianized.This area serves as the main entrance to the new stepped gardens west of the GWERC.

Night view

At night, the GWERC becomes a dynamic lighting display that bathes the structure in a symphony of colours and patterns. The lighting scheme is designed to intensify as it ascends the building, gradually increasing in brightness and intensity with each level. This gradual progression mirrors the upward flow of energy within the facility.

View from the Stepped Gardens

Adjacent to the SW facade, the stepped gardens ascend in a series of terraces, rising a total of 6 meters in height. These levels are designed with accessibility in mind, featuring two-meter steps interspersed with ramps and stairs that allow visitors to traverse each level. At the pinnacle of the stepped gardens, visitors can ascend to the top level. External stairs provide access to the roof of the GWERC.

Section AA Render

Interior Market Space

The internal market space features a modular wall system mounted on a railing system. These walls slide along the predetermined rails, offering flexibility in configuring the layout of the market area. Their ability to rotate on a central axis, allowing users to adjust the orientation and arrangement of stalls and displays. The modular walls are fitted with integrated tables and shelving units. These multifunctional elements can be folded up into the walls themselves, maximizing space efficiency and providing sellers with versatile display options for showcasing their second-hand goods.


The classrooms on the top floor are bathed in natural light, thanks to strategically placed skylights that flood the interiors with sunlight.This not only reduces the reliance on artificial lighting but also creates a bright and uplifting atmosphere conducive to focused learning and creativity. The classrooms feature an abundant use of timber. Studies have found that exposure to timber surfaces can positively impact student contentedness and knowledge retention, leading to enhanced academic performance and engagement.

Section BB

Wall Build-up Details

Site Plan

Floor Plans

Detailed Section

UNwrapped Second Skin

Passive Heating Diagram

Rain Water Collection

Urban Housing: Thornwood Quadrant

The design proposal responds to the principles of circular economy and materiality and urban morphology. In phase one we put emphasis on addressing how people would move through and around Thornwood, concluding that the majority of streets were car centric and there was a critical lack of pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure. There is also a lack of amenity in Thornwood, forcing residents to leave the area to seek them. Thornwood Quadrant had a severe issue of unclear hierarchies between the public and private realms and between the street and the buildings as it breaks away from the established functional grid However, between these building, the offsetting of the grid allowed access directly through between the building to an unused Woodland.

Addressing the absence of hierarchy in public spaces, strategically placed walls and green spaces created boundaries that maintained both the privacy of the residents in Thornwood Quadrant and the functionality of the critical routes through the site to the woodland. In the retrofits, I extended existing structures, introducing a new floor, and seamlessly integrating new builds with surrounding historical tenements. By reconnecting Thornwood Quadrant to an unused woodland, it not only provides a new park but also establishes a vital link to the larger Thornwood community.

The site’s relationship to the street has also been addressed through the new builds. The street is now faced with walls that run in parallel to the existing housing that runs the length of the street. I have also allowed for the opportunity for amenity along the ground floor as this is an essential element to building a self-sufficient circular economy.

Elevation AA


Site Plan

New Build: Exploded Axonometric

Street Relationship Diagram

Housing Diagrams

Section CC

Elevation BB

Physical Model

View from Thornwood Drive

New build: Central Stair Core

Architectural Technology – Precedent Study

Building: Veemgebouw
Architects: Caruso St John
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Status: Built
Type: Retrofitted: Original-1940s / Retrofit- 2007-22
Use: Former industrial storage building turned mixed-use property hosting art exhibits & a food market
Rooms: 19 maisonettes, 19 studios and 1 three-storey house. 18 studios: 46 m2, rental price: € 800
1 studio: 73 m2, rental price: € 850
18 maisonettes: 87 m2, rental price: € 900
1 maisonette: 114 m2, rental price: € 950
There will also be 1 home of 3 floors with 170 m2 of usable surface, which will have a special purpose.


The Veemgebouw in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, is a multifunctional and modern residential mixed-use building. Originally a listed Phillips factory built circa 1940s it has now been retrofitted by Caruso St John in 2007. The building is a landmark of the city – created by a mix of contemporary aesthetics and reference to the industrial history of the city. It now hosts flexible spaces for houses, offices, studios, car parking, and a food market. The new apartments are on the top levels and match the existing building’s look and feel, with a staggered design and matching brick exteriors. An environmental system using solar panels and heat pumps provides hot water and heating, making the building energy-neutral throughout the year. The tower is a modern intervention in reference to the old transmission tower, which Philips used for experimental TV broadcasts for decades after the Second World War. The new tower is a sixteen-meter steel build which lights from the inside.