MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Madeline Baker


I am a Part 1 Architectural Assistant from the Glasgow School of Art with a profound interest in creating culturally conscious buildings that maintain a harmonious relationship with their site context. Throughout my academic journey, I have been dedicated to exploring how architecture can reflect and enhance the cultural and environmental characteristics of its surroundings.

My two Fourth Year projects are centred around the exploration of tectonic expression, in both an adaptable and perennial form. I aim to enhance and complement existing contexts whilst celebrating newfound technologies.



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Splash – A Diving Centre in Thornwood
A Patchwork of Thornwood

Splash – A Diving Centre in Thornwood

“Splash: a Diving Centre in Thornwood” is comprised of a new 7-storey public building and the retrofit of an adjacent warehouse, forming a complex within the North Thornwood site. The project’s concept was informed by the historic connection between Thornwood and the Clyde, and how this link to water activity could be explored and celebrated in a modern urban context. The building’s plan and section is governed by the 20m deep central diving pool, which is the largest in both Glasgow and Scotland, allowing for the scheme to become a unique and valuable resource in a local and wider context. The building provides a controlled and regulated water environment which can be utilised throughout the year. The centre integrates recreational free and scuba diving, as well as RNLI training both in the pool floor and external retrofit. The complex also contains exhibition spaces, restaurant spaces and a multi-purpose atrium on the top floor with a southern roof terrace and views into the pool below.

The centre aims to celebrate and explore diving and water research technologies both within the public and private building halves – the private half acts as a research centre for the Clyde’s water basin management systems, investigating new-found ways to utilise the valuable resource of water which can be presented within the striking building’s public half. The depth of the pool allows for the testing of new equipment and methodology at various depths, giving Thornwood a distinctive identity which reflects its past and future connection to water.

The building’s elevation and materiality is inspired by the movement between water, both inside and outside, and air. The coral brick bottom half of the façade sits heavily within the landscape and correlates with the existing surrounding urban fabric. The pool floor and above is comprised of faïence tiles and cast glass panels, informed by the water’s reflection, amphibious scales and existing tiling within the external tunnel connecting the scheme to the Clyde. The pool and atrium space act as beacons atop a heavy lower plinth, reflecting the emergence of the divers from low depths. The external retrofitted site building integrates its existing sport retail function within an overarching scheme, following the new-build’s delineation between public and private.

Location Plan showing position of Urban Building and Urban Housing within Thornwood

Perspective External view from Dumbarton Road

External Perspective view from Meadow Road

Site Axonometric

Section of East Facade Elevation

Section A Through Pool

Perspective View from 4th Floor Atrium

Perspective view of 3rd Floor Pool

Perspective View from 1st Floor Cafe

1. Thornwood Section 2. Glasgow Plan showing location of integrated facilities 3. Pool depth rationale diagram

4. Diagrammatic Site Plan showing the split between Public and Private 5. Diagrammatic Site Axonometric 6. Diagrammatic Axonometric of New Build

A Patchwork of Thornwood

“A Patchwork of Thornwood” is comprised of two Housing strategies for Retrofit and New-Build, forming a block Masterplan which focuses on adaptability and allows each individual resident to actively choose how to “Live in Agreement”.

Crathie Court’s Retrofit strategy is based upon its historical context as prescribed housing for single women in post-war Glasgow. The existing flats are uniform and identical 1 bed flats with limited space and infer a regimented way of living. The scheme strives to maintain Crathie Court’s historical significance as a B-Listed deck access tower block, whilst allowing for growth and change to the underdeveloped southern façade. Thus, the southern grid extension allows each tenant to select an option for the retrofit of their property – either utilising the grid space as a balcony, living space or as a full retrofit to add a second bedroom. The subsequent option selection will create a “patchwork” façade with varying depth, emphasising the diverse needs of residents and fostering community connection through the balconies.

The New-Build component is comprised of a fully flexible floorplan which allows for 4 spatial options per floor. A central multipurpose space between 2 distinct flats can be used as a co-working space, a studio flat, or combined with either one or both flats on the floor to create large 3 or 4 bed dwellings. The building’s façade was based upon mimicking the thickness of the adjacent Tenement walls by fluctuating the building’s balconies to create depth and variation. The new build and retrofit are connected both through the changing depth of their facades and the intentional green space within the Court, which contains a landscaped community park in addition to a SUDS pond for sustainable drainage.

The scheme aims to promote adaptability and celebrates diversity of spatial needs within the Thornwood locale.

Site Plan

Site Plan Spatial Diagram

Crathie Drive Elevation

Site Section

Crathie Court- Floor Plan and Diagrammatic Retrofit Process

New-Build Floor Plans

New-Build Spatial Diagrams

New-Build Ground Floor Plan

Section A

Section B