Magdalena Włoczka (she/her)
Magda is a Stage 4 architecture student at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art.
She has previously completed her Bachelor of Science with Distinction at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 2018, having studied a semester abroad in Amsterdam during her second year. During her two years in practice as a Part I, she worked for a Birmingham based practice Glenn Howells Architects on a wide variety of leisure and residential projects of all scales.
During her years of architectural education across the UK and Europe, she has learned to respect and learn from the widely understood context, creating architecture that strives to be contextually sensitive and respectful to local communities. She is inspired by the emotional impact built environment can have on its residents, as well as the character that human interaction can lend to its surroundings. Recognising the importance that built heritage has in forming the identity of places, she has developed a passion for creating sustainable architecture that respects its historical context, utilising the existing structures whenever possible.
In her last year in education, she hopes to further her understanding of the impact revitalisation can have on the authenticity and integrity of areas.
Theatre of sudden encounters
The presence of art in our everyday life has diminished over the last centuries, with the functionalism and minimalism movements taking precedence, influencing the products we use, the work we produce and how we dwell within the urban nuclei. Art, in any form, might take us by surprise, bring the long-desired catharsis caused by the beauty of art. One wonders why? Do we find things beautiful not because of aesthetic inclinations, but because they bring emotion within us?
Modern urban conditions often prevent us from experiencing art within our daily lives. Only a narrow group of people purposefully seek the presence of art, meanwhile, its impact is often lost on the remaining majority.
The Barras Theatre provides a rare opportunity where the art in multiple forms has a presence within the architectural form.
A civic building, its core provides a transparent and orderly core where the public can interact with art on daily basis. It provides an opportunity for those accidental encounters with art one experiences within the museum walls. It allows a flow of people through the Barras, a modern-day agora where different activities can take place, from busking possibilities, ad hoc performances or gallery exhibitions.
The supporting the programme is contained within two auditoriums, which although slightly hidden, encourage peaks inside, sparking interest in the yet undiscovered experiences, each within a clearly identified form. With the public presence, The House for Arts provides all of the Caltons inhabitants with a chance to experience art in their daily lives, with opportunities of glimpses of activities public engagement events or open-air stage facing the Barras Market. In addition, it will provide the community heart of which its inhabitants will be able to be proud.
One house doesn’t fit all
As humans, we have a distinct ability to adapt to our surroundings, times or social habits. This project aims to analyse this ability, through studies of the ever-changing relationship between labour and domesticity in our lives, and the changing approaches that we have to our private and public lives.
With the theme of adaptability and flexibility, the project tries to imagine how the built environment could change and shift over time, evolving with ourselves, to allow an intricate community to inhabit and claim its neighbourhood.
The thesis aims to provide flexibility and adaptability throughout a range of scales, from adaptable partition walls within apartments, the opportunity to adapt and inhabit thresholds in communal areas to the assumed possibility of inhabitants claiming as much space as is needed.
Currently, over 60% of the population has a possibility of working from a desk – an opportunity that can often be accommodated within domestic settings. However, it is important to recognise that with an increasing amount of home working caused by the pandemic, there is a necessity of space to become flexible for 100% of us. Speculating about the future of living and working, the project aims to respond to these needs by creating several communal working spaces, ranging from the district library, co-working office and workshops located in the courtyard. Within the new dwelling, the craft can be present, merging the new domestic setting with a long tradition of skilled labour on site.