MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Rachelle Fairley (she/her)

This year has been an investigation centred on the relationship between domesticity, labour, and urban form. Collectively, conducting research and developing speculative design proposals. The site for speculation is Glasgow’s Barras Market, a significant historic area of culture and exchange, an emerging live/work/creative industries node, which is expected to transform over the next decade.


The study is premised on the idea that productive activity (the exchange of labour, service, and knowledge) and domestic provision are the enduring and underlying motivation for collective living in the city The cultural production that results from the interface between domestic life and productive activity is of particular interest in contemporary society. Recent exchange models and global networks are generating distinct versions of the key aspect of human existence, with physical and non-physical production influencing both domestic patterns and working habits, for example precarious labour, internet retail, social media branding activity, digital influence campaigners, café internetworking and home workshops, to say nothing of the recent pandemic enforced self-isolating home working.

Research Project


Project One: Cell

Orenda (n.) – a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives.


This design addresses the disconnect between domestic and labour, especially what could be in a post-covid-19 world. Allowing artists (in particular painters) to engage with the community surrounding their studio. They will be able to work and sell art within the scheme, as well as communicate with passers-by in an open environment for all.

The public and private areas have been separated, with an emphasis on the public at the forefront of the scheme. Towards the back, domestic amenities begin and filter through the first floor as well. This allows the artists to have privacy when needed and to reflect on their day whilst resting.


We as a society can be socially cohesive in times of crisis, and coronavirus presents society with a formidable common enemy. Faced with a common threat, a shared sense of togetherness leads to people to look past their differences and collectively respond to the challenges we have had to face.

Many of us struggled, yet found a way to (partly) fulfill our human needs for social and emotional connection. Before the virus, loneliness in the UK had already been recognised as an important issue facing many people. Feeling lonely is strongly associated with high anxiety and has been linked directly to poor physical and mental health.

Those between the ages of 18-30 living alone and with low household income were at heightened risk of loneliness during the pandemic. Since March, being a student is a higher risk.

Co-living offers many advantages to the health of individuals such as tackling loneliness in a post covid world, supports the individual, encourages sustainable lifestyles with lower energy consumptions.



Project Two: District

Lacuna (n.) – an unfilled space; a gap


Calton at the present lacks potential to its fullest, as well as suffering from social, economic and environmental problems since its fall out with major regeneration initiatives in the Clyde Gateway to the East and Merchant City to the West, suggesting the area itself has been missed out. Much of the built-up area is vacant and the rest is in poor or part derelict condition. Along with road and rail barriers, from the city centre and the area itself.

There are several opportunities Calton and the Barras have to offer that can be built on to turn around the area and provide economic benefit to Glasgow. Local business and residential community are strong, and it is apparent they wish change would happen. Most Glaswegians know the Barras market and the Barrowlands music venue which attracts many artists throughout the year with such close proximity to the city centre.

Traditionally the Barras have been the heart of creative people, with the WASPS studio in East Campbell Street, as well as BAaD as a new addtion. A move of Arts collections to the Pipe Factory in the building on Moncur Street show growth of creative and craft industries being the key driver in the Barras future.

Bringing activity and football back to the Barras and Calton will signal significant change in the area. Activities such as re-branding the Barras Market, along with an opportunity to develop event links such as TRNSMT Festival along Glasgow Green through the Barras, Barrowlands Ballroom and into other venues in the area.

Stitching the Barras back into the surrounding neighourhoods allows for development on vacant sites, both residential and/or stalled spaces available to creative outlooks. These areas should be designed so that they could accommodate large numbers of people when the spaces are being used – for example Stevenson Street could benefit from less traffic if this is imagined as a pedestrian area instead.

A hybrid of living and working units initiate communication by those occupying and those bypassing; a safe space where locals can interact. Artists or musicians can sell oe showcase their work in these areas. To introduce more uses into the Barras area and restore character, buildings over two storeys will benefit from a mixture of uses and activities like music studios / art exhibition spaces and residential areas.



Project Three: Urban Housing

Eunoia (n.) – a pure and well-balanced mind, a good spirit “beautiful thinking”


More than nine out of ten women living in Glasgow are lone parents. Facing unique challenges being both the sole carer and the main source of household income, often a troubling balancing act. Children in lone parent families are at twice the rise of experiencing relative poverty when compared with children in couple familes. Council ward areas in Glasgow like Calton face some of the biggest welfare losses in Scotland, while also having some of the highest rates of child poverty and lone parent familes.

Those children with mothers who are lone parents, are living on low income, who have recently separated from a partner or have an illness or disability are at greater risk of experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Domestic violence and abuse is a complex issue that can co-exist with other health or social issues.

Survivors are abused where they should be the most secure: in their own homes.

Supportive housing, in the form of a sheltered community will provide these women and children with a physical environmnet to help their situation and to promote their future independence. Environmental factors can have an impact on women’s psychological sense of safety in this time of transition. It also plays a role in the perception of connection or separation from public life and their ability to have a sense of community. The spacial setting of the shelter will have a positive impact on health, recovery, and wellbeing. It will provide an array of services like legal, psychosocial and mental health.

The existing building on Moncur Street and the ground floor of Bain and Stevensons Street will respond to the surrounding area of the markets, therefore they will be small retail units where the public can rent them out weekly / monthly etc.

To the far West of Stevenson Street a cafe will be the first point of safety for the women and children who will live in the shelter. It acts almost like a hotel reception, where staff will escort the women and children through the back of the cafe upstairs.

The second point of safety will be the reflection garden, this gives  the women a chance to rest and take a break before they venture into their new lives. Some office spaces have been added as well to help with this.

From here they will pass through an archway, a symbol of transition from their past life to their new one. A glimpse of this from the garden will promote a curiosity within children from the garden itself.

Once passing, they enter the internal courtyard, where their last point of safety comes. Children can play freely from their rooms here and women can chat to one another.

Over 60 women and 40 children can occupy the shelter and some services such as a daycare, therapy and a communal kitchen are available for all of these users.


Project Four: Urban Building

Meraki (v.) – When you leave a piece of yourself, your soul, creativity, and love in what you do. To put a little bit of yourself into something


Meraki is a place where the public can re-establish common ground and learn to build bridges rather than breed division. It will help local networks and groups to celebrate what makes them unique. This has the power to create unity on a social level, as well as a local one. Museums and art galleries provide a sense of community and place, celebrating a collective heritage of the people of Glasgow, offering multiple ways to get to know the history of the area. Brining people in a literal way, through public events, workshops and lectures.

A local museum dedicated to the people of Calton and Greater Glasgow, from the young to the old – a space where people can imagine, play and design. Unblocking creativity, connecting visitors to inspiring objects, projects and people from across Glasgow involved in a collection of art, design and performance.

The museum will work with schools, universities and organisations near the site, asking what they want to see. Gallery spaces will include interactive displays, workshops and spaces for hands-on making such as pottery. Visitors will be invited to develop creative skills through performance, play and design, with an atrium designed for day and night activities.