Stephanie Chawla (She/Her/They)
City at Play
This project proposes the construction of an educational playground complex aimed towards children aged 0-14. Thourough investigation of the Calton neighborhood of Glasgow has highlighted the lack of spaces for children – educational or play focused – in the area. Combined with the significant percentage of single parent households and the high percentage of children living under the poverty line in the neighborhood (significantly higher than other areas of Glasgow) the need for a child-centered community complex is clear. Building on the history of craft, creativity, and strong community roots, this project aims to provide a supportive space for parents and children by encouraging play, curiousity and learning through a series of play elements, educational zones, visible structural and environmental systems, and community support facilities. Investment in play and educational facilities has been consistently linked to stronger, supportive communities, making an investment in children an investment into the community itself. The complex and wider transit modificiations will increase footfall to the Barras district and a free space for people to appreciate the many urban draws of the district. Combined with the urban housing project directly next to the site which is focused on fostering connections, this site is intended to be the groundwork for a new inclusive community hub to evolve from.
The project also proposes a number of additions to the wider area to create a safe corridor for children to travel through the city and to re-connect the district to the city center. A street tram connection to Argyle street provides a direct connection to the district while a pedestrian corridor connects the district directly to Glasgow Green and additional cycle paths connect the district into the wider networks. The existing buildings that are retained on the site are turned into supportive spaces – an artist workshop to encourage the creation of interactive pieces to fill the performance space and a daycare/resource center for struggling parents. The new spaces consist of two buildings, an exterior covered space and a central, protected courtyard. The main building houses many play spaces for all ages as well as quieter learning spaces while the courtyard building provides a space for parents to relax while keeping an eye on their kids.