Labour and the Barras

Once an important area for making, trading and selling, the Barras Market brought together many diverse forms of labour and craftmanship. At the heart of Glasgow, the site was famous for producing everything from carpets, fabrics and furniture to clay pipes. The Calton Improvement Scheme during the 1930s resulted in a radical loss of density, and over time the tenement flats above retailers were stripped away; removing domesticity from the site almost altogether, whilst eroding much of the urban identity.

The market continued to be of great importance until online retail started pushing out the need for many of the goods sold at the market. As a consequence, exchanges are lost and shutters stay down most of the week; the site, once buzzing with activity, struggles to attract footfall despite its proximity to the town centre.

The project embraces the area’s patchwork-style and aims to reinforce the fundamental link between living, making and selling/displaying that was once implicit with the site.