Decay by Design
This thesis initially explored the idea of architectural destruction, in the form of demolition of the urban fabric as seen through the post-war reconstruction of Glasgow in the 20th century. In response, organic decay accelerated by the city’s damp climate is studied, and re-framed to provide a positive alternative to man-made destruction. Themes of education and adaptive reuse are woven into this narrative. An image of decay is presented where, rather than representing a loss of function, it describes an opportunity for entropic growth.
By examining architectural decay, this thesis will explore how re-inhabiting disused sites can preserve the invisible infrastructure of memories and provide a sustainable building model. A series of interventions will be used to examine the relationship between old and new and explore the ethical significance behind what we choose to rebuild, what we leave behind, and the importance of time as a building material. This thesis will look at environments deemed unworthy of preservation and suggest an alternative mode of use. Explorations into alternative modes of conservation must be considered, rather than a post-rationalisation of benign neglect.
What can the cycles of construction and decay teach us about issues such as time, change, and impermanence, while facilitating education and community growth?