The Acropolis of New Industrial Education
This thesis aims to respond to two juxtaposing ideas that are present within the city; former historic industrial districts, with a now forgotten identity and unoccupied vacant land, and Glasgow’s current ethical and sustainability ambitions, which are recognised both nationally and internationally. Reflection and research emerged as two key ideas, defining two distinct buildings of education.
Historical analysis and empirical data formed the primary methodology and research, coupled with contemporary analysis into Scotland’s, and specifically Glasgow’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis. My focus narrowed to Port Dundas, separated from the rest of the city by the M8. This area became a site of intrigue; it was once a dominant figure at the height of industry; however, little remains of its fundamental role other than a few remnants scattered across the landscape. It came as no surprise that deprivation intersected with the loss of industry here, and further research uncovered the alarming statistics of low education rates, fuel poverty and derelict land. This topic became important to me, having grown up in the former mining village of Muirkirk, 43 miles south-east of Glasgow and witnessing first-hand the impacts of that the sudden departure of industry had on its people and environment.
Scotland is fast becoming the testbed for new and exciting sustainable energy and technology solutions – some of which are currently taking place in Glasgow, the city which will proudly host COP26 this year. Glasgow is active in its role tackling the climate crisis, and this realisation became a key element in defining the topics of ethics and sustainability within the thesis.
The proposed buildings and linear parks hope to create spaces of reflection, energy production and contemporary research, offering new opportunities for education and renewable energy solutions to power the buildings themselves and the wider context north of Glasgow. The Building of Research becomes a place of ‘active’ learning through workshops, laboratories, classrooms, an informal lecture space and functioning water tower. The Building of Reflection celebrates industry at varying levels: district, city-wide and nationally. It comprises galleries and exhibition spaces, archives, and libraries – spaces of ‘passive’ learning.
The architectural technology thesis is embedded within the proposal. The linear park will supply ‘Green Heat Energy’ through the use of ground source heat pumps installed underneath the park, re-thinking our vacant land through familiar building and technology strategies, while providing a new park typology and enjoyable green spaces in the city.