Under the M74 – Celebrating Glasgow’s Gaps

How can building upon existing urban and cultural fabric revitalise local centres and create sense of place within a city?

My final design thesis explores how building upon existing urban and cultural fabric within a city can revitalise local centres and create a sense of place. I aim to rejuvenate local centres by redesigning the hierarchy of space to prioritise community rather than commercial activity. My project places an emphasis on the adaptive reuse of vacant and derelict buildings to act as anchors for these local centres, able to provide a link to the past while helping to revitalise neighbourhoods.

Glasgow is the perfect testing ground for this thesis because many communities have lost their historic centres and sense of identity through de-industrialisation and there is a high level of vacant buildings and sites that could be better utilised. My thesis focuses on the creation of a new public square for Eglinton Toll in the south side of Glasgow as well as the adaptive reuse of the vacant industrial building St Andrews Printworks that sits adjacent to this square. My programme incorporates civic space with community workshops for the building of temporary structures for the community to use for local festivals and events.

Filling the Urban Block

My thesis aims to reconnect disparate parts of the city through insertion into gap sites and the adaptive reuse of vacant buildings.

Retaining Community Identity

My thesis uses adaptive reuse to retain communities’ individual and historic urban identities while regenerating for contemporary use.

Adaptive Structure

Glasgow has a diverse range of festivals that run throughout the year around the city. Many are community led and help celebrate the character and identities of the neighbourhoods that host them. My thesis designs a new hub site for Glasgow's festivals, that would also act as a new local centre for the area in which it sits.

Location Plan

Glasgow’s crosses were key intersections of historical importance to the communities in which they sit. However, today they are mostly traffic intersections which prioritise the movement of vehicles over pedestrians. Due to their key locations within neighbourhoods in the city, they provide the opportunity to become new nodes for community-owned local centres today.

Area Plan

Glasgow is characterised by the large-scale infrastructure that runs through the city. The spaces between and underneath these infrastructures are often abandoned and neglected, and it can be difficult for pedestrians to navigate areas of the city dominated by them. My thesis explores how these gaps can be better inhabited.

Site Plan

My site sits at the centre of four districts, with distinct populations and identities. My proposal will create a focal point where these communities can come together.

Entrance Elevation - Pollokshaws Road

Section AA

Facade study and detail

View looking West into Proposed Courtyard

The existing building, new interventions and outdoor space come together to form a festival campus capable of hosting festivals and events of all different scales. The outdoor space behind the building becomes an important secondary public space with the new extensions forming a courtyard where activities can spill out into.

View of Main Construction/ Flexible Events Space

When developing the site lines it was important that the main construction space was visible from the street. It was also important to have a connection between the building and the square.

View Looking East through New Public Square

New programmatic elements were introduced to the public square that would encourage people to come to the site and stay there. This includes a new bar and box office for outdoor events inhabiting the motorway. There is also the addition of three new buildings in the public square to anchor the greenspace and encourage streetlife.