Urban Building Project – The Anarcho-Civic Building

Having explored domestic life in a territory without individualised land ownership, I explored this theme with regards to public life. For many, the ‘Anarcho-Civic’ is an oxymoron. However, it is important to remember that Anarchism is not the opposition to societal organisation. Instead it is the idea that, under conditions of true equality, society can be based on consensus rather than compulsion.

In the Barras free state, laws are developed through discussion and ratified through consensus adoption. By constantly engaging with both the technocratic and moral questions that arise in the commune, the citizenry implicitly shape the rules they use to live collectively like the speakers of a language. As their society grows so does their building, from a simple forum to a complex programme of performance spaces, meeting points and admin facilities.

Functions overlap, blend and can be approached from any direction. The building is a lump of constantly growing masonry, anchoring the democratic heart of the commune and serving as a beacon of hope to wider Glasgow. The boarder is one of multiple concentric circles that draw people into the performance and discussion spaces, from where one is physically and intellectually lifted up into the spaces of collective joy that define the building and the commune.

View of the building looking east from the square

Axonometric showing piecemeal development from a simple meeting point to a complex programme, Drawn at 1.100

External and Internal sketches

Isometric showing operation of ‘The Piston’, Allows for vertical connection between performance spaces.

Perspective technical section, Drawn at 1.50