Barras, Music and Community
Over the past few decades, the increasing number of older people suffering from mental illness, the incidence
of dementia and the large number of young people suffering from depression have been a major concern
for society. The rapid development of the modern urban environment makes it difficult for older people to
keep up, while the increasing pressures of life make it impossible for younger people to relieve their emotions
and stress. They all lack a place where they can communicate and express their feelings.
The Barras Theatre offers a unique opportunity to design a theatre and a community centre. As a civic building,
it provides a functional and structured core where people of different upbringings, backgrounds and ages
can share their experiences and learn new skills. The building has the purpose of social exchange and creates
a vibrant community.
The original concept came from Men’s shed, a 24-hour wooden workshop where older Scottish men could
make crafts or interact with their peers. However, I felt that the workshop should not be just for older people
but that all ages and genders should be able to participate.
The scheme retains the ground and ground floor facades of the existing building but changes the internal
structure to make it a secondary function area with a library for the public on the ground floor and a gallery
for the studio group on the ground floor. The circular building near Stevenson Street is connected to the
the existing building and is the main functional area, with the GF and 1F being the auditorium and the 2F being
the different workshops.
This provides opportunities for Barras residents and visitors to interact with each other in the midst of their
busy lives. People can choose to participate in activities or enjoy the work in the theatre. In addition, the
development will be at the heart of the Barras community and will give confidence to residents.