Page 1

This publication is dedicated to the Scottish Fire and ­Rescue ­Service, Police Scotland and to all who have been affected by the fire in the ­Mackintosh ­Building. The tragic event took place two days before MM39 was due to print. In light of this situation we feel it is especially important to ­c oncentrate on the positive aspects of the entire academic year, to convey the strong sense of community and continuing legacy of the School. We then hope to honour all those who have lost their hard work by publishing what we had prepared with minimal changes — to symbolise the spirit of the Mac which will only cease to exist when students stop creating.

mACmAG 39

A PUBLICATION BY Sofi Campbell Lawrence Khoshdel Natalie Pollock Arseni Timofejev Mackintosh School of Architecture @ MacMag39 / MacMag39 www .

MacMag39 © 2014 M a c M a g 3 9. c o m /C



2014 has been a memorable year for the GS OFA. The Mackintosh ­Building — which recently celebrated its C ­ entenary — has received a 21st century counterpart, reuniting all the d ­ isciplines on Garnethill under the leadership of a new Director. At the end of the year, a tragic event brought the School community closer than ever before. MacMag — the proud voice of the Mackintosh School of A ­ rchitecture for the past 39 years — has embraced the digital demands of our time, and now offers an online experience that complements the physical publication. The student work that lies at the heart of this edition explores the duality of traditional craftsmanship & technological innovation, and where they overlap to strengthen Architectural enquiry. MacMag 39 interrogates this intricate relationship of old & new, ­t radition & innovation, analogue & digital. We explore what has been done and how this can drive progress. A vision of the future that is grounded in an understanding of the past. This is our statement. A record of our time. This is the Mac at present.

— The Editors

S of i C a m p b e l l

L aw re n c e K h os h d e l

Nat a l i e Po l l o c k

A rs e n i Ti m ofe j ev



introduction by head of school PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER PLATT

This year’s MacMag theme, ‘old and new’ has taken on profound significance in the last few days. My introduction to MacMag 39 had originally focused on the contrasting messages which the Reid and Mackintosh buildings communicate. Now, the shadow cast by the Mackintosh’s bruised, burned and battered form seems to be speaking to us about different things.

As Architects we believe that buildings can make a difference to

people’s lives. Those lives however, are more important than the buildings they occupy. It is almost miraculous that nobody was physically injured during Friday’s events and the extent of the building’s rescued condition is completely down to the strategic actions and speed of the Fire Service staff who went beyond professional boundaries to save it. Those facing the actual fire chose not to forget that the building meant a lot more to everyone than mere stone, timber and metal.

Our staff and student friends at the School of

Fine Art have been dealt an enormous personal blow,

O ur g reatest g if t to societ y is our optimism for its f uture

but the GSA community has rallied round in a characteristic way and the Mac is playing its part in supporting them in any way we can. Bereavement locates us in a stressful place; a place that juxtaposes the longings of what (or who) we have lost right up against the harsh realities of what to do next. What will tomorrow bring? How can I carry on? We are all experiencing this in some form or another and especially in the recognition that our beloved library is no more. Here I find myself lost for words.

Sir Norman Foster once said, “As an Architect you design for the

present, with an awareness of the past and for a future which is essentially unknown.”

That unknown future is what we must address with the confidence

of our creative abilities and our desire to build a better world. As Architects, our greatest gift to society is our optimism for its future. It is at precisely moments such as these, that we must draw on that optimism and look for signs of encouragement and inspiration. I see it in the sheer delight and energy of our students’ work. I see it in the willingness of young Architects to work with impoverished communities in Glasgow or in sub–Saharan Africa. I see it in the creative tensions between the analogue and the digital worlds – the one perhaps pulling at our heartstrings, the other appealing to our professional realities and demands. These tensions create a dynamic place in which the Architect makes their contributions. We must consciously seek out such conditions redefining in the process what professional means at the beginning of the 21 st century. 4


900 days have elapsed since I became Head of the Mackintosh School but my thoughts are exercised more by our future academic plans in the next 3 years than on our past successes. Our plans will involve building on existing excellence and establishing territories and initiatives where we can innovate. Plans such as a long–overdue redesign of our part time course; a re–energising of our Diploma and Masters offerings; access to more sophisticated 3D digital tools to help us develop design analysis and exploration; extending our culture of making into the field of Humanitarian Architecture. We will develop closer engagement with other GSA disciplines and deepen our activities with the wider world of creative practice, and we will explore how we Making buildings that generate that level of affection is our responsibility · That is why we want to be Architects

can use the Bourdon Building in new ways. All this will allow us all to progress, to develop further and contribute to that new present which is, after all, just around the corner. Whilst we have welcomed the new GSA Director, Professor

Tom Inns to his new post, we have also said farewell to Dr. Masa Nagouchi and will soon also bid Dr. Robert Proctor adieu after 13 distinguished years at the Mac. Both these colleagues move on to promoted posts in Melbourne and Bath respectively and will leave a lasting impact on their colleagues and students as I hope this excellent edition of MacMag will too.

Today our hearts may be broken, but our spirits have not been

quashed. This is a defining moment for the Glasgow School of Art community and a defining moment for us at the Mac as the world’s spotlights shine on us in an unexpected way. The relationship between people and their places has never appeared more precious. What is it about the Mackintosh Building that inspires so much love? Making buildings that generate that level of affection is our responsibility. That is why we want to be Architects.

Welcome to the Mackintosh School of Architecture.

right. Christopher Platt on the reunited GSofA campus









1 2


Christopher Platt

tellinG stories throuGh diGital media Spirit of Space







58 60 64

Gordon Gibb

future architectural education o f

Friday Lecture Series

New School of Architecture in China's oldest School of Art

emeritus professor


David Porter

Digital & Analogue creativity


new director Tom Inns




A MOMENT TO REFLECT On Mackintosh & Holl

76 80

specific richness Alan Hooper

facinG the mac

Chris McVoy Exhibition of the design process


DrawinG on Holl

Muddy Boots · Ephemeral moments in construction


handcraftinG a diGital desiGn Kathy Li


form · fabric · detail


true collaboration

MSA Publications Henry McKeown

the new old vic


Alex Misick

openinG ceremony


analoGue meets diGital


Steven Holl


STAGE 4 Seven European Schools of Architecture explore Glasgow


architecture, literature & a city MSA Publications

126 130


contextual sensitivity Chris Dyson


STAGE 5 Illustration, lasers & wood

the joy collection


David Fleck


ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING Insights into our overseas campus

158 160

GS A Singapore o f

Christine Neo

moscow metropolis · edge city Brian Evans


a sustainable future Justin Bere





Michail Mersinis

178 180


Jimmy Stephen–Cran


Steve Rigley

182 184


Stage 1

Explorations into the scale of the individual

STAGE LEADER Graeme Robertson STUDIO TUTORS Isabel Garriga Colin Glover Lee Ivett Ju Li Matt Loader Miranda Webster Students come into the School from a diverse range of starting points. There is a very healthy mix of cultural backgrounds, skills and previous Architectural experience. The common ground that they share is their enthusiasm and creative energy.

During the year the students are introduced to the

broad spectrum of understanding, skills and disciplines which they need to equip themselves as future Architects.

The theme of Stage 1 is Place; in the first term

­students explore place at the scale of the individual, ­often with dimensional constraints on an interior volume and a ­simplified external context. In term 2, a small house has ­t raditionally been the vehicle to organise a simple building and engage with the notion of context and its depiction.

Term 3 projects at Cascais and Portencross

­introduced a more dramatic, inspiring landscape within rich ­h istorical and social contexts. Further emphasis was put on the material and climatic qualities of place, while exploring the possibilities for creative engagement with a coastal site.



Suifan Adey Rafae Ashraf Ross Bell Fraser Birtwistle Laura Brash Grigor Brown Dan Brown Kitty Byrne Joshua Cahill Roxana–Luminita Cercelaru Chifai Chan Erifyli Chatzimanolaki Neil Cockburn Ryan Cole Liam Cooke Graham Cragg Robbie Craig Archie Darroch Beth Dockerty Rebecca Dorrian Elliot Downs Mary Dunbar Ryan Ellingham Hazman Fadzillah Ahmadi Alice Foley Isobel Fraser Colin Frost Victoria Gallagher David Galt Martin Glen Robert Grace Laura Graham Sarah Hardie Claire Hargreaves Daniel Harte Adam Henderson Matthew Heraty Finn Hitchcock Dominique Hogston Nicholas Hurn Justina Jakubkaite Conor Keappock Jonathon Khan Raheela Khan–Fitzgerald Keuntac Kim Chrysi Koularmani Julianna Laird Amy Layden Sungiae Lee Jay Lee Henry Lefroy–Brooks Michael MacFarlane

Nadia Marekianpour Katherina Mayo Catherine McCartney David McCue Matthew McCurdy Rachel McKay Ross McMillan Rhona McQuade David Metson Gillian Millar Lan Milne Scott Mitchell Conor Mooney Edmund Moriarty Emily North Alexandros Paradissis Nicholas Pearson Quyen Phan Owain Ramsay Lloyd Robertson Hannah Rothnie Anna Margaret Sigmundsdottir Freya Spencer–Wood Taylor Steel Fraser Stewart Mark Stockton Anna Sundukova Jack Swanson Jennifer Taggart Adam Telfer Linus Third Herfa Thompson Lassi Tulonen Duncan Wilson Di Wu Ci Xu Nathan Howie Sebastian Mercer Andrew Rae




Stage 1


an introduction T–SHIRT BIOGRAPHY

This long–running initiation to the School asks the newcoming students who they are.

Stage 1 kick off the year by presenting

their personal qualities, creative ­inspirations, and ambitions for their Architectural ­education in a ‘fashion show’ held in the M ­ ackintosh ­G allery, alongside their peers and tutors.

The T–shirts that students prepared

and brought with them introduced the new cohort in a fun and relaxed, yet insightful way.



T he prints on the T–shirt are a visual introduction of me, the front representing my personal q ualities, and the back telling more about who and what inspired me to study Architecture







12 04.





Term 1 began with exploration, testing and r­ecording of spatial quality, light and ­a tmosphere. The brief asked students to make a sequence of small models, thematically driven, where creation of space, atmosphere and the control of light and scale were their primary concerns.

Model interiors were lit with care,

then drawn and photographed with a sense of human inhabitation. Drawings were made in tone and colour from an occupant’s eye level 01. Series of models exploring Storm by Antonio Vivaldi 02. Representing rays of light piercing through stormclouds 03. Mood drawing 04. Creation of long shadows to mimic Sleep by Eric Whitacre

and simple, proportional plans and sections were also made.

To gain the best understanding

of the impact of their creative moves, the ­s tudents had to be systematic in the process of ­designing around a chosen theme and using this to develop investigative, observational and representational skills.

05. Study model creating folds of light 06. Inhabiting the space 07. Manipulating light 08. Exploring materiality



09. Space in Motion inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake


Stage 1




This project asked every member of the group to individually d ­ evelop a concept for a 1:1 build, which would then be interrogated by the group through ­collaboration in the ­studio and w ­ orkshop, and realised in a Full Size ­Construction Project.

Each group chose one design or a

combination of a few to develop and build on the terrace of the Bourdon. When choosing which project to pursue, groups deliberated on


possible construction methods and time limits, as well as how to maintain the design concept through spatial quality and aesthetics. The concept of the Beehive was shifting views, to create a space that directs or distorts the view of the external space. Assembly was particularly explored — how to connect each unit with the intent of directing the user’s ­p erception and view of their surroundings. After the group tutorial and discussion, the ­c onclusion was to move forward with cut ­pyramid units that would create a beehive–like feeling.






01. Assembly investigation 02. Frame options 03. Exploration of lighting 04. Study models 05. Series of construction drawings 06. Framed view to landscape 07. Structure isometric

viewfinder JACK SWANSON


After an individual appraisal and exploration of the group concept, the team of six chose a site on the Bourdon b ­ uilding terrace, perched high above Scott Street with views across the roof tops. The resulting structure created a place to sit, contemplate and watch over the city whilst encouraging a sense of precariousness by r­ aising the seat to the level of the banister.



Stage 1



Building on new insights gained from the projects undertaken at the beginning of the term, Response, a collaborative full size construction project was the key endeavour in term 1. Students pursued themes derived from human engagement with their construct and its specific placement in an external environment. For over a decade Stage 1 students have engaged with Full Size Build. These pieces tend to be at furniture scale, with human interaction but, in previous years, have had no specific location.

Full Size Build as a learning vehicle has

many benefits. Students work in small co–operative groups, sharing design development, acquisition and processing of materials and creative problem solving as the project unfolds. A good working relationship with all of our technicians as well as a confidence and familiarity while operating in the workshop is also established.

Response incorporated all of Full Size

Build's creative learning, moved up in scale and was site specific. Each member of the eight person group developed a proposal through drawing and a series of 1:20 models.





05. 06. 07.

Handling, crafting, machining, and appreciating a material’s properties are important

04. 01. Analysis of structural frame system and imposed loads

lessons to be learned 08.

02. The full size Viewfinder in use

Through review and discussion, a single

03. Full sized Adaptable Structure offers users a range of configurations

over a five week period on the terrace of the

04. Loop–de–loop

students to work as a group in considering the

05. Construction in progress on the terrace

about how drawings are translated into the

proposal was chosen, which the group built Bourdon. This was a great opportunity for implications of building at 1:1 scale. Thinking real world was a particularly useful part of the

06. Team building in Grace and Clark Fyfe Gallery


07. Beehive installation in use 08. The Nest viewing platform wrapping around building structure

On the Degree Show opening night

the student society MASS used the terrace to host a Greek themed BBQ with DJs, live music and beverages. The full size constructions 09.

accommodated groups of students and guests.

09. Build in use 10. Structural frame


Stage 1

Skills Workshops

life drawinG




03. 04.


18 06.



During the 1 st and 2 nd terms, Life Drawing is 07.

undertaken by students alongside other core skills workshops. This discipline demands 足o bservation and assessment of proportion, light, structure, volume and detail. The 足ability to see and depict encourages development of hand drawing skills. The activity is both

01. Sketch capturing movement 02. Translation of scale through 足f oreshortening

足challenging and enjoyable for students.

This class is traditionally taken in the

McLellan Galleries and is directed by the fine arts tutor Martin McInally.

03. Range of positions, layering viewpoints 04. Assessment of detail

T his discipline demands obser vation and assessment

05. Study of structure, proportion and texture

of proportion , light, str ucture, volume and detail

06. Dark paper with white and mid range chalks express tonal value 07. Fluid gesture and marks 08. Three minute studies


09. Compositional studies


Stage 1


therapy pool MARTIN GLEN 01.

Symbiont ­required the design of a small ­b uilding or structure for the coastal site of Portencross, on the Ayrshire coast in Scotland.

In contrast to previous projects,

­students were challenged to choose their own sites and brief, to design a bespoke space for a specific activity rooted in a particular location.

Each year, this project provokes a

very diverse range of surprisingly ingenious and poetic responses, with every student being


encouraged to model their designs at 1:50 in their chosen landscape. Symbiosis is a union between two organisms which enriches the existence of both. The Flotation Therapy Pool aims to emphasise the rich sensory and emotive qualities of Portencross, offering a space which allows the user to experience and benefit from characteristics which make the site such an unique place.

The project aims to mimick the change in

tempo between Glasgow and Portencross. Known for their health benefits, these pools use sensory ­d eprivation to alter the brain’s chemical balance and release endorphins, causing a prolonged state of ­relaxation.




01. Concept sketch 02. Portencross coastal location 03. Elevation of raw materials allow the symbiont to integrate subtly into the site

Symbiont req uired the desig n of a small

04. Location plan

building or str ucture for a coastal location

05. Axonometric build–up

in Ayrshire, with a particular purpose

06. Cross–section 07. Ground floor plan

benefitting and enriching the site


08. Long section




Stage 1




Titanic seeks to add playfulness to the ­activity

01. Structure in use

of sea swimming, by taking inspiration from

02. Geometrical form

natural structures that you can climb up on and jump into the water. High and low

03. Cave pool at night

tide affects how the units shift as well as the m ­ aximum height you can jump from in ­relation to the depth of the water. The s­ hifting ­geometrical forms create steps to climb up on the s­ tructure. The lower level evokes a cave– like atmosphere with a ram pump in the water and pipes ­leading up to the roof, which would then ­create a waterfall running down the cave entrance.






01. 1:50 model of their proposed Symbiont on site 02. Roof plan 03. Elevations 04. Atmospheric drawing of Meditation Space being used



meditation space ANNA SUNDUKOVA The shape of the rocks and boulders found along the ­shoreline was the main inspiration behind the design. The idea was to create a form that would resemble the nature of the ­surroundings but not blend in completely, to signify the ­s piritual importance of the Meditation Space.


Stage 2

Transitional Year


STUDIO TUTORS Sonia Browse Stuart Dixon Isabel Garriga Lee Ivett Adrian Stewart

Stage 2 is the transitional year in the Undergraduate Programme. The studio programme provides a platform for broadening students’ understanding of the complexity of Architecture, and supports the application of design methodology and research skills in generating design responses. The projects focused on strengthening students’ understanding of the relationship of activity and space and the instrumental role of the Architect in between.

Locale, asked for an extensive study of the town Inveraray. Students

investigated the physical fabric of the town in relation to its historical context and extended their understanding of ‘place’ and ‘community’.

Dwelling Place invited students to study housing needs within the

town and develop design approaches aimed at user groups such as ‘the young’, ‘the family’, and ‘the elderly’. This study was followed by the design of a series of residential units on 4 different sites within the historic part of Inveraray.

Transitional Place asked students to design a small exhibition building

on the harbour of Inveraray. The design process focused on strategies of how episodic memories can be manifested in images and then transferred into spatial proposals. The project involved the debate and practical application of key approaches in visual culture such as collage, cubism, and film.



Polina Alexeeva Armaan Ankolkar Christopher Arnold Fiona Arnot Jack Baker Adrian Barsten Andras Berze Lauren Brennan Veranika Buko Robert Colvin Maria Coogans Daniel Craig Roisin Crawley India Czulowski Stuart Darroch Katie Dixon Inti Dohle Teresa Erskine Andrew Evans Emma Flaherty Hamish Flavell Andrew Fleming Lee Fotheringham Callum Giffard Christopher Gordon Mary Gray Euan Hardie Beki Hill Rachel Hogg Ewan Hooper Philip Houston Andri Ingolfsson Andy Jack Will Judge Carmel Keren Hyeong Gyu Kim Aristeidis Kondylidis Karman Leung Sheng–Han Lin Lauri Linden Toby Lindo Eva Lindsay Kenneth Lockhart Jennifer Mallon Rhea Martin Gordon McDonald Rubin Memishi Ninet Minasvand Lina Mozuraite Hamad Mumtaz Nefertari Noufal Hamshya Rajkumar Jonathan Ramdeen


Matthieu Robin Robert Scott William Seymour Qiqi Tay Lauren Thompson Madeleine Thorstensen Roisin Tinneny Alasdair White Louis Wiszniewski Jerome Wren Benjamin Wright Qianwen Wu


Stage 2

D we l l i n g Pl a c e


Inveraray apartments QIQI TAY Inveraray Apartments consist of three interlocking units, designed to accommodate


a mixture of family types, while having a flexible plan that allows for any growth or change within the family dynamics. Each apartment also has access to a private garden — a reference taken from the surrounding housing units.

The close proximity of the building

to neighbouring housing calls for careful treatment of the facade. Using a variety of opaque, translucent and transparent cladding — in accordance with the nature of the internal spaces — the facade is broken down so it’s not too heavy.


Lighting is also crucial for a building

meant to house families as it provides a positive environment that feels secure and

01. Exterior view


02. Interior watercolour visuals 03. Interior visual 04. Exploded axonometric 05. Interior visual





Sculpted Block of DwellinGs EWAN HOOPER The form of the dwelling block draws from the analysis of the town’s fabric and its relationship with the surrounding landscape.

The program is arranged around

a central atrium that contains circulation. The plan is driven by the ever–changing requirements of families, and can be adapted to suit. The stepped arrangement of spaces provides a mixture of communal and private areas and creates a series of thresholds. Based on common Inveraray dwelling typologies, the ground floor is raised to provide more privacy.

The sculpted form gives back to

the immediate town fabric by creating a new communal garden space to the West, while simultaneously blocking a busy road to the East.



01. Section 02. Exploded axonometric 03. Exterior view 04. Atrium view




Stage 2


D we l l i n g Pl a c e



FraGment ¡ Connect ¡ Inhabit ROB COLVIN Inveraray is a town of transition, manifested in its urban fabric with its narrow walkways that both channel movement and frame views. These routes divide and connect the public from private, whilst defining the uneasy balance between formal and informal. The proposal for three family dwellings responds to this landscape while providing for the needs of family life. 04.

Two entrances puncture a solid

perimeter wall, creating two shared courtyard voids that connect the dwellings both visually and spatially. They also provide space for shared and communal activities.

01. Urban fragments collage 02. Concept model

The unconventional internal layout

of the lower ground floor plan answers to the requirements of family life, and provides natural light and views to the primary living spaces.

03. Volumetric analysis


04. Model 05. Interior view 06. Ground floor plan 07. Final massing model









01. Collage model 02. Concept diagram 03. Exploded axonometric 04. Model 05. Axonometric of proposal 06. Model View



Chalmers Elderly HousinG REN YU PING A study of spatial relationships and the use of space by the elderly lies at the core of the project was. The proposal also responds to the immediate and wider context of the site.

The scheme reacts to the adjacent elderly housing complex and its

disarray of unorganised external amenity and green spaces. The project takes a critical attitude to existing circumstances and proposes a clearly defined sequence of landscapes, creating a patchwork of public and private spaces within the interior of the building.

The aim was to introduce different spatial qualities throughout the

plan and section of the proposed building. A series of superimposed planes were developed to accommodate the domestic program, while a series of private outdoor spaces are located near the edges of the building. 29

Stage 2

Tra n s i t i o n a l S p a c e


DeconstructinG Transition & Landscape


01. Exploratory mapping 02. Exterior view 03. Exploded axonometric 04. Internal view 05. Explosion graphic

EWAN HOOPER The building is derived from an examination of points along a journey and the connections between them, and questions the concept of transition. When travelling between points, tension is created between past and future. The research of this phenomena evolved into a series of pieces that examine linework as a way of representing these journeys.

The Architectural composition is

derived from these early findings, and encourages movement between points of extreme exposure — visitors are pushed and pulled around the building. The public is exposed to the elements within the lightweight steel structure at outer points of the building, then returns to the heavy concrete core.

The materials are juxtaposed and

convey the experiential qualities of the journey. The building embraces its surroundings — the tide is allowed to cover the base of the proposal and flow around the structure.






TOPoGRAPHIC Transition JEROME WREN With reference to the surrounding environment, the natural topography shapes the design of a museum for Neil Munro. A series of analytical models exploring object space through malleable delicate materials informed the design process.

The programme is configured to

house a Neil Munro archive, a projection space, and a multi–purpose area that doubles up as an indoor performance space. As the floor steps up and geometry of the enclosing planes is


varied, the transitional experience between spaces is heightened. The site is sunken and looks onto the loch as the building is raised from the ground and the street is extended, forming a new public space for Inveraray.



01. Analytical space models 02. Model 03. Plan development sketch 04. Exterior view 0.


Stage 2

Tra n s i t i o n a l S p a c e


Between Land and Sea JACK BAKER Situated on the banks of Loch Fyne, in the Scottish town of Inveraray, the museum creates 02.

a journey from land to sea, and back again.

Designed to house the precious works

of Scottish writer Neil Munro, the project was 01. Internal visual 02. Concept models

initially developed through a collage that captured the poetics of the town. This was translated into three dimensions and resulted in a roofline that pushes and pulls visitors

03. Exploded axonometric

around the building. It opens up to provide

04. Building section in context

to the closely moored boats, then closes again

05. Exterior view



users with a visual connection to the sea and to create dark, intimate spaces for recital of Munro’s work.







tower of Inveraray ROB SCOTT The museum intends to celebrate the works of Neil Munro and the culture within Argyll, whilst creating a journey of discovery that echoes the spatial qualities and experiences of the Crinan Canal.


The perceptive impression of moving within it is reminiscent

of the shifting sense of enclosure within the canal locks. The circulation route around helps to create the same stop–start rhythm

01. Site model with proposal

of drifting down a canal. Circulation creates a memorable experience as it combines a sense of discovery with that of obtaining knowledge.

02. Structural build up

03. Exploded axonometric

The tower form then becomes a symbol of knowledge that

relates to the other key landmarks, and also helps to embrace the inevitable monumental situation of the site.

04. Exterior view 05. View through tower 06. Storyboard sketch



Stage 2

Fi l m S p a c e

SettinG the scene WITH


During the Architectural design process, we often refer to scriptwriters and film Directors and the way in which they imagine the action before shooting. The Director imagines the cameras moving through a scene in a similar way to


how an Architect imagines a viewer moving through their unbuilt project. Both the Architect and the animators record these moments through drawings, sketches, and digital and physical models that share two crucial purposes — firstly, as a creative means for developing their project, and secondly as an important means of communicating their ideas. This process allows them to retain control of the project.

Stage Two were joined by Oscar–winning Director of

Brave and The Incredibles Mark Andrews, who ran workshops focusing on storyboarding and pitching. Students discussed the process of making and communicating speculative ­three– dimensional environments, and then applied this insight into their own projects.






01. Mark Andrews 02. by Ewan Hooper 03. by Roisin Tinneny 04. by Camel Keren 05. by Maris Coogans


T he D irector imag ines the cameras mov ing through a scene in a similar way to how an Architect imag ines a v iewer mov ing through their unbuilt project

Spirit of Space is a small creative agency that celebrates designed environments through film. MM39 watched them at work during their Glasgow visit and discussed their fresh take on the Art of Architectural representation.


Photographers are like bird hunters: they go out, they’re looking for those shots and they shoot them. We’re more like bird watchers. We have to spend days with spaces, whereas the bird hunters would set up an ambush or ­something. We’re not trying to manipulate what you see.

Whether it’s an old or new space, it’s all a new experience, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You go in there and you just have to let it happen, you just tune yourself to it. That’s where you discover things. That’s where life exists.

Before we go to film a place, we research a lot, but

when you get there everything changes. When you actually experience a building it’s totally different to how you see it in writing and pictures. There’s something about being on site and experiencing it; another layer of understanding comes when you storyboard and edit the footage.

When we’re editing, it’s like; we have this ­material,

how do we forge gold out of it? That’s where the name ‘Spirit of Space’ comes from. We’re basically capturing something that doesn’t exist. That experience will never happen again. Every project scares us, because we realise most people will experience the spaces through our films. This prospect is quite terrifying! That’s why we’re trying to figure out how to capture the experiences in a genuine way. We feel that this honesty is compelling enough.

We’re creating a discussion. Every single film is a discussion with the

client, about what we thought, what we experienced, what was a surprise for them, what their intent was, what they feel that we left out. That’s the process that actually becomes a final film. It’s a total collaboration.

Often photographers go to site and don’t even experience

it; it’s very easy to just snap away. With a video camera you’re forced to tell a story. You are accountable for every time you hit that but-

That’s where the name Spirit of Space comes from · We’re basically capturing something that doesn’t exist

ton. You think every time you take a shot, you wait for the right moment, you press record and stop. It forces you to be mindful of the process of filming. It’s not just about being there and capturing–capturing–capturing footage, then you end up with something that’s overwhelming to edit.

It’s the same as an Architect who has to be accountable for every

Architectural move they make.



Spirit of Space


THE HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF ARCHITECTURAL FILMMAKING? Early photography used the daguerreotype chemical process which took a long time to develop, so they shot Architecture and landscapes first because it was the only thing that didn’t move. Obviously the process got better, camera equipment got more mobile and early films were produced so the focus shifted towards filming people and moving objects.

Old films started with stop motion and the magic of

trick films. The time lapse between each image allows your brain to substitute information that it didn’t see. That’s why recent videos at a higher frame rate don’t feel as good as watching an old film at 24 fps or less. There’s more magic happening between each frame.

Architects started using film in the early 20’s when they were

­designing cinemas, and saw the power associated with the new film ­media. Curiously, M ­ éliès was commissioned to produce a film about an A ­ rchitect– designed private house, to be played at the client’s cocktail parties.

Le Corbusier’s films were mostly about him talking and drawing on

the blackboard. Much of the footage in the recent MOMA retrospective had to be cut down because it’s too long and not watchable; Le Corbusier did it for himself. Get f ilming. Mess w ith it. But make it consise and relevant, because no– one has time for long Architecture documentar ies. Today, as products of the internet age, we are all aware that video is an ­effective medium to deliver a powerful message that can reach anywhere in the world. It provides a new means to present the series of complex ideas behind a project efficiently. Plans, sections, elevations, photographs — those were very effective in old media which existed before the internet. Now the time has come to reconsider how Architecture is presented to the public — that’s what we’re trying to do. AND YET FILM IS STILL QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITING A REAL BUILDING · CAN THIS GAP BE REDUCED? We have that same problem with making films, we’re corrupting what an Architectural experience is — no matter what. There’s a sensory experience left out of it. But when you can’t have the actual experience, when people come to Glasgow and they can’t enter the building, or a private place, or in China, then this corruption is still worth it in order to create a discussion.



Every Architecture has an experience, it’s about finding that experience and capturing it. Everything deals with form, light, sound, colour, or the absence of colour. Having all studied Architecture, we are more attuned to visualising this. It’s great to go to a building and be forced to reduce your periferals to this small frame, to translate the experience into a 2D moving image.

Sound is an additional sense that you only begin to experience

through film. We’re really interested in designing sound, or a soundtrack that can add a third dimension to video, which is otherwise two–dimensional. If you do see an Architectural film with a decent sound system, you can really feel that. MOST OF YOUR FILMS SHOW RECENT PROJECTS · ARE YOU INTERESTED IN CAPTURING OLDER ARCHITECTURE AS WELL? Whatever you do in Architecture, you have to reflect upon the old. However you do it, it will be compared to what was done before. It’s fascinating how the new Reid ­building has created this level of patriotism towards Mackintosh, which never existed before.

The reason we’re not so interested in filming old ­buildings,

however, is because the messages they deliver are rooted h ­ eavily in the past — “Oh, isn’t that wonderful, it’s an artefact” — Of course, we’ve dealt with Architects like Dion Neutra, trying to save buildings up for demolition. Those are important messages for old buildings — but nothing is happening to the Mac. P ­ eople are ­restoring it. We have, in fact, done a tonne of films on old ­buildings, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, a Bauhaus ­Exhibition.

And yet, it’s more exciting for us to film

Architects who have a need to communicate something. This is now, and the message is alive. We’re u ­ sing real tools,

We’re constantly using technology · Some of the best technologies have been forgotten about · We just

people are w ­ atching these films, it’s affecting how projects

want to get a message out there, it’s

are getting won. A ­ rchitects can’t do it all. You need outside

about using whatever tools you can

influences and assistance to get your message across.

get your hands on

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS LOOKING TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN COMPANIES? We gave a lecture in Chicago titled “be foolishly passionate” — that’s how we started anyway. The first thing we did when we set up a company, no clients, no nothing, we bought a camera crane. A $1000 camera crane! We were students. We didn’t have $1000. But what that did... we were the s**t, ‘cause we had a ****ing crane! We didn’t have a camera, we didn’t know how to use anything, but that psychological advantage we had got us where we are today. In the end, if you are passionate about something, even if you don’t have all the answers — make it happen!



Stage 3

Exploring the notion of ‘wellbeing’


STUDIO TUTORS Nick Walker Marc Kilkenny Neil Mochrie Kirsty Lees Stephen Hoey

Stage 3 undertook two studio projects: the first a study of the town of Saltcoats which resulted in a proposal for a public building and a ­public space, the second a detailed design for a ­Hydropath in the grounds of Culzean Castle.

Both projects were an interesting mix

of historic context, rejuvenated building ­typologies and the production of relevant ­proposals for the future.

The 19th Century Hydropath movement

was borne out of a belief in the therapeutic value of water as an antidote to conventional western medicine. Scotland embraced the movement with vigour and was a well known destination for Victorians from south of the border, who visited towns such as Crieff, Peebles and Dunblane to take the waters.

Our students were asked to reinterpret and develop a brief for

a Hydropath in the 21st Century, one which responded to specifics of the ­landscape, heightened the haptic experience, and considered the technical and aesthetic qualities of making a modern building. The students were given 6 sites within the grounds of Culzean, all with very different qualities, from the calm of the walled garden to the spectacular cliff edge.

Stage 3 is always a stressful year for students at the Mac, but luckily

our study trip was one of the most relaxed in recent years, a chance to soak up the atmosphere of the spas in Budapest in the guise of thorough research!

The following selection of projects is testimony to the high ­standards

achieved by Stage 3, whose overall success was acknowledged by the Glasgow Institute of Architects with an award for the best body of work for any year from either of the Schools of Architecture in Glasgow. All in, a very memorable year indeed.



Mobolaji Agoro Jenny Barr Asia Binevic Saskia Blake Douglas Boa Thomas Brumby William Thomas Burns Deborah Cawdron Sang Min Cha Jazmin Maria Rubina Charalambous Yuk Hong Cheung Nompilo Chigaru Stephanie Choi Brigitte Clements Declan Corbett Euan Alan Joseph Crawford Jean Emmanuel David Bruce Doran Joe Duffin Oliver Dyson Kerry Edwards Paul Elliott Olivia Forty Ian Gaffney Felix Gibson Charlene Gilmour William Graham Cal Harris Jonathan Harris Matthew Healy Natalia Jejer Kwangsun Kang Laura Keating Piers Kermode Paul Dimitris Kyriou Jamie Laurence Wei–Ting Liu Patrick Samuel Collyer Lodge Bruce Logie Daniel Lowe Ashley Martin Alia Aida Masiri David McPike Harris Millar Caroline Milne Segolene Morand Alasdair Ferguson Morrison Bilal Naas Kunio Narizumi Sotirios Oikonomou Agata Olszewska Paul Owens

Elin Parry Rosalind Peebles Lynn Perry Hannah Pritchard Katherine Prudence Emmeline Quigley Liam Rendall Isabella Rosander Louis Russell Anna–Leena Sofia Salo Camilla Sand Ciaran Scannell Kirsty Anna Shankland David Sheridan Bethany Smith Fraser Stark Jordan Stocks Alex Surguladze Rachel Ai–Yan Tan Nobutaka Tanaka Caitlin Fiona Thomson Marija Urbaite Stuart Watson Friederike Elisabeth Well Ewan Whittle India Wills Sher Wing Shirley Wong Chongwei Zhao Kuangxi Zhao Kyle Finn Linda Davis Mark MacPhail Kris Rutherford Lyndsay McMorran Victoria Hughes Grant Herron James Bowie



InterAct is a cross–disciplinary project that has been part of Stage 3 program for 25 years, jointly run by the Mackintosh School of A ­ rchitecture, the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the West of Scotland

interact GORDON GIBB In the InterAct process, student Architects come up with ­d rawings and ­m odels that look vaguely like buildings, and Engineers and Quantity Surveyors work with them to take the designs closer to something useful, in terms of structure, cost and buildability. Throughout, all disciplines learn about each other’s priorities, and students learn to collaborate and to present their work in front of an audience, without the prospect of criticism or the need for defensive behaviour.

In the early years, students would produce plans, sections,

elevations and perspective sketches, all on overhead projector ­acetates, combined with 35mm photographic slides showing fine drawings, diagrams, collages and graphs to tell the story. During the final presentations, some students even sketched ‘live’ onto overhead slides in front of the audience.

In each successive year, visual aids became more advanced, with

PowerPoint and CGI making it easier to produce viable and dramatic images. A maxim evolved, “If you can draw, draw. If not, use SketchUp”. However the same basic truth has always applied: the quality of your presentation is dependent upon your relationship with your team and the audience.

The topic of the year was a therapy building in Culzean.

The hugely varied presentations that reached the grand final were funny and engaging, explaining the schemes in a way

InterAct tells us that there is more to Architecture than drawing

that drawings alone never do. Breathtaking image transitions, ­choreographed on–stage arguments and even corny punchlines were delivered with ease, allowing a glimpse of the professional and personal relationships between the team members. We even saw a haunting and magical hand–drawn stop–frame animation of a building’s evolution, set to music, with which the Architect and Engineer interacted on the stage.



As in all years, the Mac Lecture Theatre rang with applause while the student finalists learned by doing, and the audience learned what could be done. The winner, announced by the

panel of external judges, ably ­demonstrated that a building design can be improved by the process of it being made more 01. Stills from development process video, InterAct by Asia Binevich

economical and sound, through effective teamworking and mutual respect.

Although the professional Architect’s role in many

projects has ­already changed from that of leader to ­participant, the soft skills of c­ ollaboration and effective presentation ­b ehind InterAct remain as relevant as ever. InterAct tells us that there is more to Architecture than drawing, and that if the course rewarded other aptitudes, as InterAct does, the student body may be better able to deal with the challenges ahead, and maybe, just maybe, more able to take control of the procurement of our built future.

Breathtaking image transitions, choreographed on–stage arguments and even corny punchlines were delivered with ease, allowing a glimpse of the professional and personal relationships between the team members



Stage 3

Saltcoats ¡ Town Study




The lack of image and identity in Saltcoats has caused a disengagement of its inhabitants. A Salt Park is proposed to take the site of the old salt pans and bathing pools on the sea front. The Salt Park will act as a regenerating catalyst of change to give Saltcoats back its identity, and thus its inhabitants a sense of emotional wellbeing. The image of Saltcoats will be sharpened both in the eye of the day visitors and long term inhabitants.

Salt will form the core of the town, as

it once did, and attract the tourists and visitors that Saltcoats had in its holiday destination heyday.

04. 03. 05.



01. Saltcoats long section 02. Proposed follies 03. Surface, point, line



04. Identity in 1800s: salt production 1900s: bathing and tourism 2010s: combine industries of the past 2010s: salt and tourism 05. Salt Park 06. Vision for Saltcoats 07. Saltcoats analysis: historical importance of site current state with closed shops (red), unhealthy food (black) coastal walk

Flavours Of ChanGe

relocating marketplace 08. Proposed activities



09. Harbour view

Saltcoats was once a thriving town known

10. Sketch of proposal

for its salt production. The project aims to reconnect the town with its past, by letting salt become the catalyst of change.

A specialised food industry, centred

around salt, fish and other local produce, and celebrated through frequent food festivals, would attract visitors and boost the economy. The town would thereby be able to regenerate 10.

itself and regain its lost spark of life. 43

Stage 3

Culzean Hydropath

the enclave CAL HARRIS


Nestled behind the trees overlooking the Firth of Clyde, two elements of the hydropath are articulated with the jagged topography of the Culzean shore and the sun path, creating a sheltered courtyard with the natural rock and man–made structure.

Entering through the rock itself,

one arrives at a courtyard; a tranquil garden ­preserved from the elements. On ground level, a dynamic sequence of therapy spaces lead one back into this courtyard, where a series of external pools culminate with the thermal cave deep within the cliff. Above, bedrooms are ­elevated into the forest canopy. The c­ ommunal living space punches through the tree–line, of02.

fering staggering vistas across the bay.

With sustainability as a key driver, the

heat / power / water strategy keep the bath house off–grid.





01. Thermal cave 02. Series of concept models 03. Longitudinal section 04. Water strategy diagram 05. Outdoor shower 06. Outdoor pools 07. Thermal cave model





Stage 3

Culzean Hydropath

Hydrotherapy For Inner Harmony ISABELLA ROSANDER


The layout of the building gives privacy to the bedrooms and areas of pure relaxation, by orientating them towards the calming forest. Areas of interaction face the castle, and are glazed to give optimal views and lighting. The hydropath is designed to give a specific experience for people as they move through the various areas. Spaces change from b ­ eing light with splendid views of the ­castle, to darker spaces only being top lit with ­skylights. As one passes through the building, the ­atmosphere changes, as well as the activity that takes place there.

At first the light and open spaces

­e ncourage group conversations and joyful ­water activities, but as one goes deeper into the building, the darkness creates a shift of focus. 02.





01. Concept sketch 02. Yoga pool visualisation 03. Concept sketch 04. Sequence of spaces 05. Context section 06. Cast pool model 07. Pool and entry level plans




Stage 3

Culzean Hydropath

Parallel thresholds BRUCE DORAN



The proposal is a modern interpretation of the 19th century hydropath movement, valuing the therapeutic qualities of water and offering an alternative to medicinal treatment.

The building is based on the c­ oncept

of a progressive water led e ­ xperience that 03.

takes the user through several internal ­environments akin to a hydropath spa. A wet world of stone. A dry world of wood. A weightless world of flotation.

The internal spaces and courtyards

are separated by very thick 'threshold' walls that create a framework for the building — a concept that is continued in the technical ­d esign aspects. The user is guided through from animated to still spaces, reflecting the narrative experience of the person as they transition from stressed to relaxed. The ­journey culminates with the user being r­ eleased on to the key veil threshold — a sense of complete 04.

immersion within the landscape. 05.



01. Concept diagram


02. Approach 03. Showers 04. Flotation pool 05. Site plan 06. Model


07. Residency accommodation 08. Floor plans


Stage 3

Culzean Hydropath

Paediatric hydrotherapy retreat SASKIA BLAKE


This building has been designed to cater for families who have children with cerebral ­palsy. By using hydrotherapy the proposal aims to bring families together for a positive and ­healing experience.

Situated on the beautiful West coast

of Scotland, it was essential that the building celebrate its surroundings. The solid concrete structure to the North acts as a thermal mass, whilst the thin glazed steel structure acts as a double skin to the South, making the most of the sunlight and acting as a buffer zone. It is a building which is both protective and open to the elements. Anchored to the North, the proposal cantilevers out over the edge of the cliff overlooking the coast. The strong directional access of the building creates two routes: one through water, the other through greenery. 02.





01. Routes and organisational diagrams 02. Site model 03. Water studies over time 04. Approach 05. Hydrotherapy pool 06. Covered garden


07. Massing models


08. Longitudinal section




Stage 3

Culzean Hydropath

natural remedy spa OLIVIA FORTY





The hydropath is a natural remedy spa in the heart of the woods of Culzean Country Park.

On the ground floor, the building is a

glass box which contains the pools, where the main focus is on looking out through the trees. Above is a light wooden construction which houses the living accommodation. Upstairs, the focus is on looking up to the canopy. As such there are no windows on the exterior walls, only windows onto terraces, drawing light into all the rooms and into the centre of the plan.






01. Organisational diagram 02. Axonometric 03. Elevation 04. Approach


05. Section 06. Main pool



Student Organisations


The Mackintosh Architecture Student Society is run by students, for students. Spanning back longer than a­ nyone seems to remember, MASS is reinvented each year as a fresh group of Stage 3 students take control and bring a new approach to the ­educational and social experiences hosted by the Society.

This year was kicked off by MASS

­Freshers Events: a Sub Crawl that gave the Freshers a new perspective on Glasgow, as well as a Speed Dating session in the MASS bar that allowed new students to get ­acquainted in an informal environment.

Throughout the year, MASS have been helping start off early ­mornings

and sustain the students through the long studio hours by manning the ­coffee bar, a source of much needed caffeine and a go–to point for buying the crucial stationery that one always runs out of just before the deadline. The MASS bar is effectively the informal social centre of the studio, its flexible space of interaction, where furious ping– pong matches are held in short breaks from design work. In the evenings, the bar serves as a venue for ­i nformal lectures and debates where current topics are discussed by students and staff, creating a general awareness of each other’s ­activities and thoughts.

Various parties, with occasional céilidhs, are also organised by the

MASS team throughout the academic year. The income from those events lets MASS back select student–led initiatives, and gives the student body extra

­f unding for Degree Show: this year, MASS will be sponsoring the building of a pavilion o ­ utside the Bourdon building, and will also be supporting the showcase of Stage 3 projects in London during the summer. Much Love, MASS Team. X


MASS is reinvented each year as a fresh g roup of Stage 3 ­s tudents take control

Student Organisations

EASA FUTURE ARCHITECTURE · MEDIEVAL CASTLE ASIA BINEVIC · EWAN HOOPER · JONATHAN RAMDEEN · ROB SCOTT · RYAN MCGAFFNEY Last summer, a group of 5 students from the Mac represented Scotland in EASA — the European Architecture Students’ Assembly — a student–run, ­independent network with no central organization or board.

EASA moves to a new host country each year, and this time it took

place in the castle of Žužemberk village, in Slovenia. Nearly 500 European architecture students, from over 200 different Architecture Schools, gathered in the castle for two weeks of intensive workshops. Most of the workshops aimed to engage with the local, relatively traditional community: the aim was to create a series of experimental contemporary interventions.

For example, a series of light–based workshops combined their

­efforts to create a Light Festival that provided a completely new p ­ erspective on the village, and how locals engage with it at night.

Endor, the most memorable of the construction

workshops, involved the creation of a huge, 65m 2 tree house that was suspended between three trees by the river Krka. The ­p avilion created a hub for local activity and a shade for the hot summer months, whilst framing a range of views of the surrounding scenery.

The other workshops stretched from theatrical

­performance in Onion, to cooking–based experiments that explored the breadth of Europe’s palette in Tapaland.

The diverse amalgamation of cultures that attend

EASA was best seen on National Evening, an event where

each nationality set up a booth to share their finest dishes and beverages in traditional costume.

Playing with fire hoses, experiencing exotic

charms, swinging in a tree house — EASA provided a lot of ­o pportunities for good fun. Next year, we are looking forward to taking an even bigger and better Scottish force to Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.



T he European Architecture Students’ Assembly — a ­s tudent–r un , ­i ndependent net work w ith no ­c entral organisation or board

Nearly 500 European Architecture ­s tudents, from over 200 different ­A rchitecture Schools


After three years an undergraduate, students are given the opportunity to work out and gain experience in the professional world. Some of the current Stage 4 students have shared their own Year Out stories and what they have gained from their experience.

a year out EXPERIENCE


JONATHAN GILLETT SQUIRE AND PARTNERS In my year out I worked at dynamic, London based practice; Squire and Partners, headed by Michael Squire. Their work primarily focuses on designing and executing buildings on key sites in London whilst also working on international competitions, keeping the work varied and challenging. I had the pleasure of working on several projects that have been subject to a storm of publicity which always made for an entertaining ride on the Tube in the evening whilst reading


about the work of the office in the paper.

I originally started out as an Architectural Illustrator before becoming

an Assistant Architect in my two years out. The practice is fortunate enough to have its own in–house specialist teams that include an illustration department, a CGI team and a model–making studio which allow for a wide variety of work to be produced internally.

Working largely on competitions whilst a member of the illustration

department, it was my position to take drawings produced by a team of Architects and enhance them: adding context, materiality, shadow, light, ownership and ‘atmosphere’. Perspective visualisations were hand drawn by the team whilst concept diagrams and unique books were also produced, recording the development of each project before being given to the client exclusively. I worked as a magician for a year, taking both two and three dimensional drawings and turning them into something much, much more. 01. Jonathan Gillett 02. Hans Place, London Squire and Partners© 03. Hans Place, London Squire and Partners©

I was fortunate to work directly with Michael on

several projects and respected his orientation towards a more traditional craft of Architecture: observing the history of a site, its character and needs before creating a responsive building. Michael would often favour the use of scale models and hand drawn perspectives to more digital imagery, even producing watercolours himself.

Competition projects were exhilarating and life in

London added to the whole experience. An inspiring city, 03.

I know I’ll be back. 60


ADAM WRIGHT BENDCRETE SKATEPARKS It all began with a discussion at the pub with a group of my classmates about what we each wanted to do on our Year Out. I imagined how fun it would be to get a job making sets for film studios, or designing skate parks – my two passions, but this was quickly dismissed as a drunken dream.

It was after my fourth month of unsuccessful applications to

traditional practices that I thought back to that silly idea I had in Glasgow. I began tailoring my portfolio for Architecture firms that have worked on skate projects. The combination of my Architectural ambitions and love for 01.

skateboarding gave me a renewed enthusiasm that finally paid off, and within a matter of weeks I moved to Oxford to begin my year in practice at Bendcrete Skateparks.

Before I started I didn’t know what to expect; whether I was going

It was when we won a project that things got exciting, as it meant something I had desig ned was going to become a realit y

to be working in an office filled with loads of young skaters, with our breaks spent skateboarding and designing all the parks on the Tony Hawks Pro Skater PlayStation game. The reality was that it was me and two middle aged women who would be doing a lot the work to get these skateparks built as the other designer

had to leave two weeks after I joined.

The projects were usually from a local council, or a group who had

raised enough funds for a new skate park, or park extension. The tender was sent out to companies across the UK, and required us to design a bespoke concrete park for each tender, ranging from small £30,000 parks to the larger £500,000 ones. We often went to user group workshops with the local kids, to see what sort of park and equipment they wanted, before I even looked

01. Adam Wright

at a computer screen.

02. Construction phase of Bearpark Skatepark, County Durham

It was when we won a project that things

got exciting, as it meant something I had designed was going to become a reality. Before this could happen, however, it was my job to draw up all the steelwork including the coping on ramps, edges to

I cannot descr ibe the feeling of joy I have when skating on one of my ow n creations, only to have that q uickly replaced w ith agonising pain when I inev itably fall of f

the grind boxes, the handrails and grind bars. I had to draw up a series of construction drawings for our build team to use whilst on site, which had to be visited regularly — with certain obstacles having to be tested, of course! 02.

Although I may not have learnt all that much about designing

buildings, I have now been involved in the design–to–completion of several skate parks across the country, including an extension to my hometown park. I cannot describe the feeling of joy I have when skating on one of my own creations, only to have that quickly replaced with agonising pain when I inevitably fall off.



A Ye a r Ou t E x p e r i e n c e

CHRISTINE FAULKNER IAESTE EXCHANGE PROGRAM A month before my final hand in I applied to IAESTE, an exchange program run by the British council that has connections to many countries from Europe, Asia and South America. I had heard about this program through my friends who had worked been working in countries like Switzerland and Germany and so was excited about the arrival of my offer letter….which was for Skopje, Macedonia.

If you are considering IAESTE at this point, I have

two pieces of advice; Firstly, if want to work in countries like


Switzerland, apply extremely early. Secondly, even better, if you are looking at this whilst still in first or second year, join IAESTE as members get their first choice of location.

Despite slight initial disappointment and some research on the

country, I actually began to look forward to beginning work. As one of the previous socialist states of Yugoslavia, Macedonia had some seriously interesting architecture, with its city masterplan created by Kenzo Tange. Currently however, the city is being re–developed, under the Skopje 2014 project and a masterplan is being realized by a number of practices in the city including where I was working .

When I first arrived I worked on a residential project being prepared

for a competition. I worked mostly on the competition board, which was all digitally based, using CAD and 3DS Max. 02.

The practice was incredibly small with

T he IAE STE prog ram is a

only five or six people but this meant I got to know

really f un and wor thwhile

everyone really well. The work ethic was also a shock,

exper ience of liv ing and

after a busy third year in university; the office was

travelling in a par t of the

really laid back and gave me time to go explore the

world that I other w ise

rest of the city.

wouldn’t have got to

The second project was for a hotel in the

ski resort of Mavrovo, in the mountains near Kosovo. The site visits were incredible and the design method was a lot more traditional, using hand drawing and surveying. We hand measured an existing building on site, using sketches and photographs to later reconstruct in the office. I also became 01. Christine Faulkner 02. Sketchbook page 03. Lake Matka, Skopje

involved in the design meetings for this, which were in Macedonian and making it its pretty difficult to really get involved in what is going on, although everyone there did make their best effort. The IAESTE program is a really fun and worthwhile experience of living and travelling in a part of the world that I otherwise wouldn’t have got to. Even if you don’t get a first choice country it has allowed me to learn about types of architecture and a culture that I previously knew little about. People are always intrigued when I say I did my placement in Macedonia and its somewhere that I would definitely go back to.




FAHAD MALIK COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2014 During my year out I was lucky enough to work at the organising committee of the Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games as designer with the venues team– a group of professionals drawn from various backgrounds. I called the experience varied since, the nature of work continuously evolved. From taking site photos while Royal Marines fire off machine gun rounds in the background at Barry Buddon, to trying to finish planning drawings, surveying and drawing Hampden Stadium, then back out to site to see the athlete’s village in construction.

I had the opportunity to work on

many of the venues Barry Buddon Shooting Centre being one of them. For 01.

this project I had to write a landscape

A pencil allows rapid translation of your ideas into physical , v isual infor mation

and visual impact assessment, as part of the detailed planning package. I also produced a series of hand–drawn sketches, CAD plans, sections & elevations, and detailed digital model of the entire venue alongside various visualisations. I was responsible for all drawings going to

Get involved in the process, nag your bosses w ith demands and get out on site as much as possible — if you work hard amazing things happen

planning, and under tight deadlines this was an adrenaline–charged experience.

It’s important to emphasise, that while

the majority of our design output was digital, all design decisions, spatial arrangements

01. Fahad Malik

and testing was with pencil and paper. I don’t think this has anything to do

02. Barry Buddon Shooting Centre, image from

architecture, but with practicality. A pencil allows rapid translation of your

with people trying to hold onto traditional methods or forms of drawing in ideas into physical, visual information.


I think a year out was a great opportunity to develop my architectural

thinking. It teaches you the importance of working with speed, skill and accuracy alongside undertaking various responsibilities simultaneously. You have to be in charge of your experience, get involved in the process, nag your bosses with demands and get out on site as much as possible — if you work hard amazing things happen.



Friday Lecture Series

future architectural education o F


The Friday Lecture Series is a long–standing Mac tradition of hosting a number of distinguished speakers over the duration of each academic year. This is the second time that the lectures are organised and run by a group of Stage 4 students — creating a unique research platform for the dissertation as well as a great opportunity to discuss the current situation in the field of Architecture.

This year, the series have been exploring the theme of

Life After Studio, providing an insight into the varied p ­ ractices of the speakers, most of whom studied Architecture. The series started with a debate on the Future of Architectural Education — and spurred an interesting discussion that was followed up by further lectures, as well as continued more informally on Twitter. This trend of extending the debate and the speakers’ views online was continued in form of video clips that were all gathered on a purpose–made website, while social media was used to increase participation and to bridge the gap between practice and academia. As a result, the Lighthouse and Architecture+Design Scotland became interested in the discussion and sponsored the professional recording of the initial debate; we were also invited to attend numerous events relating to Architectural education.

The discussions brought up in the debate and lecture series are

long standing ones: is the purpose of Architectural education to obtain a ­professional degree and register in the profession, or to obtain a generalist education that will equip the student with transferable skills? We would maintain that the current education system is not successfully achieving either objective.

The common consensus seems to be that more flexibility needs to be

established in Architectural education — this has been argued by ­educators and students alike. Establishing flexibility in the RIBA framework should allow students to enter and exit education at different points, and work in a more diverse and responsive profession. This flexibility will also create stronger links between education and practice, moving away from the model described in the drawing below.



The question of any integration of professional accreditation with the University system was also discussed during the series. The present system requires compliance with so much criteria and requirements that

debate video by AD+S

it has a detrimental impact on the flexibility of Architectural education. Separation of education from accreditation is how other professional courses, such as Engineering and Medicine, approach the challenge in the UK context. The protocol for these courses is that you first amount p ­ rofessional e­ xperience, and only then apply to a governing body where a rigorous assessment of competence is undertaken. Having professional assessment outside University qualification allows for more flexibility and the opportunity to specialise.

How can an education that has remained largely unchanged since the 1960s remain responsive to the professional requirements? The role of the Architect is not mono–vocational as is implied by the l­inear route to accreditation. There are many different roles for the Architect, and the education should respond to the specific aims and pursuits of the ­individual. The current framework of Architectural education is based on the preconception that all Architects will follow a traditional path, a path that is becoming less and less commonplace. It has been acknowledged that designing buildings is a narrow understanding of the potential work Architects can do. Our research suggests that education needs to think about the bigger picture, one which extends beyond the construction industry — an industry which is so heavily linked to unpredictable economic fluctuation.

We have outlined a number of solutions and theories which, in

­order to be proven effective, must undergo further studies, and eventually be offered as an option within the educational platform. The success of these alternative models of education can only be determined when the impact they have on the future of the profession is assessed. top left. the Big Debate video entrance frame by AD+S and Friday Lecture Series bottom left. Architectural ­e ducation: a student’s perception by A. Wright

Our research also suggests that there is a requirement for an i­ ncrease

in professional and practical experience in University. We propose that live build and real practice projects could potentially bridge the gap that ­exists b ­ etween education and the profession, allowing students to develop ­professional, collaborative and business skills through exposure to this method of design education. The University of Strathclyde is a local example that has set up a fifth year elective called Project Office. This initiative addresses the issues of reality mentioned throughout our research, and has been successful in helping establish graduate–run firms such as Pidgin Perfect or GRAStudio.



David Porter was the Head of the Mac 2000–2011. Now, his LinkedIn states he is ‘working with the Dean of Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing to develop the approach of China’s newest School of Architecture in its oldest School of Art.’ Intrigued, MM39 asked him about his recent activities.


I had not been to Sri Lanka for 3 years and made a quick and confused call from my taxi to my friends awaiting me in Colombo: “Madhura — I think we have arrived in the wrong country!” … for the old airport road which had previously condensed chaos and ­confusion has been replaced by a brand–new h ­ ighway. “Welcome to the new Sri Lanka” came the reply. A ­t ransformation is in progress, partly funded by the ­Chinese g­ overnment, for the new Asia no longer looks West to find models of development.

What does this new Asia look like? New ­h igh–

rise buildings of course, but more significant is the regeneration of the centre of Colombo where the old colonial buildings and parks have been spruced up with a coat of white paint, new paving and street lights. So the new is not so new, but a new imagining of what exists to suit new times and a new political and economic agenda. The new is an adjustment to the old. A lick of paint and some new lights is all it took to reclaim buildings from a colonial past and present them as a new Asian future. What we call new is really a reorganisation of what already exists.

I spend twelve weeks of the year at the Central Academy

of Fine Art in Beijing. The pace and scale of change has to be seen to be believed, and yet I encounter a great deal of talk about ­Chinese traditions. It is not easy to make sense of what is happening

The development of any new medium runs in advance of a suitable ­c ritique

as a visitor or, I feel, as a student. I watch them browsing the web absorbing pictures of an Architecture that expresses ideas developed in and for the West. There is irony here for so much of 20th century Western Architecture has been driven by the logic of the avant–garde, the belief W hat we call new is

that the new will inevitably wipe away the old. A dream

really a reorganisation

that was never fulfilled artistically in the West came close

of what already exists

to ­f ulfillment in the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China. At the beginning of the last century it was thought that

cinema would replace theatre, then TV would ­replace cinema, then digital media would replace TV. This is the logic of the ­avant­–­garde — the new will replace the old. But looking back, all these art forms remain healthy, having mutated, produced hybrids and unexpected ­revivals.


The avant–garde model for making history through ­manifesto–led ­revolution seems now to be a part of h ­ istory, capable of nostalgic revival as ­n eo–­avant–gardism. It is certainly not a useful model for explaining why, in the capital of the People’s Democratic Republic, founded on socialism with a Chinese face, the most prominent Architect is Zaha Hadid who is embraced here as part of a helter–skelter ride into consumerism. left. David Porter at the Mackintosh Centenary celebrations. Photo by Vivian Carvalho bottom. Central Colombo. Photo by David Porter right. Soho Galaxy by Zaha Hadid Architects in Beijing. Photo by David Porter

I saw a second year student early in a project for a small library. He

had a cardboard model with a novel shape, but had no ideas about how a library would fit the shape or the shape fit the site, so I suggested he might look at these ­issues and pull this together in plan and section. I returned from London a few weeks later to see, not plans and sections, but a crude SketchUp digital model that showed almost all the characteristics of the one in card — no new questions had been asked and little had been discovered. I asked him about the plans and the reply was: “we think plans and sections are old–fashioned”.

The sequence of theatre followed by cinema followed by TV, shows

that the development of any new medium runs in advance of a suitable ­c ritique. Theatre had a well–developed mode of critique before cinema ­arrived. With the first movies the audience simply gawped and said “Oh my!” There was a time lag between the a­ rrival of the new form and the ­d evelopment of critique. My ­student has been proud of his SketchUp model but all he

20th century Western Architecture has been driven by the logic of the avant–garde · The belief that the new will inevitably wipe away the old

could do with it was gawp and say “Oh my!” His problem was two–fold: that he denied himself a really valuable way of p ­ rogressing his ­d esign, and also denied himself access to the educated c­ ritique of ­A rchitecture established over time through the analysis of plan and section.

I was reminded of this during the celebrations surrounding the

award of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal to Joseph Rykwert, who had, a long time ago, been my teacher. Starting with The Idea of the Town in 1976, which he subtitled an Anthropology of Urban Form, he has combined deep historical scholarship with an anthropologist’s understanding of the dynamics of the creative cultures from which the practice of Architecture grows. The focus of his work has been the importance of making the public realm — the politics of Architecture.

I was struck in my time in Glasgow that it is the one city in the

UK that really understands what the public means and lives it out. It is not just about the public spaces in the city, but the significance of the public ­institutions that front them, the sense that the people who inhabit these spaces have a sense of sharing them. I met with the artist Ai We Wei to talk about public space in Beijing and his conclusion was simple and blunt: “In China, there is no public space”. In other words, it is not just the streets that matter, it is the ability of people to imagine them as theirs. What we call new is really the rethinking of what exists.



Tom Inns became Director of the GSofA in September 2013 following Dame Seona Reid’s 13 year legacy. MM39 asked him about his vision for the future of GSofA and his take on tradition & innovation.


A studio in Fine Ar t is

As I have come through my 15 month journey into the school, my perceptions

totally dif ferent f rom

of the place have changed and evolved significantly — but then again, the

a Desig n studio; the

place is evolving in real time anyway. It is clear that GSA is a small place but

way an Ar tist thinks

it’s quite complex in the way it works: the layered spaces of each discipline,

is ver y dif ferent f rom

the different layers of history, the layers of interpersonal relationships — and

a ­D esig ner, or an

all of this folded in together.

­A rchitect — but there are cer tain a ­ ttr ibutes


that are shared: peer–


to–peer ­l ear ning;


­e xper imentation;


the process of doing,


then ­r ipping it up and ­s tar ting again , and

I actually have a first–hand experience of such a process from my time at


­D uncan of Jordanstone Art and Design College in Dundee, which had been

lear ning of course

folded into Dundee University four years previous to my arrival. DJADC was one of the original four Scottish Art Colleges, along with GSA, the Edinburgh College of Art and Gray’s in Aberdeen. The GSA is now the only i­ ndependent institution of the four.

Yes, being part of a bigger institution would bring a small school

like GSA certain advantages: it would secure us a clearer set of processes and systems, bring more administrative organisation, more financial stability. But having experienced all this, I was in fact attracted to the idea of working in a specialist institution, as I find it has a set of very strong advantages.

One of them is to do with identity: the Art Schools that merged with bigger Universities have, largely speaking, lost their identity. Identity is a power ­issue, and it’s much more difficult to maintain in a large organisation. As a small School community, we are much more directly in control of our own identity, decisions are made quicker, we can be much more agile as a ­consequence — flexible and slightly anarchic if you like. This advantage might seem r­ eally intangible, but it remains significant for me. In the competitive field of ­contemporary Academic Institutions, being small and skilful at what you do means you can become really distinctive and focused — one of the core attributes of GSA.



Another thing that is key, the thing that unites all of the activity in GSA, is the studio–based culture. A studio in Fine Art is totally different from a Design ­s tudio; the way an Artist thinks is very different from a Designer, or an ­A rchitect — but there are certain attributes that are shared: peer–to– peer l­ earning; learning through experimentation; the process of doing, then ­ripping it up and starting again; post–rationalised learning of course. All those ­p aradigms are completely different to the majority of disciplines in a broad University institution. At GSA, there is a community of people who

The context is probably

are very different, focused externally in so many directions, yet share

moving quicker now than it

a lot of similarities in the way they work within the studio culture.

has ever done before & that’s where the digital is really

This is a very distinctive and powerful thing about this School.

significant · It’s nothing to do

And finally, I find that it’s much more efficient to

with whether you can draw by

­collaborate with a completely different Institution than within one

pencil or CAD, it is to do with

­community where social connections and complex levels of personal

the evolving digital context of life, data and social media

­relationships often get in the way of real innovation.

DO YOU THINK THIS KIND OF INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION IS A NEW TREND, OR IS IT A REDISCOVERY OF THE SOMEWHAT FORGOTTEN COLLABORATIVE PROCESS BETWEEN THE DESIGNERS AND CRAFTSMEN OF MACKINTOSH’S ERA? We are living in a world of complexity, and that is why it is really i­ mportant to have a reconnection across all the dispersed disciplines. In the R ­ enaissance, there were polymath people like Michelangelo who could hold a lot of ­specialities in their grip, but today the world is so complex, we have so much knowledge that we have to specialise; the only way to recreate this kind of truly transformative polymath thinking is through collaboration in a team.

The world is crying out for new solutions to the constantly changing

challenges faced by society; those can be best solved in an i­ nterdisciplinary team; the way that people from Art, Design and Architecture can synthesise ideas, prototype them, test and visualise new solutions is a very particular way of thinking that is pivotal to such interdisciplinarity. The Art, Design and Architectural mindset is quite unique, almost T–shaped — at the centre there




Tom Inns · Small and Specialist is Good

W hat lies at the core of Art, Desig n and Architecture probably doesn’t change that much over time is the expertise in the discipline, but there is also a breadth, the ability to put yourself into a wider context that most specialists — doctors, e ­ ngineers, ­lawyers — do not really possess. ­Architects, for example, have a unique grasp of h ­ istory and the c­ omplex ­social / e ­ conomic space. A broad u ­ nderstanding of ­d ifferent ­d isciplines and how they can be brought t­ ogether, the ability to work in micro and macro simultaneously — an i­ncredibly v­ aluable and sought after skillset that is combined with the e­ xpertise of how to make buildings.

The traditional fields of building

­design, jewellery, product or ­textile design are still as relevant today as they were in ­Mackintosh’s time — we will still have a need for clothes and buildings in the f­ oreseeable future — but there are also many new fields, especially in the rapidly developing ­online world of yet–to–be–designed services, where GSA students can equally apply their unique

skillset of creative thinking, and the a­ bility to bring t­ogether the ideas of an e ­ ntire ­interdisciplinary team. 02.


What lies at the core of Art, Design and Architecture probably doesn’t change that much over time. Architects still have to learn to draw, visualise, and go through the design process of conversion–diversion thinking, going from a fuzzy idea to a substantiated product. That hasn’t changed very much. The thing that changes hugely over time is the context in which all of these skills exist and can be used.

The context is probably moving quicker now than it has ever done

before, and that’s where the digital is really significant. It’s nothing to do with whether you draw by pencil or CAD, it is to do with the evolving digital ­context of life, data and social media, and the things that you can do in a digital world which are quite different to what’s possible in the analogue world. My interest in the digital is in the opportunities it provides, I believe that if it were used more cleverly, the complexities faced by human society could be solved. 70


In 2014 there is a huge need to desig n, conceive, arrange and speculate on


stuff which is not stuff

One of the significant strengths of the Glasgow School of Art is the fact that it still practices certain methods of production that other i­ nstitutions stopped teaching years and years ago. That is partially because it has remained small and independent and so has never been forced through any cycles of change. But fundamentally, it does mean that there is still a strong connection between the analogue and traditional and this concept of making.

There are Heidelberg presses and 100 year old looms for weaving;

a strong root in sketching and life drawing. These things are still very much valued and are incredibly important, I would never want to see them go.

By learning through analogue you learn how a complex digital ­system

might work: for example, if you create a page layout traditionally, and then come to do it on a computer, your mind will be wired slightly differently, you will have a deeper understanding. At the beginning, mastering both analogue and digital is really important, but as you go beyond that stage, it is just down to judgement and personal preference.

You can do almost anything online today, but we have not harnessed its real potential yet · that’s because there are not enough designers who are working there, there’s not enough creativity on the internet, it’s still mostly done

01–02. Director Inns at the Drawing on Holl Exhibition Opening. Photos by Vivian Carvalho

by software geeks

03. Director at the opening of the Reid Building 04. Reid Building opening speech. Photo by mcateer photograph/ GSofA




the reid buildinG 2009 — 2014


the mackintosh buildinG 1897 — 1909


A Century Apart ¡ A Moment to Reflect

This is a tribute to the spaces that have been temporarily lost. A record of our home as we remember it. A moment to reflect.








01—03. Mackintosh library photos by Callum Ritchie 04. Mackintosh library photo by Robert Proctor 05. ‘Loggia’ corridor and bay windows leaading to east of building and professors’ studios photo by mcateer photograph / GSofA 06. ‘The Hen Run’, glazed passageway ­r unning above the roof of the Mackintosh Gallery photo by mcateer photograph / GSofA


07. 360° interactive panoramic of Mackintosh library photo by The Guardian




A Century Apart · Specific Richness

specific richness · mackintosh & holl ALAN HOOPER “Whit de ye think o’ it?” I had made the fatal mistake of ­pausing at the top of Scott Street to glance ­eastwards along Renfrew Street — Mackintosh v Holl. “I dunno, it’s only been open a hundred and five years, so too early to call.” I replied. 01.

Our resident traffic attendant, aka ­lollipop man, was unimpressed. Still, my response deftly allowed me to keep my own council, to resist the ­temptation to comment, to reserve judgment. The rush to judge recently completed buildings, with which the Architectural community is wholly complicit, d ­ enies the profound social role of Architecture. It has been my long held view that buildings should not be considered for an award for a period of ­twenty–five years, or at least a generation. To do otherwise is to deny the primary ­criteria for the assessment of a good building, namely the test of time, both in terms of building inhabitation and use, and in terms of wear and tear. Amid the clamour of judgment heard around and beyond Renfrew Street, David C ­ hipperfield’s observation in his essay On Form is apposite: ‘Architecture is an u ­ nforgiving r­ eality. It is experienced and judged in isolation, without any guide or ­justification to explain or justify the actions of the Architect. It is what it is.’

Zumthor in his publication Thinking Architecture echoes

­C hipperfield’s view on the redundancy of Architectural rhetoric, stating that the essence of a good building lies in the creation of a beautiful s­ ilence where the building is ‘being itself, being a building, not representing anything, just ­b eing’. However, whilst Chipperfield establishes the blunt ­existential ­e ncounter between building and user, Zumthor introduces time as the ­p rimary test of a good building, recognising the temporal dimension in that, what a building is, evolves over time and that good buildings ‘must be capable of absorbing the traces of human life and thus taking on a specific richness’. Zumthor’s writing, like his buildings, have a deceptive directness which ­underlies a profound complexity, so whilst the recognition of the need for a building to respond to use and to register inhabitation over time is ­a xiomatic, just how the Architect can manifest the necessary qualities for such i­ nhabitation, through the process of bringing a building into the world, is perhaps the most profoundly complex question for an Architect.



Attempting to answer such a meta–question is beyond the scope of this article, however an alternative tact is to seek evidence of specific richness in support of Zumthor’s hypothesis. Clearly, at this stage Holl can be legitimately unhitched from Mackintosh, as the work of the latter has the privilege of a century of inhabitation, whilst the work of the former, at the time of writing, has yet to be officially opened.

Our pursuit of Zumthor’s specific richness is guided by the important

distinction Zumthor makes between a building’s material qualities, that absorb traces of human life in terms of wear and tear, and the higher order psychological impact of a building, that ‘If (a building’s) body is sensitive enough, it can assume a quality that bears witness to the reality of past life.’ Accordingly, our primarily investigation focuses on the evidence of inhabitation, of past lives, not through studying the patina of use on the material of the building, although that is certainly a legitimate exercise, rather the intention is to explore the previous inhabitation of the building through 01. Alan Hooper in the West corridor of the Mackintosh building Photo by Vivian Carvalho

photographic evidence. So whilst Pallasma’s promotion of the haptic visceral experience of buildings confirms that Zumthor’s special richness can only be fully experienced in person, the medium of photography can be exploited not only to identify past events set within the building, but to offer the viewer a visual portal through which to enter the world of the subjects depicted in the image, and in doing so obtain an insight to the space contained in the image. Zumthor’s specific richness, relying on human inhabitation, is clearly predicated on the Architect’s ability to imbue a space with the characteristics that invite inhabitation through appropriation of the space by the user. In the case of the Mackintosh building, Roger Wilson, former head of painting at GSA, states that in his experience of working in the building on a daily basis, the users’ appropriation of the building is directed by the qualities of the spaces; in his words the building tells you how to be within the building. Wilson’s how to be might be more easily identified within the dedicated, activity–related spaces within the building, such as studios, offices, and library, where the range of activities are largely prescribed, and as such are more readily anticipated, with the appropriate provision made by the Architect. However it is within the interstitial non–specific circulation spaces – steps, foyer, corridors and staircases – that evidence of the influence of the spaces on the inhabitants’ behavior, and Zumthor’s specific richness might be more informative. For the purposes of this article, our exploration will focus on just two images and their associated spaces: an image of the entrance steps taken in the 1990’s, and an image of the primary circulation route through the central gallery (museum) space, taken during the 1890’s, when the museum was being used as an overspill studio space in the first phase occupation of the building. The images taken, approximately a century apart, offer an insight to the varied inhabitation of the building over a sustained period.



A Century Apart · Specific Richness

Beginning our exploration of the building on the front ­e ntrance steps (01.) it is clear that the ogee plan arrangement of the steps (02.) encourages loitering, without disrupting the flow of entry and departure. The interplay between the geometry of the steps, and the centrally hung in–out doors, combine to create


a bifurcated movement that creates eddies in the ­general movement of people ascending and descending the steps. These eddies occur at the extremes of the ogee curve (refer isolation of man on mobile), and in the center of the lower steps adjacent to the pavement (refer interaction of figures in conversation just off pavement). The image is a concrete demonstration of Van Eyck's notion of the In–between, in this case the steps, belonging to both the realm of the pavement and the realm of the entrance foyer, achieve the status of a place.

Thereby the steps provide both the time and a

place for the full ritual of arrival and departure, enriching the experience of entering and leaving the building through an extended threshold. The tableaux presented can be interpreted as depicting simultaneously a moment of isolation, 02.

the ­­d isconnected mobile caller and a fleeting moment of communion between the trio in conversation at the foot of the steps, with their satellite figure in black orbiting a couple of steps above. Wilson would surely recognise such a scene in his daily movement in and out of the building, the arrangement and material presence of the steps subliminally guiding the users in their temporary appropriation of the space. Zumthor might, in the first instance, be drawn to the subtle contouring of the steps, tracing the movement patterns dictated by the very particular geometry of the steps, and in–out operation of the front doors. However his engagement would surely shift to recognise the image as evidence of a single event, and in the sedimentary nature of its temporal passing, acknowledge the act of a place bearing witness to a past life.

The second image (03.) is particularly

noteworthy in terms of spatial a­ ppropriation, as it depicts the museum (gallery) being colonised as a d ­ rawing studio in the first phase of the building when studio provision was limited. One might argue that the space depicted is a dedicated space, whether ­gallery or studio, rather than circulation.




However the plan arrangement (04.) highlights Mackintosh’s masterful integration of the dynamics of the primary circulation, in the form of the central staircase hung within a cage of wood, and the east–west circulation spine, within the static baronial hall–like gallery space. Our primary interest, rather than the foreground of the image, is the cluster of three figures in the background overlooking the central stair. Their casual body language appears strikingly relaxed to my contemporary gaze, offering what I perceive to be a candid insight to their daily lives within the building. Distance from the foreground seems to liberate the individuals to simply be, rather than conform to the ­photographer’s requirements. Indeed the blurring of the figure furthest from the photographer suggests the trio are consumed by a shared existential ­moment, which through the medium of photography the viewer can vicariously enter. Further examination of the plan arrangement (fig.4) indicates a subtle provision for just such an event in the arrangement of the balustrade to the main stair. A recess of approximately three hundred m ­ illimetres in the balustrade, combined with a generous, softly moulded handrail, at just the right height to rest an elbow invites a moment of pause, whilst overlooking the spatial drama of the central staircase and the soft top–light falling from the gallery roof lights, to partially illuminate the gloom of the basement below. At once, Wilson’s notion of the building informing the inhabitants how to be is strongly evoked and Zumthor’s specific richness suggested. 04.

In the final analysis it is hoped that

when the current incumbents, both staff and students, have departed Holl’s building and the next generation have taken up residency, just such an image might capture the temporal and meaningful inhabitation of the Reid Building, perhaps a momentary event both invited and accommodated by one of Holl’s driven voids of light. Until such a moment, whether or not Holl’s building will attain the status of Zumthors’ specific richness must remain in doubt, extending the condition of uncertainty declared central to Holl’s design method. In the end time will tell, as only sustained occupation can deliver the evidence upon which such a judgment can be made.




It was both incredibly intimidating and inspiring to work on a project opposite the Mackintosh building

THE MACKINTOSH BUILDING RUNS WITH THE LANGUAGE OF VICTORIAN GLASGOW, AND IN A WAY IS A DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARCHITECTURE OF ITS TIME · DO YOU SEE THE REID BUILDING AS A ONE–OFF CONDITION, OR A STATEMENT ABOUT HOW GLASGOW IS EVOLVING? It’s a building that could not exist anywhere else. It is inspired by, and sits directly opposite Mackintosh. I think it does say something about Glasgow in terms of it being a city of art and creativity — a city that has always had a connection to making, with a creative element added to it. The Mackintosh building was built because, at the time, Glasgow was building the Empire’s ships and railways, and they needed to train artisans for that kind of industry left. Henry McKeown of JM Architects (Glasgow) and Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects (New York) in the West driven void right. Chris McVoy in the Reid building corner overlooking Scott street

— Mackintosh’s Art School is, in a way, of its time. The building has elements borrowed from that industry: the ironwork, the level of handcraft, the new system of mechanical ventilation — it is an essay on the technology of its day that has been turned into an Art.

Our building comes a 100 years later, when Glasgow is a centre of

art and creativity, of music — with a lot of possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations; so our building is dedicated to that future — and could only exist on this site. Each of our projects is driven by its place and its c­ onnections to the city.

However, I do think that there is a universal aspect to Architecture

found in this building, just like in the Mackintosh, that carries across time — it has to do with the proportion of spaces, the studios, the ways of bringing light in — all this is important not only because we are building across from the Mac, but because those are fundamentals of Architecture that will continue far into the future. We hope that our building carries this universal message of Architecture, while being deeply rooted in its site, and our time.



A Century Apart · Chris McVoy

DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROCESS OF MAKING BUILDINGS IN OUR TIME IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF MACKINTOSH’S? The making of buildings has changed over the last 100 years. At that time, there was a level of craft, incredible detail in the carving of the stone. Today, we have a different situation — we don’t have that kind of handcraft, making similar stone — or ironwork would be incredibly expensive, but what we do have are new techniques, new technologies that allow us to push materials.

For example, the glass on our building could never have been made

in Mackintosh’s day, because it’s made out of a special laminate, very thick, acid–etched on the outside to give it a sheen, a kind of softness of light. The materiality of the glass is expressed, we’ve left the natural green colour that comes from iron in the glass, and this green works in complementary contrast with the orange stone of the Mac. The laminate is thick enough to absorb the bolts, this allows us to embed the glass fixings and not have them sticking out as they normally would, resulting in a silent expression of the material that registers the sky; a backdrop for the intricate detailing of the Mackintosh. Here we are pushing what’s possible in our time — the technology of ­embedding the bolt in the laminate has never been done before. Instead of bemoaning

The driven voids, because of the steel shuttering, self–compacting concrete, computer ­modelling, the block–outs that are CNC–milled,

the loss of the craft, we

would not have been possible before — now we can create this in-

push what is available in

credibly crisp ­concrete. These methods were worked out with the

our own time, our own

contractors from Sir ­Robert McAlpine, who made many mock–ups


to get the geometry right — resulting in excellent execution. We have these new technologies, ways of assembly that are pushing the material — so instead of bemoaning the loss of the craft, we push what is available in our own time, our own techniques, in a way that Mackintosh did with what was available in his time.

THE MAC IS UNIQUE IN THE WAY IT HAS BEEN ADAPTED FOR OVER A CENTURY, TAKING KNOCKS, NEW UNEXPECTED ART PRACTICES · DO YOU THINK THE REID BUILDING HAS SIMILAR POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE? It’s very important in an Art School to make space that can handle all kinds of activities, take knocks and be tough — that is one of the reasons we made the whole structure out of concrete, and exposed it to shape the studios. The building has a kind of exposed rawness: its walls can take paint, rough use, and it all adds a certain patina to the studios; you can see exhaust ducts, the fume hoods in Silversmithing, and the building can accept those and any other future services without them looking out of place.



All the studios are digitally fully outfitted; this building comes at a time when wiring is still the way to do things, so there’s a tremendous amount of it; it will be great not to have to coordinate all those things as much in

the near future when less and less wiring will be required in buildings.

But above all, our aim was of course to create a space with great

proportions and light, and make it out of exposed structure so it’s tough — after that, it’s up to the School to make any possible changes for the future, or re–arrange the studios to make the building work for new design practices. Similar to the Mackintosh, our building is made of generously sized studios, great c­ irculation and social spaces — we hope it will do as well in a hundred years as the Mac is doing now. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH A CLIENT WHO HAS A BACKGROUND IN ART AND DESIGN, WITH A SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE ACROSS THE ROAD? It has been very exciting. Making great Architecture requires a great client, it’s a 50–50 contribution, and the GSA have been a rare client in that they understand the subjective aspects of Architecture.

From the very beginning, the competition and the selection p ­ rocess

have been carefully set up, with some clever moves that allowed for a very well–run competition: for example, the selection panel went through an ­intensive process of visiting the buildings by the shortlisted A ­ rchitecture teams, b ­ ecause it is the best way to judge what an Architect will do for you. The panel itself was made of an equal number of Architects and ­non–­A rchitects, women and men, GSA staff and non–staff — who all made a unanimous choice. The competition boards, instead of a complete design, had to show a kind of sketch concept design — not too detailed, not too far along — more about ideas, so that those could then be developed with the School actively involved in all the decisions. This took place in September 2009, and it’s very exciting that the new building is already in use, only a little over 4 years later — it’s been very fast.

Seona Reid, after whom the building has now been named,

There are certain things

master–minded and advocated tirelessly for the project; she has been

that you cannot explain

amazing. She really understood the subjective aspects of the design, that there are certain things that you cannot explain rationally, but

rationally, but that are extremely important

that are extremely important. It has to do with the quality of the light, the texture, the height of the studio — you know, ‘why does this studio have to be so high?’ — it has to be so for a feeling of expansiveness. When you have a great client, they understand this and they work with you hand–in–hand, resulting in functional and inspirational Architecture — a piece of Art that’s worthy of the GSA.



A Century Apart · Exhibition of Design Process

drawinG on holl EXHIBITION · 8 FEBRUARY — 23 MARCH 2014

The exhibition by Steven Holl Architects, held in the Mackintosh gallery space and curated by Mark Baines of the Mac, shows the rigourous ­design ­process behind the new Reid building — a timeline of watercolours & CAD d ­ rawings, ­physical & digital models, analysis of the Mac and the ­resulting decisions.

“T he entire ef for t here is an homage to Mackintosh”

— Steven Holl








01. Andy MacMillan at ­e xhibition opening 02. Model in context 03. Development models 04. Exhibition opening 05. Discussing site model 06. Overview of exhibition 07. Driven void in construction 08. Study model of stair and driven void junction All photos except 02. by Vivian Carvalho






A Century Apart · Muddy Boots

handcraftinG a diGital desiGn THE MEN WHO BUILT THE REID BUILDING

I’ve never seen so much equipment in my life, in one wee job. It was like the big jobs.

Digitally designed, the Reid building has been built rather traditionally by hand. The following photographs by Stage 3 leader Kathy Li document the process of construction, and ­a cknowledge the sheer effort of the people who ­grafted in the sun, rain, snow and mud to make this building happen. The ­builders’ quotes are taken from a short film made by a Stage 4 student Lewis Armstrong, who


helped Kathy create the ‘Muddy Boots: Ephemeral Moments in ­Construction’ exhibition.

My kids seen it today. I told them they’re going into daddy’s work and they go “oh , dad , did you build this?!?” and I go “aye, a couple lads gave me a hand .”

left. Reid building in construction 01. Matte–glass panels 02. Builders




A Century Apart ¡ Muddy Boots

Aye, the people were good but even the desig n was ver y interesting. T he dr iven voids were g reat to watch . But the people were good . A lot of nationalities: Polish , Ir ish , Indians.

If possible, when designing things, keep it simple!






’Cause it’s the School of Ar t, it’s dif ferent. T he building is a piece of ar t, eh . Same as that one across the road . Most buildings are. I’m prett y pleased I’m par t of it; to me it’s an achievement in my life.


T hat’s what I’d say to young Architects — you’ve got to think about the practicalities when you’re desig ning. I’ve talked to a couple of students and they say it looks g reat when you’re draw ing it. But I say to them “take a tr ip dow n the park (site), cause the more times you go dow n a park, the more you w ill see the realit y of building.”

05. 01. Driven voids in construction 02. Laying of the foundations and retaining piles 03. Laser level 04. Fixing the glass rainscreen 05. Connection at the Vic, where the old meets the new

A Century Apart · Muddy Boots



It is ver y easy for an Architect to sit and come up w ith ideas at a desk, but when you’re on site, sometimes I think it’s impossible ...but we get over it.




I’ll be honest with you, when the Director put the drawings in front of me, he said “it’s a ­challenge”. And it was a challenge. We laughed at first, but we got through it. It was the most complex job I’ve done. It was a challenge, it was. But I am proud of myself for what we’ve done, and I was proud of everyone around me.

Overall, I think the alignment of

the trades could be organised better. As a ­construction manager, we have little say in how a building is designed. We get it given from the Architect, and just told to build it. Instead, we


should work closer. It wasn’t until we met the Architects over in Coatbridge that we found out exactly what they wanted. I think they had some quite high expectations from us, some were virtually impossible. They tried to use tie– rods that were based on an American design, but it just didn’t work with our formwork. So we had to meet in the middle with some things. It should be a joint venture. We both do our own schooling, but they never meet — there could be a real benefit if they did.


— Steve Auton · Concrete Works

01. In–situ concrete 02. ‘Danger below keep off ’ 03. Tools of the trade 04. Steelwork for driven void 05. Men at work 06. Builders on Garnethill




MM39 felt it was interesting to feature elements of the recent MSA Publication, produced by three Stage­ 4 students from the Mac, which ­ explores the Reid Building using drawings, photographs & invited essays.






“W hat began as a study of constr uction and detail has become


v iewed through the lens of the f rag ments”

— Chr istopher Platt






an exploration of the broader aspects of Architectural desig n ,






01. GF plan and cross section of ­r eunited GSA Campus


02. View of Campus from the City Center 03. West facades of Reid and Mackintosh Buildings 04. View up a driven void 05. Driven void sections and roll out 06. View from canteen 07. Curtain wall: terrace junction detail


08. Procession details All photos by John Barr

“(Steven Holl Architects) juxtaposed Mackintosh’s School of Art with the building that was to be constructed on the site opposite and located Renfrew Street at the centre of the newly expanded school · The Architects described this space, now framed between old and new, as a ‘caesura’ – a break or pause in a line of verse; a pause showing rhythmic division of a melody” — Brian Carter




A Century Apart · JM Architects


Our collaboration with Steven Holl A ­ rchitects in New York began with ­Steven’s Senior ­Partner Chris McVoy a­ sking us to participate in the ­competition for the new Design School at the GSA in 2009. From the very beginning, our

­studios established a level of mutual ­respect to the extent that our role was, and has ­remained throughout, much more than one of a local partner — the process has been a genuine collaboration. This distinction was really important, because it meant that our studio was involved in the design process from the outset of the competition stage, through to the formal handover of the project.

In reflecting on our experience over the past three years, I feel

above all inclined to focus on the notion of idea: how embryonic ideas were taken and grown in a rational sequence of stages, and how intensely these ideas, in turn, were linked to each other. As a result, each idea has been ­systematically interrogated, and developed from Steven’s earliest watercolour sketches to the technical resolution, and further realisation in construction. This ­r igorous ­adherence to ideas, and the depth of meaning embodied in what, on face value, seemed like fundamental Architectural notions, has been truly ­impressive. This process of finding deeper connections, and the intensity of drilling down to develop the key principles, has resulted in ideas acquiring several layers of meaning, and advancing the project in a very clear and p ­ recise way. This focus, and the ability to conceptualise on such a fundamental level is a critical Architectural skill that, in my view, is not commonplace in current practice.

The realisation of those driving ideas required creative and technical

skill: the intellect to elaborate and develop thoughtful and engaging polemics, and a deep understanding of how to make everything work in harmony so that the purity of those principles was kept when translated into built form. Further, it required a reservoir of creative energy and stamina across the team to carry out, and sustain the quality embedded in the meaning of the ideas — through every stage of the project.



Key to this process was our studio’s critical position and thorough i­nterrogation of these principles, processed through our understanding of the context of Glasgow, which resulted in a lively and thought–provoking debate that strengthened the ideas and made them even more authentic and relevant. This buy–in from both studios was vital as it helped sustain the enthusiasm, the level of critical thinking and energy that hepled us make this ambitious project a reality without losing track of what’s truly important.

A lot of this success has to be attributed to Chris

McVoy, Steven’s Senior Partner and co–designer of the GSA building, a man with extraordinary vision and the ability to left. Henry McKeown of JM Architects and Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects in the driven void right. The Steven Holl Architects and JM Architects teams at the topping out ceremony of the Reid building. Photo by mcateer ­p hotograph / GSofA

creatively solve all the technical challenges we encountered in

It’s a special ­m oment when even the ­c ontractors on site reference aspects of the design using the Architects’ conceptual terms

our undertaking. His knowledge base in Architecture has been truly impressive in its range, from the deepest poetic explanation of the idea of light as a building material, through to explaining the working processes of a heat detector to a services engineer and contractor, and everything in between.

It would be impossible to realise a lot of the aspects of the ­design if

the Architecture team had not re–established a Master Builder–like ­approach and demonstrated a level of knowledge that could challenge the design ­consultants, the contractor’s subcontractors, the planning authorities and ­o thers involved to re–think how this ambitious design could be realised ­without compromising its fundamental principles. As a result of this ­strategy, our f­ellow consultants and team members raised their own game as if to maintain their status and individuality within the team, resulting in a true ­collaboration where all parties worked, quite refreshingly, as one. It's a special moment when even the contractors on site reference aspects of the design using the Architect’s conceptual terms such as Steven’s driven voids, which is an example of how great Architecture should, in the words of Louis Kahn, “begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasurable”.

O ur role was, and has remained throughout, much more than one of a local par tner — the process has been a genuine collaboration



MM39 met with Alex Misick, the outgoing Events Convenor of the GSofA Students’ Association, to discuss the past & future of the renowned venue that re–opened in 2014 as part of the campus redevelopment


Here’s a quick overview of the history of the Assembly building: it was ­designed in 1928–30 by John Keppie & Henderson — the same studio that built the original GSA building with C.R. Mackintosh, and later also designed the Bourdon. The building replaced what used to be a row of tenements, and was used quite traditionally as an assembly hall. Then, somewhere around the 50s or 60s, it temporarily became a studio space for the Architecture ­department; they added the mezzanine. Soon, the rest of the tenements o ­ pposite the Mackintosh building were demolished, and the Foulis and ­Newberry ­buildings were erected instead. The Assembly ­building was supposed to be redeveloped next, but the School ran out of money, so it r­ emained — and was soon given over to the Students’ Association.

This is when the Vic comes in — it’s actually just the bar

downstairs that is called that way, but most people think it’s the name of the entire building. The Vic came into being in 1976 after a bunch of students stripped down a closing 1930s café on Victoria Road, and built the bar from its remnants — that’s where the Victoria Café sign comes from, for example.

The building started developing as a music hub: a young

Muriel Gray, who is now chair of the Board of Governors, booked Orange Juice to play here in the 1970s; the Clash had a gig here in mid¦ – 80s; the Vic was central to the birth of electronic music in Scotland; has inspired labels like Optimo and LuckyMe; and is associated closely with bands like Franz Ferdinand ­— this all continues right up to this day. 01.


It’s kind of a miracle that the Assembly building is still here, actually, b ­ ecause the School has tried to shut it down on like four or five separate occasions, the recent campus redevelopment is only the latest in this series. The original brief for the Reid building meant for the Vic to be replaced with a completely new Student Union within the new structure — the building was considered unfit for future.


The students were, of course, outraged by the idea of the Vic being demolished — not because it’s an incredible building, but because of its symbolism, the meaning of the place. So it’s kind of ironic that it took Steven Holl to come all the way from America to tell the School that 18591

the building is too significant to be demolished, that the brief should be changed to keep it. In fairness, it was probably not that simple to retain it, and made the design task more complicated, but it’s hugely significant to have done this, and the Union is now ­embedded within the School both metaphorically and physically.

During the construction, the Union moved to Sauchiehall

street, and quite a lot of people thought the old Vic had been demolished — it was covered by scaffolding for such a long time — they thought it was the end of the famous Art School. Then there were the worries about whether it would retain its integrity, whether it would be respected and keep its spirit — I think JM Architects did it quite well, the building still has its


key features: the stairs, exposed beams, the references to the stained wood, the areas where you can put your pint. This is where the School deserves a lot of credit — the design process allowed the Student Reps to be involved to make sure it all works. HOW HAS THIS REDEVELOPMENT INFLUENCED THE VENUE?

Now, the spaces work better than before: the Vic manages to ­straddle

between being a much more comfortable day environment as a bar and café, and can be transformed for a club night when the lights are turned low. The topography of the venue is spot on, and it actually benefits from the slight reduction in size, the spaces feel more intimate — before the upstairs was enormous and the downstairs was also huge, so sometimes the venue ­struggled from being too big — it has now lost its dead space. 01. The Vic before the redevelopment. Photo by GSofA 02. First Balkanarama at the new Art School. Photo by Balkanarama Klub 03. The Assembly building under construction. Photo by Paul Twynam of JM Architects

The thing that really changes the level of the venue is the

It’s really a club with an Art School attached

audio–visual investment we could previously only dream of. We’ve

— at least for a lot of

been only open a few months and have been able to attract acts like

people in Glasgow

Darkside, Jon Hopkins, Actress — all that without having to get any kit in, with everything produced in house.

One of the big strategies now is to rethink how the space

it is; the Vic is their route to the GSofA, and we try to make the most of this situation

upstairs can be used — due to its size, some people find it i­ ntimidating, especially if they come from the context of an intimate and slightly tight pub space — the good thing is we now have the equipment to transform the environment very quickly, and it’s really interesting to see what the future generations will make of this opportunity. If anything, it provides a space for sonic artists, for various workshops, for the students to experiment — this new Vic is equally a music venue, a Students’ Association, and a place to introduce people to new ideas.



A Century Apart · The Reid Building

openinG ceremony 9 MARCH 2014

After five years’ planning and construction, over 2,000 people joined GSA in celebration of a building which will be home to a new generation of D ­ esigners. With an underlying theme of past, present, future, the day began with a ­series of speeches by an alumnus, a current MA rch student and a prospective ­student from Garnetbank Primary School. The event was filled with b ­ agpipes and balloons as well as a specially created Rube Goldberg machine and the GSA Choir perfomance. A spectacular f­ irework display between the new Reid

Building and its 105 year old counterpart marked the end of the ceremony.


02. 03.




v i m e o.c o m /95 1 7 1 3 4 8

01. Balloons in driven void 02. Johnny Rodger and Sam de Santis post-speech selfie 03. People gather in Renfrew St, the ‘caesura’ of the now ­r econnected campus 04. Confetti marks completion of the Rube Goldberg machine 05. GSA Choir perform the world première of Making it New lyrics by Ms Liz Lochhead, with music by Mr Ken Johnston


06. People gather in Reid Building 07. Champagne smashing as part of the Rube Goldberg machine 08—09. Firework display between the old and new GSofA buildings


photos 02—07. by mcateer ­p hotograph / GSofA 07.

“T he t wo words ‘honoured’ and ‘awesome’ are over-used , however, on this occasion both expressions are absolutely per fect... you walk into this building and you are overcome by a sense of awe” — Robbie Coltrane 08. 09.


Lectures, books, films and an exhibition have already been dedicated to the exploration of the new Steven Holl Architects designed Reid building. Many more will happen. Instead of a short Q&A ­a ttempting the same, MM39 asked Steven Holl about old & new — and his approach at balancing the two.

analoGue meets diGital STEVEN HOLL STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS USE A COMBINATION OF TRADITIONAL & CUTTING–EDGE TOOLS TO DEVELOP A DESIGN · COULD YOU ­E XPLAIN THIS DESIGN PROCESS? All of our work begins with an analogue thought. I start with these 5” by 7” ­watercolours as a process of having an idea that drives the design, which then quite rapidly goes into the digital; this transition can happen ­almost instantly. A simple diagram of certain ­p roportions is translated into a computer ­drawing, which can then have the speed and transformability that you could never achieve in analogue. We use computer models to inform a series of physical study models, either 3D–printed or made by hand, and those in turn inspire new watercolours and revised digital ­d rawings. It’s a back and forth process where each medium is used for its strengths. I want to use every tool possible.

Our moment in time is exceptionally interesting because with the

­m inimum labour of a few small analogue drawings, I can plot the course of an entire work of Architecture. This is then carried out on several c­ omputers, in ­d igital form with its enormous rapidity, where we can study multiple ­a lternatives and, as a result, produce great Architecture. The digital is great, but it is just a tool. It’s just another form of speeding up our process and ­improving ­communication, and I think it’s very positive as far as I’m concerned.

But I don’t believe that the computer thinks. I believe it’s very

­important to retain the connection between the brain, the hand and the thought — for me, drawing is a form of thought. If you can only think digitally, your brain has a missing section — your ability to conceptualise is greatly reduced. The machines have already pre–programmed patterns of movement, and patterns of thought — and I think that they are a great aid for some tasks, but there is no reason to throw out the analogue.

I don’t think the digital should be seen as some kind of panacea.

Some people talk about how parametric Architecture will change the world — maybe, but I think it’s just another tool. It works for some practices, but it’s also a weight, a burden — you don’t do something really ugly just because you can! When the human does not control the output of parametric design, it usually results in some of the most suffocating spaces. This direction was ­really interesting ten years ago, maybe, but for me it’s over, it’s banal.



It’s already been done. We’ve seen some pretty ugly things as a result and I’m not that enthusiastic about this idea of parametric design as a way of ­revolutionising Architecture. But that’s in the air — this kind of organic ­calligraphic shape is one of the products of our time.

This sort of flipping back and forth between analogue & digital

is happening not just in Architecture, but in a lot of other fields — music ­industry for sure. In a curious way, this process has resulted in more concerts ­happening now, live concerts around the world with more musicians playing live than ever before. Why? Because once music went digital, the traditional record industry changed dramatically, and the musicians now make their ­living left. Steven Holl explaining his watercolours. Photo by Spirit of Space right. Steven Holl ­c elebrating his 65th birthday in Glasgow, with a bagpiper playing in the driven void. Photo by mcateer ­p hotograph / GSofA

on tour — so this change is good! You could say that the record industry was taking over more and more — and then suddenly, when everything went so digital — we get to see people’s faces again!

It’s the same in communication. Once you can text and email

­everybody, you are suddenly missing the human contact, their facial ­expressions and body language, because those are important elements of life. I think all those things are related, we’re in a transformed time for sure: embrace all the tools you need, but don’t forget yourself, and your soul, and your body — those are still connected to the analogue thought.

BEFORE, MASTER BUILDERS DIRECTED THE BUILDING PROCESS ON SITE · NOW, TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS ARCHITECTS TO WORK GLOBALLY · HAS THIS CHANGED THE PROCESS OF ­C REATING ARCHITECTURE? Yes, it’s a completely different process, and it works perfectly with the ­i ssue of global culture of today. It’s everywhere, whether you work in music, or painting, or sculpture — it’s not a nationalistic world, it’s a global world. And that’s a positive thing, because the Earth is something we all share. We should work on the Earth all together, ­e specially its environment — you know, you’re not going to stop air ­p ollution in one place if coal–burning plants are thick in ­a nother place; the air currents carry the pollution over to the other c­ ountry. We live in a global world, we are all faced by common c­ hallenges such as extreme climate conditions, and it makes sense to collaborate and work ­internationally; we should start thinking that way — this also probably means a transformation in the culture of Architecture.

At the same time, each place is very specific. My first manifesto was

‘Anchoring’ — that the building is particular to its site, its circumstances and its place — but also its climate, and its past culture; so when I have studied the context of a site I can confidently work in China as I am doing something particular for that place and site, and when I do something in Glasgow I do it just for this place and this particular condition, and the building could never exist anywhere else. Because each site is unique, our buildings are equally different, there is no style or consistency. mm39


A Century Apart · Steven Holl

It was quite different for Mackintosh: he didn’t have to do something in China, or New York, it was just in the UK. Most of his work is here in Glasgow: he perfected a language that fits in this context and is carried through in his few buildings, but even more so in interiors, furniture and the fixtures — that was an amazing moment in history.

Today, the world is different — it keeps

getting smaller — and so it should be, I would not want it any other way. It makes sense to make the most of our possibilities, and use the technologies that bring us closer. For example, we have two offices, one in New York and the other one in Beijing — because of the time difference and the ability to share files on one digital server, we can work on some projects 24 hours a day — one office works while the other sleeps. In the same way, when we were collaborating with the School alumnus Martin Boyce to create his ‘Thousand Future Skies’ entrance piece, we did not necessarily have to work on site, side by side — instead we had a series of meetings in Glasgow and New York, and worked from the same digital files, so the two pieces were integrated with total accuracy. DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY DOES SPEED EVERYTHING UP ENORMOUSLY, BUT THIS CAN ALSO BE OVERWHELMING · HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO BE INVOLVED IN, AND CO–ORDINATE ALL THOSE DECISIONS? Technology is constantly improving, and lets us communicate more things more freely. Sometimes, it’s hard to even imagine how we worked before. For example, I quit talking on the phone three years ago — this totally changes my life, I have much more time, because I don’t have to deal with any “please return this call” or “can I call you back?” — No, you cannot call me: talk to me face to face, or text and email me, that’s it.

I never liked the phone. I know so many people who spend most of

their time on the phone doing business, but it’s not really efficient. If some information has been transferred to you via telephone, then you’ve got to ­re–transfer it to the people who are working on the project. And I run the offices in New York and Beijing, so that would be a lot of time dedicated to just that. Instead, I can send an email, copy everyone who’s working on the project in it, and they can read it when they have the time, instead of constant meetings and schedule conflicts. And I can do it from anywhere in the world: for example, I had to travel for 48 days straight. And nobody even knew I was gone, because I was communicating with everybody, I sent them watercolours, concept drawings, and they sent me back PDF packages of their progress. 102


By the time I was back, our new design was already modelled and 3D–printed for a thorough review face–to–face, with the Beijing office engaged via Skype.

Recently, I also started using Siri on my iPhone. Now, instead of

typing all the countless messages on the small screen, I can press Siri and just talk — it sends two paragraphs to the Beijing and New York offices at once, and I can go back to designing. If you think about all this, it’s really amazing — I am totally for every digital improvement of life. FINALLY, A FUN QUESTION: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO ­C OLLABORATE WITH MACKINTOSH, LOUIS KAHN OR LE CORBUSIER (IMPORTANT ­R EFERENCES IN SHA’S WORK) WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? I don’t think any of these three would want to collaborate! That would be like a fight, a head battle. I don’t remember them collaborating with any other Architects.

In a way, our Glasgow project has been a dialogue with Mackintosh,

and he’s always been an important influence and source of inspiration, from the time I was a student. In fact, I graduated from the University of Washington with a good knowledge of his work, and had not even heard of Le Corbusier!

After I graduated, I was interviewed and offered a position with the

studio of Louis Kahn, but did not quite make it in time: unfortunately, he died left. Steven Holl before the inaugural lecture in the Reid building. Photo by Spirit of Space right. Steven Holl’s selfie with Stage 4 students Photo by Alex ­G arthwaite

in March 1974, just before I could move to Philadelphia. His works and ideas are very inspiring, and have always been an important point of reference.

But above all, I am still completely amazed by Le

­Corbusier, b ­ ecause of the poetics of his texts: their depth, their reach. I have a library with, probably, every book on Mackintosh; and I think I have every book on Louis Kahn, but my section on Le Corbusier is much larger and in his case, I don’t even have all his books! So that’s the direction I would go, because I just find the breadth and depth of his investigation, and the ability to do new things right up to the end extremely curious. After his famous white period of the pilotis and the Five Points of ­Architecture, he’s done so many ­fascinating ­experiments: look at Maisons Jaoul, or the Heidi Weber Museum, and R ­ onchamp, and his work in India — where did all this come from?! It’s a completely different language, and I find all this extremely ­fascinating.

Whenever people try to copy Le Corbusier — they don’t really get it!

You know, urbanism is dangerous without the Architecture, and so ­whenever you see a tower building that they blame on Le Corbusier — he didn’t do that! That’s not even Architecture! Context, and the understanding of one’s ­moment in time, and the connection to ideas — those are all ­incredibly important, and without them one cannot create real works of Art.



Stage 4

Explorations into urban landscapes


STUDIO TUTORS Ian Alexander Isabel Deakin Jo Crotch Ken Macrae Lee Ivet Neil Mochrie Stephen Hoey

Stage 4 is concerned with the study and exploration of 足Architecture and the City.

The year began with

an International Symposium with the theme Architecture, 足L iterature and a City. The event and an ensuing publication of the same title was organised by the Mackintosh School in association with Strathclyde Department of Architecture. The Symposium took place over a weekend in the former Fruit Market in the city, where a series of talks and tours set the scene for the Urban Building project, a Literary Institute in Glasgow, and engaged with participating students and tutors from Naples, Dublin, Weimar, Vienna and Stuttgart.

Seven sites were selected within the historic core of

the city in districts which were representative of the 足varied 足topography, morphology and character of the city. These charted the westward growth of Glasgow from the first new town, to Blythswood, Park Circus and Hillhead.

The Urban Housing project which followed involved

groups of students developing strategic proposals on a range of sites in Bridgeton and Calton in the east end of the city and Woodside in the west. The projects were presented at a public forum and exhibition in the Lighthouse.



Eerika Alev Awei Awei Borja Aznar Montero Anna Barbieri Debojoti Basu Julie Benson Alan Beveridge James Browne Andrew Casey Chia Nee Chew Amy Docherty Chris Dove Chloe Fawcett Ricardo Fernandes David Fleck Alexander Forner Emily Fraser Marie Fusdahl Nicola Galati Christopher Gaule Joanna Gnanapragasam Chun Yee Go Algimantas Grigas Louise Gydell Frances Heslop Alexander Hull Joe Ibitson Elise Junge Jaroslaw Karpik Manjeet Khatri Christopher Kyriakides Zhenbai Li Yee Pei Lye Grace Mark Nur Sharafazmin Binti Mazlan Martin Mcfarlane Laura Memory Stephanie Misseri Mia Modig Sidha Mogha Ahmad Mohd Razain Christopher Muir Kristin Nedlich Mari Nysveen Hellum Coleen O'Boyle Ross O'Connell Shee Ling Ong Liam Potts Dawn Preston Anwen Regan Sniedze Riekstina Mickael Sandrin Kok Kiong Seah

Nicholas Steele Martin Sunjic Bertoni Chevy Thom Sara Usai Jose Vargas Hazel Wallace Jamie Whelan Lum Lum Yip Ka Hei Kala Yuen Bonnie Zimmer Sucymurniati Zul Ahyihar




Stage 4

Literary Institute

Blackfriars Street ALAN BEVERIDGE


The project explores whether reading and ­writing can be exploited to greater extents by introducing dialogue and discussion amongst people. Creating e ­ nvironments which are not 02.

distant but welcoming, not alone but together. “W hat really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you w ish the author that w rote it was a ter r if ic f r iend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. T hat doesn’t happen much , though .”

— J. D. Salinger

The site sits next to an intriguing Merchant City pub Babbity Bowster, which has a dialogue 03.

within Glasgow, its a place of communication, relaxation, events, influence. This makes it an appropriate salon space in itself, and one which integrates well with the proposal. The atmospheric qualities have been brought into the building, creating a new dialogue between the pub and the Literature I nstitute.

The busy, public ground floor

becomes more intimate and quiet as you progress through the building. A very simple notion, enhanced by the differing experiences of spaces a user has to progress through on each level until they are finally released into a reflection space at the highest point.






01. Ground floor plan 02. Model in context 03. Existing site 04. Concept diagram horizontal & vertical movement

05. External view


06. Axonometric detail 07. Longitudinal section 08. Street elevation




Stage 4

Literary Institute

Blackfriars Street



This space is not only vertically orientated but also give a panoramic view to the surrounding context


01. New com

munity gree

n route thro

ugh the bloc


reinstate the lane

The proposal investigates mass and light, in which light is wrapped in a built shell erected to define and contain it.

Shared Literary Garden

GROUND FLOOR Book and Coffee Shop A series of poche spaces filled with books, coffee and people. Places to gather. Clabber spaces.


It is the concept of poche and the

Architectural qualities of inhabiting a wall that encourages a deeper investigation with


‘space as the protagonist’. A place to store, GROUND FLOOR

read, write and recite. The models illustrate Book and Coffee Shop A series of poche spaces filled with books, coffee and people. Places to gather. Clabber spaces.

an a­ bstraction of the interior organistaion, a language that focuses on form as solid and BASEMENT

interior as negative.

BASEMENT Flexible workshop space Printing/bookbinding facilities Plant and Toilets

Flexible workshop space Printing/bookbinding facilities Plant and Toilets

The sectional studies focus on a

journey of positive and negative space, which


creates a series of thresholds and incidental meeting spaces that allow hidden sources of light to present moments throughout the day that change and are ever changing.



108 Plan Sectional Elevational Study



01. Concept section relating to massing models 02. Ground floor plan 03. Solid/void context diagrams 04. Solid/void explorations 05. Solid/void explorations 06. Poche spaces diagram 07. External view right. Cross sections



Poche Space Chambers Passages Main Central Space SALON

Stage 4

Literary Institute

lynedoch street ANDREW CASEY


A building designed around the notion of the 02.

Literature Institute supporting the activities around writing, and coincidentally the act itself, which is usually solitary.

The design is drawn from the

originally domestic Architecture of the ­neighbourhood, repetitive blank facades that give no clue to the activities behind, the backs of buildings ad–hoc, individual and expressive. A balanced relationship exists between the dominant mass of the main buildings and the smaller mews.

This blankness of the facade is

emphasised in the Literature Institute and the entrance to the building is withdrawn to the side. Upon entering into a central courtyard space, the presence of the box containing the library and salon is revealed, making clear 03.

the importance of these two spaces and their relationship. Within the box the two spaces are interlinked, light passes between floors, views are opened up and sounds carry upwards. Ancillary spaces are grouped around this box, while the mews scale element ­c ontains the bar, in an informal relationship with the main building.







01. Axonometric sectional detail 02. 1:100 sectional model 03. Sketch model 04. External courtyard 05. First floor plan


06. Salon 07. Cross section looking South 08. Longitudinal section looking East




Stage 4

Literary Institute

otago street KEITH MULLEN 01.

The Centre for Contemporary Literature ­introduces a physical space to the urban fabric of Otago Street, responding to its physical and civic history. The site forms the tissue of Glasgow’s Victorian West End and rests on the point of convergence between Gilmore Hill and the River Kelvin’s characteristic gesture to the land. This topographical meeting between hill and river forms a compact site which rises up to address the city on all four axis.

By stepping back from the gable

end of the former Red Hackle Building, the proposal reinstates an ancient route, known locally as The Bishops Walk, which formerly led to hidden stepping stones across the River Kelvin before it was first crossed by bridge in 1841. This reengages the site as a cultural landmark for the city of Glasgow.

The proposed building’s heavy North

wall enclosure gradually lightens in depth and fenestration as it moves West to address Otago Street, eventually becoming a glass screen overlooking the richness of the river and parkland.







01. Street elevation 02. Parti diagrams: (top to bottom) heavy to light context lines of facade street topography 03. Initial response, ­v erticality of gable 04. Concept model, urban corridor 05. Urban corridor 06. The bishops walk 07. Section


08. Details of variations on facade modularity 09. Ground floor plan 10. Salon space





Stage 4

Literary Institute

West George Street DAVID FLECK

The design, A Room in the City, revolves around the central space of the ‘Salon’, a dynamic space for discussions, performances, reading and studying Literature. The building 01.

was conceived as a series of distinct rooms which lead on from each other around a bright central atrium, and is treated with warm and rich surfaces and bespoke fittings to celebrate the tactility and detail of traditional book binding.

The entire design process was kept

analogue with hand drawing and model making, and the slower pace of production allowed me to really consider the details and imagine inhabiting the spaces as I was drawing them. The final images for the project are a blend of these analogue workings with visualisations done in Photoshop, bringing a reality and 02.



vividness to the drawings while keeping the original character.


05. 01. Salon concept drawing 02. Facade study 03. North elevation 04. Cutaway axonometric view of salon 05. East elevation 06. Isometric facade detail, internal view 07. Salon perspective 06.

08. Library perspective 09. Longitudinal section

07. 09.


Stage 4

City Dwelling



Woodlands Densified is a housing project proposing a strategic regeneration of Glasgow’s tenement courtyards, illustrated by a ­prototype situated along Woodlands Road. Intensive analysis of the area and the typical tenement revealed that the currently under–used spaces within Glasgow’s perimeter blocks provide


the potential for a renewed awareness of this historic housing typology.

O u r p ro p o s a l re i n s t a te s t h e

beneficial character of the once prevalent communal facilities in these backcourts and ­furthermore, intends to bring back family living near the city centre by including diverse and ­complementary supportive amenities in the housing scheme. 03.







01. Courtyard diagram 02. Ground floor plan 03. Concept plan diagram 04. Site model 05. Section 06. Sectional model

Inspired by the idea of the re–conquered street, 07.

07. Concept diagram

our project proposes a sustainable urban ­community within contemporary Glasgow, in

08. Reconquering the street

the Merchant City. Traditionally, this historic part of Glasgow was characterised by vibrant

09. Sectional model

street life with ground floor activity, markets and stalls opening onto the street. Using the street as a communal living room, we have tried to inject a spirited life back into the area through a variety of sustainable and community–based ground floor uses.

Historic routes have been recreated

through the site, and a variety of public and private courts have been introduced, opening up the block and allowing it to contribute to the urban landscape.

The result is a vibrant residential area

for people of all ages, classes and cultures. Offering new patterns of movement, nodes, attractions and new venues has allowed us to revitalise the urban community of the


Merchant City. 09.

Stage 4



The site runs along the North–East edge of Glasgow Green, a large park in the East End, on the North bank of the River Clyde. It is separated from the park by Monteith Row and bounded on its North edge by London Road, a busy thoroughfare which runs from Glasgow Cross to its junction with Hamilton Road, much further East.

The ambition of the project is to

reinstate the urban scale of perimeter blocks within the site and link the public amenity of the Barras Market with the People’s Palace and 02.

Templeton’s via London Road and Monteith Row. We used empirical research to ­understand the significant issues that s­ urround housing provision. We outlined eight key themes which we used to focus our discussions and design development: proximity to amenities, accessibility (macro–micro), inhabited streets, privacy, security, 
social interaction, ownership


and identity, and light.






01. Longitudinal section with concept diagrams 02. Courtyard visualisation 03. Site model 04. Link between Barras & Glasgow Green 05. Connective promenade between city and river 06. Filtering urban tissue to the river edge


07. Ground floor plan 08. Sectional model 09. Longitudinal section

In order to establish a city dwelling in Hillhead, the act of living has been considered of equal importance to the building’s cultural qualities. It must present itself as a landmark to the city’s inhabitants both physically and ­metaphysically.

The group investigation explores

what healthy contemporary living comprises. Particular interest has been taken to establish a model for urban housing which considers both 08.

its surrounding urban grain and topographical composure.

Exploring the civic, demographic,

physical and political anatomy of Hillhead led to the design of a communal city dwelling for eight people, incorporating various living models which already exist, but are currently under–utilised in Hillhead.





PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER PLATT This is the third iteration of a unique collaboration involving a group of European Schools of Architecture. It developed from an idea to establish a common studio design project simultaneously involving students and their tutors from across Europe. The idea was to deepen and broaden the nature and purpose 01.

We w ished to expose our students to an inter national communit y which they were par t of, but rarely met — and to encourage them to see their ow n work through an inter national as well as national lens

of the Erasmus Exchange experience for both staff and students. The shared focus of the collaborations was the challenges of designing contemporary Architecture within the historic European City. In sharing a project brief and city setting, we hoped to discover each School’s own Architectural distinctiveness as well as whether there were different approaches to teaching and

pedagogy within the design studio. We also wished to learn about each city through others’ insights. Learning from each other lies at the very heart of the international exchange ethos. The first two years of our collaboration involved design projects relating to the archive and display, set in Naples and Berlin respectively.

The third year of collaboration was jointly hosted and led by the two

Glasgow–based Architecture Schools; the Mackintosh School of Architecture and the University of Strathclyde. The chosen theme was ‘Architecture, Literature and a City’ with Glasgow being selected as the setting for the projects. In comparison to previous years, further developments were made allowing each School some flexibility to suit individual academic needs and timescales. In some cases the projects took place within one semester, whilst in others it extended over two. The joint project started with an introductory (and celebratory) three day Symposium of talks, tours, information dissemination and formal and informal gatherings for all participants. This was left. Mark Baines City Tour, ‘The Lighthouse’ and centre for Design and Architecture in Scotland. Photo by Jarek Karpik 01. International Symposium at the olf Fruit Market. Photo by MSA publications

followed throughout the year by a series of cross–School visiting reviews concluding with an MSA Publications book as well as a travelling exhibition. As in previous two years, Schools set the project for their students in year four or five. mm39

T here is something of a Master builder / Wr iter in the role of the Architect. T he Architect must also create nar ratives and atmospheres, but fashions them w ith walls and roofs, rather than w ith sentences and parag raphs. Like the Wr iter, the Architect also needs the public to occupy and use those nar ratives 121

Architecture, Literature and a City

MARK BAINES AND DAIVD HASSON The Literary Institute was to be first and foremost perceived as a public building, a place for social gatherings and public discourse in the city and as such should be inviting, welcoming, stimulating, responsive and above all, comfortable in every respect. The building was to present a public face and a window on the world. The Institute was to celebrate Glasgow as a city of Literature in recognition


not only of the city’s rich Literary heritage but also as an active participant in the promotion and support of contemporary Literary culture.

The Architectural brief was open to creative interpretation — to be

adjusted where considered appropriate to suit differing academic practices and interests within each of the participating Schools of Architecture. It was also hoped that the programme would be enriched by individual students’ interpretations and their responses to the possibly unfamiliar but stimulating context of Glasgow. The scale of the building was to be largely determined by individual judgment of the context and T his project was conceived so as to encourage creative examination of the ways in which new buildings might be integ rated w ith existing for mations of urban building t y pes that physically def ine and shape the cit y, its spatial str ucture and the var ied emotional and exper iences they engender.

constraints of a selected site as well as the perceived needs and aspirations of a Literary Institute.

The programme was aimed at

4th and 5th year students. For 4th year students the programme described a single Architectural entity on a particular site. For final year students or students spending an entire year on this project it was anticipated that a greater degree of exploration and interrogation of the brief would take place, opening up other possible avenues for exploration at the scale of the city. This indeed occurred in the work presented by Strathclyde and Dublin.





“Imag ine, if you would , that we were somehow able to ask a random selection of w r iters f rom the past: would we f ind that, say, Antonin Ar taud , Enid Bly ton , Jack Kerouack, Virg inia Woolf, Ber thold Brecht, James Joyce, Alice Walker and James Kelman could all ag ree on the pur pose, extent and req uirements for housing a literar y activ it y?” Johnny Rodger · Mackinstosh School of Architecture

01—03. Sunday Lecture at the International Symposium. Photo by MSA publications 04. Mark Baines City Tour, The Old Trinity College by Charles Wilson. Photo by MSA publications 05. Students signing up for tours at the International Symposium. Photo by MSA publications


“T here are obv ious benef its when several Universities work on joint 05.

desig n projects; the most impor tant advantage being in exchange of ideas and teaching methods.” P rof Karl– Hein z Schmit z · B auhau s



“T he cit y is by its nature a constr uction built over time in dif fer ing par ts, layer upon layer, reduced by acts of destr uction but added to w ith new extensions. In Glasgow, a memor y of the industr ial age contrasts w ith the present leading into the f uture. T he real wealth is the bustle of young students who br ing the place to life, exper iencing the cit y as a huge campus on an urban scale.” Alber to Calderoni · Universit y of Naples Feder ico II









“T he new impressions of a foreig n cit y of fer the Architects a special oppor tunit y to ‘read the cit y’ and to develop their projects f rom perceptions of cer tain str uctures. We have accepted the inv itation to desig n a House of Literature in Glasgow w ith g reat enthusiasm and lear ned a lot f rom the comparative analysis of Stuttgar t and Glasgow.” 01. Mark Baines City Tour, Glasgow Green and The Peoples Palace. Photo by Jarek Karpik 02. Mark Baines City Tour, The Merchant City. Photo by MSA publications 03. Mackintosh Tour. Photo by MSA publications 04. Mark Baines City Tour. Photo by MSA publications 05—06. Sunday Lecture at the International Symposium. Photo by MSA publications 07—08. Friday Morning Lecture at the International Symposium. Photo by MSA publications

Dorothee Riedle and Michael Ragaller · Universit y of St uttgar t


MSA has an established history of student exchanges with various partnered institutions across the world. MM39 asked a few students how their experiences compared to life in Glasgow.



The Studio Sergison project focused on what may be ­considered a normative typology and ­program — housing. In accepting the ­normative, the ­studio investigated how the ­contemporary ­E uropean city has evolved to create such dwellings, and how one can elevate the ­q uality of these s­ paces, whilst meeting the demand for


such high density buildings.

I believe my time on exchange

in Mendrisio as one of the most influential parts of my education in architecture. The ­o pportunity to study alongside students from all over the world, in a completely new ­environment, allowed me to experience a new approach to the making of architecture that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and gave


me an additional perspective on how I work.




I have to admit that my reason for choosing to study in UdK was primarily for its location rather than its reputation. That said, its status within the wider realm of architecture schools is high. Experiencing the teaching method there was extremely different to that of the MAC with a slightly different focus on the

01. Model 02. Sectional diagram showing garden as an elevated space 03. Facade study elevation 04. Creative industry in Berlin’s Kulturforum

teacher student relationship — there is more of a hierarchy.

I was delighted to be able to further

my interest in wider urban issues whilst there, in particular Berlin’s social housing policy, and to be able to comprehend the myriad ­complexities the city has after being separated by a massive great wall. My time there was and continues to be invaluable to my development as an Architecture student; it allowed me to get a German perspective in architecture and I also had the opportunity for some of my work to be exhibited in the Akadamie der Kunste.






I found Paris an incredibly inspiring place to study — the ­d iversity and beauty of the ­s urrounding buildings gave no shortage of ­locations for city walks and weekend trips, whether to the French B ­ aroque p ­ alace of ­Versailles, or to Le ­C orbusier’s modernist Villa Savoye. The school itself had several ­differences to GSA, mainly that all the courses were conducted in French. This was ­extremely difficult to start off with, although I found that as the weeks went on I was able to converse and ­u nderstand with increasing ease. Studios related to different aspects of ­a rchitecture in several different ­locations across France and beyond. My first p ­ roject was set in the UNESCO ­h eritage town of ­Neuf–Brisach near Strasbourg, and f­ocused on the r­ enovation and ­extension of historic ­buildings, while my s­ econd was l­ ocated in the up-and-coming c­ ommercial and r­ esidential ­d istrict of ­B eaugrenelle to the west of ­Paris, ­involving the ­design of mixed use multi-storey


­buildings. ­A longside the ­s tudio module, we were e ­ ncouraged to take classes in history and theory, construction, and artistic s­ tudies. I particularly enjoyed this last option, as it gave the o ­ pportunity to learn new skills such as furniture–making and engraving.

Spending a year on exchange was

a ­fantastic ­experience, allowing me to meet and work with people from many different ­countries, and to discover what it’s like to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 02.





01. Experiencing Paris 02. Neuf–Brisach engraving 03—04. Explorative light studies


Feminist Architecture Theory

­A nalysis Laboratory & Education — is a postgraduate research organisation based at KTH and was one of the reasons I was drawn to study in Stockholm for my ERASMUS Exchange. My interest in critical theory was applied to my Research Project as I undertook a series of classes with FATALE which investigated the possibility of a feminist ­education within ­architecture.

Sweden is a beautiful country and I

had many o ­ pportunities to explore. I t­ ravelled to Lapland to see the Aurora Borealis and ­extensively in Norway and Finland. I even got used to the snow!

The studio I chose was called

­C ontextual Space and focused on reuse and ­renovation. One of the most interesting ­projects was a study of Fredriksborg ­Fortress, which I gave new life through an alternative funeral ­p rocess; a journey of memory and r­ eflection, much inspired by the Isle of the Dead ­p aintings of Böcklin. The tutors e ncouraged ­ ­ e xplorative lighting studies, through models and p ­ hotographs, techniques which I have c­ ontinued to utilise in my final year thesis.

My year in Sweden broadened my

­o pinion of what architecture is, and can be. This is something I will continue to develop 04.

throughout my architectural career.





Chris Dyson is a 1989 alumni of the Mac and the founder of Chris Dyson Architects based in S ­ pitalfields. Here he tells MM39 about his practice’s new book and the Architectural ethos of combining old & new.

chris dyson architects PRACTISE AND PROJECTS IN YOUR RECENT BOOK, THE THEME OF ‘OLD & NEW’ SEEMS TO UNDERPIN A LOT OF WHAT YOU DO · WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? I live and work in Spitalfields central London, surrounded by historic context and the corporate new buildings of the city; I think this rubs off on an Architect as much as it does an artist. We are a small company and most of our clients are based in the city or live outside and work here. London has many hundreds of listed buildings, many of which have very useful purposes; much of our work ensures that they continue to do so. This often means combining new technology and Architectural expression into, or beside the old.

After leaving the Mac, I was employed by the late Construction image

James Stirling and his partner Michael Wilford to work on many international and often contextual schemes, this experience was


formative in my understanding of contemporary metropolitan architecture from a holistic perspective of the city.

Our work is contemporary, whilst being sympathetic

to the immediate context. As a consequence our buildings do not shout ‘here we are!’ they tend to be discreet additions to the city. This has developed into quite an artform in its own right and one that I was particularly taught at GSA; however I am a modernist and feel this position has a lot to offer in a conservative environment. Old buildings should not become museums per se, they should have purpose and stay alive and contribute to the life and soul of a city. 02.

View of central staircase from living room



Measure the context yourself! Beautif ully and w ith g reat care – this process of

measur ing and draw ing up leads to the best for m of understanding of the propor tions, dimensions and workings of a place WHAT DICTATES THE USE OF ANALOGUE & DIGITAL MEDIA IN YOUR OFFICE? DO YOU THINK THIS HAS AN INFLUENCE ON THE FINAL OUTCOME OF A DESIGN? Digital and analogue are symbiotically important to the output of the office. Hand drawing is celebrated in my practice as much as the craft of making buildings. Both these processes are analogue and require a different thought process to that of drawing by computer. So yes… I think this sublimely affects the outcome, making it extraordinary in its own right I hope…




WHAT DO YOU THINK AN EDUCATION AT THE MAC HAS GIVEN TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER? The Mac was great and formative. I was lucky to have studied under the ­t utors of Professors Andy MacMillan and Issy Metzstein with Sandy Page, Mark Baines and Ulla Wilke as day to day tutors in particular. This was a heady mix of talented people to be taught by and I will never forget the crits! They provided an excellent and continuing springboard of enquiry into the ancient art of Architecture and how we might build today. So yes, I learnt a lot about their tenacity of vision and purpose in drawing and presentation skills.

This is invaluable to me as a p ­ ractising

Architect. Whilst in practice at Stirling & ­Wilford, I learnt a lot form David Turnbull, Charlie Sutherland and Lawrence Bain the

On reflection, my own interests as a student at GSA were in historic fabric, evident in my final year thesis design for a World university for UNESCO in Istanbul

latter are both ex–Mac students and tutors. YOUR PRACTICE BOOK DEMONSTRATES CDA’S IN–DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF CONTEXT · WHAT DO YOU THINK STUDENTS OF ARCHITECTURE SHOULD DO IN ORDER TO DEVELOP A SIMILAR ‘SENSITIVITY OF PLACE’? The sketchbook is the best way to record a place, a camera can be a lazy eye, a tool but not one that ­really gives you an insight into a place – this takes an ­e nquiring mind, asking what this material choice is and why is it so? This cornice, this corner, how was it made, why it is that way and not another...?

03. 01. 13 Wapping Pierhead, AJ Small Projects winner 2014 02. Leo Yard hand–crafted model 03. Hand–drawn UNESCO entrance perspective

I would actively encourage all students to

still draw by hand and record what they see before designing a project, and you must visit the site. For my thesis design I went to Istanbul several times before settling on a design and feeling confident that it was correct and fitted the place… then I could stand up and defend it! Measure the context yourself! Beautifully and with great care – this process of measuring and drawing up leads to the best form of understanding of the proportions, dimensions and workings of a place. Ideas will spring and the best will stick and work.

Since graduating I have been designing buildings that unite e­ cological

concerns with sensitivity to the rich heritage of British A ­ rchitecture. Our ­clients enjoy the integrative design process that ensures a highly efficient and healthy end product. I am fortunate enough to work with a talented team and a wide network of contractors, engineers and specialists with experience in fine craftsmanship and energy conscious design.



Congratulations to the 2014 graduates of Mackintosh School of Architecture

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Stage 5

Final design thesis

STAGE LEADER Robert Mantho

STUDIO TUTORS Charlie Hussey Graeme Massie Henry McKeown David McMillan Charlie Sutherland Sally Stewart

In Stage 5 the curriculum is focused on the Final Design Thesis. The thesis is defined as an intellectual proposition, derived from original research, which is advanced through arguments and supported with evidence in the form of an Architectural proposal.

The Final Design Thesis has been the

centre of the final Diploma year at the ­Mac for nearly a quarter of a century. This was an ­evolution from the earliest years of the School where final year students were required to complete the comprehensive design of a ­complex building. Just as that evolution took place, the current Thesis continues to change. Each successive year ­p rovides the students with a framework for building their individual a­ pproach to the discipline of Architecture, while also f­ ocusing on specific areas of concern.

For many years Glasgow and Scotland formed the territory for the

Thesis investigations undertaken by students. About six years ago this shifted to the European city, in an effort to capitalise on the knowledge about the city that students have gained in Stage 4. This concern with the city, its fabric, characteristics and qualities has been a consistent thread through the Diploma School at the Mac since its inception, and will continue to be a dominant theme for the foreseeable future.

The work on the following pages ­d emonstrates the School’s

­c ommitment to educating ­A rchitects who can ­m anage the ­c omplexity of c­ ontemporary culture, using the a­ rray of tools available, m ­ odels, hand ­sketches, digital ­drawings, diagrams, and texts to pursue their own interests and expressions through the practice of Architecture in its current m ­ ultiplicity of forms.



Miriam Anderson Rupert Bennett Catherine Burr Katie Burrell Alexander Cameron Yuyan Chen Wei Chin Neelima Choudhury Wearn Hong Chua Marek Chytil Simon Clark Christina Condy Oliver Conway Caileigh Cowan Nathan Cunningham Alice Doyne-Ditmas Neil Ferries Clare Gardiner Stewart Gibson Nelly Goh Neil Green Philip Hainsworth Sangbeom Han Alexandra Harrison Robert Harvey Alice enderson Grace Herron Christopher Ho Chun Yau Ho Vicki Horsburgh Jade Huang Tomasz Jankowski Paul Jefferson Catriona Kinghorn William Knight Mui Ching Koh Havard Kolbeinsvik Kugathas Kugarajah Hann–Lim Lau Guat Lee Kenneth Li Victoria Lightbody Meng Jin Lim Irina Listovskaya Man Luo Fiona Macdonald Julie Maclean Christopher Macpherson Alfie Macqueen Andrea Marini Sophie Mcclements Helen Mccormack Eimar Mcdonagh

Elinor Mcdonald Justin Mckenna Lilija Oblecova Cormac Ó Droma Anna–Katharina Parsons Nicola Perrett Georgina Price Mohammad Ali Siddique Joseph Sterling Karolina Surmacz Seng Chun Tan Shu Ting Tham Fiona Tindall Chiara Tirone Jonathan Toon Reza Torabi Parizi Andrew Waring Kerry Watton Scarlett Williams Thomas Woodcock Jibo Xu Phyo Yadanar Oo Yeap Xe Yick Lai Yashan Zhang Yuyan Zhang



Stage 5

Marseille · France

le labo · perfumer’s district KATIE BURRELL


The thesis was driven by an investigation of the senses and their relationship with Architecture. By taking a stand on our occular centric s­ ociety, the thesis questions why the sense of sight has become so predominant in Architectural culture and design, when there are four others. The focused world is what we immediately see; the framed image. The valuable, experiential factors sit within our unfocused vision — our other senses.

With our tendency to limit all other

sensory realms outside the sense of sight, we 02.

have become too reliant on the visual r­ eading of Architecture. More often, buildings are ­conceived on the way they look, not on how the body interacts with them or what it is like to be in these spaces.






06. 01. Synesthetic images 02. Site as a connecting point from city to sea 07.

03. Urban strategy 04. Stepped landscape and building connect disjointed levels 05. Essential oil distillation 06. Existing site, Basin de Carenage 07. Spatial diagram


08. Sensory experience 09. Carved spaces 10. Marseille soap production 11. West elevation




Stage 5

Marseille ¡ France


We live in a fast and globalised world, with our reliance on technology becoming ever more prevalent. Technology can facilitate the design and building of our environments, capturing images of the creations which are so easily accessible. But what of the experience and the atmosphere within these spaces? Are Architects making the most of their proposals to create a wholeness and completeness in design, stimulating our senses?





01. East elevation 02. Wax moulding room 03. Longitudinal section 04. Ground floor plan 05. Detailed section through East facade


06. Light study models 07. South elevation





Stage 5

Hamburg · Germany

spice factorY CHUA WEARN HONG


Hamburg’s historical warehouse district exhibits Speicherstadt’s momentous cultural legacy. This ‘city of warehouses’ was a hotbed for cultural integration. Because it was a free zone, goods could be transferred without paying customs. However, the repercussions of the port drove merchants to relocate their Speicherstadt’s storage due to legality and efficiency. The success of the port indirectly increased Hamburg’s social segregation.

The project exploits spices as

metaphors to resurrect Speicherstadt’s bygone era, promulgate global multiculturalism, and demonstrate Hamburg’s trading and cultural lineage. The process of spices from cradle to grave (growing, harvesting, shipping, s­ toring, processing, supplying, cooking, feasting, ­s ocializing, and celebrating) is infused to provide a cultural narrative and to provoke a sensory experience.







01. Hamburg's trading legacy


02. Section through tower of pulverisers 03. Longitudinal section, derived from journey of spices as a series of events 04. Parti diagram 05. Seventh floor plan 06. Solid / void diagram


07. Augmented internalised world 08. Linkage between the old town and new development 09. Spice fight




Stage 5

Hamburg · Germany



The austere warehouses are perceived as a dead ‘solid’ block and spices are weaved throughout the site as ‘void’ to reignite the spirit of Speicherstadt. New additions are integrated with the existing warehouses by creating a monumental skyline, wrapping the site and bringing alive a lost public route from the old town to new park. 03.

The scheme speculates the potential

future of Speicherstadt by functioning as a hub for both the local and wider cultural ­c ommunities, contributing to the vitality of Hamburg and beyond.





01. Models (left to right): relationship to context carved spaces facade tower of pulverisers culinary world 02. Parti diagram 03. Tower of pulverisers 04. A sensuous journey 05. Section through new addition and old warehouse

07. 06.

06. Palimpsest of warehouse 07. Schematic model 08. Augmented internalised worlds 09. North elevation




Stage 5

Genoa ¡ Italy

music therapy & meditation centre KUGATHAS KUGARAJAH

The relationship of the Architectural elements that make up the city and their embodied experiential qualities are explored for the 01.

thesis. A city is a dramatic event in the environment and so our route through it is a performance in itself, made up of physical and sensory elements. By this understanding, ­e lements can be juxtaposed to create new spatial and emotional conditions, provoking reactions.






­p erformance is to be used to explore the thesis proposal. Music can be expressive, therapeutic, medical, meditative and used for research purposes, provoking a range of emotional experiences. The ambition is for a series of hybrid buildings to explore these functions, as well as being a place for varying demographics and ethnic diversities to come 02.

together and socialise. A performance place, music therapy centre, communal facilities and meditation spaces will be included.

146 03.



01. Existing site plan 02. Concept watercolours: (top to bottom) facade study based on interpretation of Niccolo Paganini musical score


03. Longitudinal section 04. Capturing the poetic qualities of the ruins 05. Ground floor plan 06. Studies exploring walls and partitions to create thresholds


07. Conceptual studies for symbolic meditation and free flowing therapy spaces 05.


Stage 5

Genoa · Italy


The site of the ruined church of Santa Maria in Passione and its adjacent archaeological site are located in the area of Castello, the ‘cradle of Genoa’. Being the oldest and ­h ighest ­g eographical point in the city, it retains h ­ istorical and natural characteristics which stimulate feelings. It represents an opportunity for physical renovation, as well as the social and cultural regeneration of the 02.

area — a focal point for activities. The site and its ­s urroundings are characterised by a series of enclosed public spaces and routes which will inspire the programme.






01. Studies exploring walls and partitions to create thresholds 02. Concept watercolours: acoustically controlled, visually open spaces


03. Ruined wall study 04. Church nave 05. Church altar 06. Entrance perspective 07. Section 08. Section




Stage 5

Genoa · Italy

places of un–named possibilities JADE HUANG

The thesis project seeks to make a generous gesture to the city of Genoa by providing a new layer of places and rooms for the use of its citizens. These rooms belong to the city and take inspiration from the everyday richness of a city made by collective peoples.

The site chosen for i­ntervention

i s located on the periphery of the ancient Castello, adjacent to a residential 02.

­n eighbourhood removed from the tourists’ gaze; a strip of land just outside of the ancient medieval walls and borders the 20 th century highway that runs adjacent to the port side. This site offers the opportunity to reclaim space back for the citizens of Genoa by enveloping a protective boundary outwards


against the hostile motor car strip. It also aims to appropriate the existing street by ­punctuating this otherwise insignificant part of the city with activity, densifying the slackening city periphery.

The intervention will seek to be a

piece of Genoa, an ensemble which carefully weaves into the existing fabric, although ­maintaining its distinction. It does not seek to mimic, but to understand the existing ­condition and provide usefulness and opportunity for inhabitation.






01. Gesture to the city 02. Concept diagram: rooms for event, room for the everyday to become event 03. Giorgio Morandi’s bottles, oil on canvas 04. Elevation 05. Concept model


06. Concept plan 07. Analysis of edge conditions 08. Under the vessel, garden narrative



Stage 5

Genoa · Italy


Part of the challenge of the thesis was to develop an Architectural language that emerged from an understanding of the medieval fabric of Genoa, learning from its streets and piazzas, which invite activity and spontaneous use without definitive design. Like Morandi’s bottle paintings, there is a focus on the tension in between objects and events. There is a fascination of chance occurrences and everyday occasions. The Architecture then seeks to control space, territory and legibility but not usefulness. Places aim to be accumulated from an internal narrative rather 02.

than through formal gesture.

The intervention can be ­understood

as a contemporary interpretation of a ­classical Casino; a house of entertainment and ­pleasures, banquets and balls. The spaces invite f­ leeting occurrences and c­ ollisions between the 03.

boundaries of formalised g­ atherings. The Casino seeks to provide rooms for event, and room for the everyday to become event.




01. Developing an ­ architectural language 02. Comcept image


03. Cross section 04. Developing a ­ spatial language 05. Neighbourhood entrance 06. Dissection through ballroom event 07. Longitudinal section and plan



Life Outside the Mac


the joy collection DAVID FLECK

A set of hand & laser-made products bring ing together analog ue illustration, lasers, and wood

For several years now I’ve been i­llustrating and producing art prints ­a longside studying at the Mac, which has felt like a n ­ atural alliance — my studies in Architecture heavily ­i nfluence the way I illustrate and the themes that I explore, and in turn I’ve been able to use i­ llustrations to augment my studio work. The Joy Collection is a venture that I’ve started with my sister (who’s studying ­c ostume design in E ­ dinburgh), with the aim of ­further ­exploring the crossover of Art practice and modern ­Architectural skills like digital fabrication.

Lasercutters have become an ­intrinsic

part of the Architecture student toolkit in r­ ecent


years, whether it’s for quickly prototyping models, producing crisp and 01. Voyages Over Edinburgh 16”x20” giclee on heavy weight art paper

­a ccurate final models, or for getting creative with presentations. What I was interested in doing was seeing if I could bring my analogue illustration ­together with this form of digital fabrication, to create something that feels

02. Various artefacts of lasercutting

crafted and special.

03. Lasercutting process

and so far we’ve been able to set up a small studio with a laser cutter and

We held a crowd funding campaign to get ourselves up and r­ unning,

launch our first collections of products, which have been sold online, at craft fairs, markets and in galleries. We’ll continue to experiment and explore, and hopefully produce more collections soon- looking for that intriguing line between Architecture, Design and Art.




Engineering with Architecture




Despite advances in dig ital technolog ies, an intuitive understanding of how structural forms make sense has to be engaged with and recog nised






Civil EnGineering with Architecture KEN MACRAE

The Mackintosh School of Architecture provides teaching i­nput to students of ­E ngineering as part of their degrees in Civil Engineering with A ­ rchitecture at the University of Glasgow. Set up in 1995, the course has gone from strength to strength with session 2013–2014 ­e nrolling the largest ever Year 1, making those taking the Engineering with Architecture course the majority in the Civil ­E ngineering cohort. 01. Model investigation by Miranda Singleton

The course provides students with a wealth of creativity, knowledge, ­expertise

02. Structural massing, by Ross Jardine

­Engineer. It gives students a foundation and introduces them to the process

03. Residential unit structure by John Bethune

and the understanding of the interaction between Architect and Civil of Architectural design.

In this age of the all–pervading specialist, it is salutary to recall

that the mechanics and statics of structural behaviour have remained ­u nchanged for hundreds of years. Despite advances in digital technologies

04. Circulation diagrams by Ross Jardine

and s­ ophisticated analysis by computer, an intuitive understanding of how

05. Structural Analysis by Ross Jardine

and encourage conceptual thinking and experimenting in both Engineering

06. Concept massing by John Bethune 07. Folded Plate roof structure allows for open artists' studios by John Bethune

structural forms make sense has to be engaged with and recognised, to allow and Architecture, and their integral relationship. The historic Master B ­ uilders’ intuitive understanding of form and structure, and the use of repetition of structural and constructional elements for economy, has been surpassed by digital technologies allowing fluid free forms and seemingly endless variations.

The skills of drawing; freehand and orthographic projection, as well

as simple model making are the bedrock used to carry out and present design projects. CAD drawing and modelling introduce sophistication, and provide the individual with the skills expected in Engineering practice. In ­addition to the core set of timeless analogue skills, BIM (Autodesk Revit) is also taught from Year 1. Sustainable development, the clean and efficient use of the planet’s resources, and how to do more with less, is now high on the agenda for all involved in or aspiring to enter the construction industry in the 21st century




From September 2012, the GSA delivers years 3 and 4 of its BA (Hons) programmes in Communication Design and Interior Design in Singapore, in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology. MM39 got in touch with their student–run magazine WOLF to find out more about the new campus.

GS A SinGapore o F


Studying for a foreign degree programme is nothing new in Singapore, and those (like ourselves) who study in such programmes are often seen as people who are not clever enough to make it to the local u ­ niversities, which are much more prestigious, or do not have enough money to study in the home country of the degree programme. 01.

However, I’d like to think of us as a little special —

the first one hundred graduates of the Glasgow School of Art Singapore this coming July. As a new part of the well–established Art School, on the other side of the world, it is really up to us to define what GSAS will be like. Our a­ cademic background is quite different from that of the Glasgow students: we’re s­ tudying for a two-year degree programme, in either Communication or I­ nterior Design, and all of us enter as Year 3 students, h ­ aving already completed a 3–year Diploma course in one of the 5 local polytechnics. This, not to mention the completely different cultural and geographical context, means that GSAS has the potential for some u ­ nexpected results. It has been up to us, the first batch of students, confronted with everything so new, to define what GSAS will really become — and it’s been a great journey. ­Establishing the WOLF magazine, for example, helped us lay the foundation for a strong identity that will carry into the future. And although most people in Singapore might not yet know what we are doing, or who we even are, I think it is a good sign: this means they have no idea of what we can achieve.

I remember streaming the inaugural

­lecture by Steven Holl in the Reid Auditorium, on the 9 April in the middle of the night ­(2 am) ­local time, feeling a twinge of envy when I thought of our new building here in S ­ ingapore, which is still in the last stages of its ­construction and, as such, a building I’d not really get to use. However, this development also means that GSAS is here to stay, and the wonderful new campus will soon be complete, ­providing us with a space for growth, even if is a bit less magnificent than the Reid building.




Although a Glasgow School of Art c­ ampus might seem strange in ­Singapore, there is a number of similar partnerships with Schools such as Yale, Duke and MIT establishing their programmes here as well. And

i s s u u . c o m /g s a w o l f

while internationally there is a number of other Art Schools that could have created such a connection, our 3–week Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) in Glasgow showed me that there is, in fact, some strange link between 01. GSAS on the Mac steps in Glasgow as part of the Overseas ­I mmersion Programme

the two cities. Comparing life between Glasgow and Singapore has been a lot of fun, and while the two cities are extremely different, they are also similar in a lot of unexpected ways.

02. A GSAS student in the VisCom Case Room

Before the OIP, I am not proud to say, the things I knew about

03. The first GSAS exhibition of works

and the fact Glasgow used to be a major heavy industry hub — there are

­G lasgow and Scotland were pretty much limited to haggis, bagpipe music a couple of relics from Glasgow here that go back to the colonial period in Singapore, such as the Cavenagh Bridge from 1869, our oldest and only ­suspension bridge, engineered and constructed in the Scottish city.

My 3–week stay in Glasgow opened up another world, one that is

relatively colder, but one that is much warmer as well, in terms of its people. Singaporeans are sometimes labelled as being cold and unfriendly, but I think it’s just a symptom of living in a city where all you see is people, all the time, and we all just want our little private space. In Glasgow, everybody seems a little more relaxed, their gaits a little slower. There is so much to see, to experience, to learn, and to eat. I found myself slowly savouring every new experience and making a lot of connections.

Being at GSAS means that we have been

­introduced to the studio–based, experiential approach to learning, and even if we didn’t nail it the way our counterparts in Glasgow did, I think it is a first step, and a break from the more conventional approach of receiving a brief and simply ­providing a solution. It was, at first, a little scary to have so much freedom over our own projects, but it has definitely helped me find my own voice, and ­probably made me a whole lot more of an annoying person because I find myself questioning


everything more now!

I think the Singapore government is now realising that design

­thinking and the artsy–fartsy is not only airy–fairy. Design is not just about creating a poster and slapping some type on it, as most people in Singapore normally think of it. It is definitely a way of life. This new thinking, I hope, will help to shape the culture of my city, especially after this first cohort from GSAS have thrown their mortarboards into the air. It's an exciting moment. It marks the return of the Glasgow brand to Singapore — this time, not by means of a 150–year old industrial bridge, but through its new identity of art and design.



Professor Brian M Evans is the Head of Urbanism at the Mackintosh School of Architecture — here he writes about his experience of developing a new vision for the historically rich yet challenging city of Moscow.

moscow metropolis · EdGe City PROF BRIAN M EVANS

knowledgeable Muscovite – lead us through car riddled streets, Cyrillic coded Metro stations, and bustling shopping centers; all in -23°C conditions. We explored them in chronological order, beginning with one of the earliest examples, constructed in the 1920s. Still in use today, we were often recipients of puzzled stares from residents who were acutely aware we were not from ‘here’. The huge variety in character and scale of the residential blocks as we moved through the ‘30s and ‘40s developments to the increasingly modern schemes of the 1960s was impressive. Their experimental nature covered many aspects of urban living. The importance of courtyards for social encounters, and the separation of pedestrians, vehicles, and services were consistent themes of experimentation within the residential complexes. Adornment gave way to efficiency, where building decoration was omitted in favor of expedient construction. A mix of important amenities serviced the microrayons, having their own pharmacist, supermarkets, kindergartens, cafeterias, clubs, and playgrounds.

As a metropolis, Moscow, like Russia itself, struggles to find its identity in the post–Soviet era and achieve recognition for what it already is — a world city. Using many urban indices Moscow can lay fair claim to this recognition, but with many others — crime and corruption — it falls far short.

In terms of size, Moscow is at least a metropolis, perhaps even a megalopolis — the population of the City lies somewhere


between 11 and 14 million souls. No one knows for sure due to the fact that for census purposes, the residency of Russian people is related to their place of birth. This means that many immigrants to Moscow — and there are many — are accounted for elsewhere … and then there are the illegals. But by all accounts the population lies somewhere in this range. Moscow is by far the largest city in the Russian Federation, and it lies at the heart of Moscow Region (the Oblast) that is slightly larger than Switzerland and about the same population, except somewhere between Zurich & Geneva there is another city with the population of Istanbul.

What would it take to move Moscow from

being a big world city to becoming a great world city? Improvements in infrastructure — physical and social — certainly, fiscal and legal reform, ecological regeneration



— all this would benefit Moscow’s competitiveness and

Concentric environment. But perhaps most of all, itThe is the housingCity of its citizens that could contribute most to their standard of living, quality of environment and quality of life, in short the somewhat soft concept much favoured in planning circles today — ‘liveability’.

A common metaphor for Moscow is that of the onion — a series of

rings built out over time from the original fortress or Kremlin. These rings. like an urban dendrology, date the city outwards from the medieval core: a renaissance overcoat, a 19th century industrial city and beyond, the infamous 20 th century Soviet city. Commentators would generally agree that until the mid–twentieth century, even through the early years of bolshevism and communism, the city was well designed and constructed. It was the years after Stalin that did it for Moscow: in the outer reaches of the City, in the decades under Brezhnev and his successors, when with central planning




in the Soviet Union struggling to keep up with the West, the palsied hand of Soviet modernism built district upon district of system–built ‘micro-raion’.

This outer ring, between inner and outer orbital motorways — the

third ring (think North Circular) to the MKAD (a Muscovite M25) — extends to some 900km2 with about 8 million people. Poorly built and suffused with all the obsolescence of modernist planning, this periphery is one of the legacies gifted to the post–Soviet Mayors of Moscow. In the post–Soviet era, i.e. 1991 onwards, Moscow has been governed in effect by only two men: Yuri Mikhaylovich Luzhkov (1992 — 2010) and Sergey Semyonovich Sobyanin (2010 — to date). Luzhkov personified the ‘wild east’ of the post–Soviet decades with unbridled clearance and redevelopment. Sobyanin, now in his second term, has brought more recognisable policies of urbanism to the city. These include a move away from redevelopment to regeneration of the historic city and former industrial areas. Within the last year, following the stabilisation of the development processes with the city core, the Mayor has turned his attention to Moscow’s periphery.

One of Mayor Sobyanin’s innovations has been the introduction of an

‘Urban Forum’, an annual international conference on the future of cities seen through the lens of Moscow. The first Forum was held in 2011 and the third in December 2013, concentrated on the challenge of the urban periphery. For this event, the Mayor’s office commissioned research from the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design. Strelka put together an international team including Prof Brian Evans from the Mac to investigate and speculate on the periphery in the future. Published under the title ‘The Archaeology of the Periphery’, the work examined a wide range of issues: connectivity (physical, social, digital), ecology, urbanism and the like. The work postulated the concept of ‘superpark’ for the area between the inner and outer transport rings of Moscow: with ‘super’ as in ‘supermodernism’ and ‘park’ as in garden city .

There have been many bottom–up initiatives over the past 20 years,

designed to breathe new community life into the ‘micro–raions’ of outer Moscow, but the mayor–sponsored research undertaken by Strelka is the first effort to provide both a researched and polemical overview that, it is hoped, will provide 01. Moscow research team 02. Photo by Jason Forrester

new stimulus to the debate about Moscow’s future ‘liveability’. MSA has made its own contributions to this thinking with the work ‘Moscow — Living on the Edge’ produced by Emma Dragovic, Oliver Vickerage, Jason Forrester, Sortiris Oikonomou, Ayon Ibrahim and Albert Casas of Stage 4.

03. Map of Moscow by Emma Dragovic Background. Photo by Oliver Vickerage



Justin Bere is one of the UK ’s foremost Passivhaus practitioners, who believes we have a r­ esponsibility to live in a way that doesn’t compromise the opportunities and quality of life available to future generations. MM39 asked about how this affects the traditional role of the Architect.

a sustainable future JUSTIN BERE

Passive House is a technical tool consisting of software and a whole quality control process from design to completion of the building. Its purpose is to create very comfortable, very healthy buildings which have hardly any energy consumption. Passive House uses local weather data and the laws of ­building physics to fine tune the tool to any ­location in the world; temperate or tropic — after ­extensive ­testing, it is now widely understood to be ideally ­suited to the UK climate. Architects and Services Engineers often talk about a­ lternatives to Passive House such as passive ­s olar, zero carbon, carbon positive, plus energy or even a ­ ctive. However these claims usually have no ­scientific b ­ asis and are therefore nothing more than ­u nsubstantiated slogans. We make fools of o ­ urselves if we try to ­redefine zero, because zero means zero and cannot mean ­a nything else. By contrast Passive House is a s­ cientifically rigorous method of d ­ esigning a ­building using pure building physics to ensure healthy and comfortable conditions and to measure energy ­c onsumption in the hands of the average ­b uilding user. Passive House has consistently been proven to ­completely close the performance gap between design and operational use.


T hose who are only interested in shapes, cannot claim to be ­A rchitects; they are merely makeup ar tists for the constr uction industr y Operational energy is by far the largest consumer of energy in our buildings. Embodied energy is also important but it is of secondary i­ mportance. Those who claim otherwise are usually playing tricks with ­s tatistics, and by this I mean their figures are based on buildings with a 30 year lifespan. Well who throws away buildings every 30 years except fools and developers? Of course we should be following in the footsteps of our forefathers and designing buildings to last for generations.

But buildings that work well require more than a desktop exercise;

buildings of all scales require a resurgence of ambition to build very well and they require us to draw upon well–documented knowledge of how to achieve this. And this ambition and knowledge must be shared by the Architect and the Builder. A team is only as good as its weakest link. 162


A good Architect produces beautiful buildings that perform well now and for future generations. This is what I describe as Integrated D ­ esign. I ­b elieve it’s what should drive all Architects. Those who are only

­interested in shapes, c­ annot claim to be Architects; they are merely makeup artists for the ­construction industry. 01. The TSB building ­p erformance evaluation proves that the gap can be closed ­b etween design and actual use. Photo by Tim Crocker 02. Advanced construction skills are used to deliver ­Passive House Projects. Photo by bere:architects 03. The Mildmay Community Centre has closed the performance gap, ­r equiring no space heating during winter 2013/14 Photo by Tim Crocker

A good Architect produces beautif ul buildings that p ­ er for m well now and for f uture generations I remember as a student wanting to know more about how to build elegantly, like a craftsman. I got referred to the Architectural library which was stuffed full of information about how to build nasty commercial buildings for greedy, cheapskate developers who want to give little and take much, and I found this terribly depressing because I didn’t decide to be an Architect only to produce profits for thieves. Nowadays, those students who are motivated to help people and the planet have a vast information resource in the internet. It’s one of the main motivations for the Research, Publications and Blog pages of my firm’s website and the motivation behind

If what I am saying resonates with you, then you may want to know

how to take practical steps, so here are my suggestions: • Buy and use a copy of the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) design software — available over the Web for less than £100 with a student discount • Start using PHPP for one of your projects. • Try out thermal bridging calculation software such as Heat 2 or Therm • Attend the International Passive House conference in ­G ermany. Student discounts can make this very affordable, and the ­c onference has simultaneous ­translation. Make sure you book the tours and attend the exhibition.


I hope that I have helped encourage some very good ­students to help

produce the next generation of b ­ eautiful buildings fit for the 21st c­ entury. We now know the excellent r­ esults that are consistently and affordably achieved in actual use by ­Passive House buildings across the UK. Great results and great occupant feedback keep rolling in to us and to others who are b ­ uilding and monitoring Passive House buildings. The UK now needs streams of e­ xcellent young Designers to transform the quality of what Architects build, and we need lots more people able to build and retrofit beautiful, warm, ­c omfortable, ­e conomical buildings — Integrated Designs for the 21st ­century.



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Research at the Mac

STAGE LEADER Jo Crotch Masters at the Mac is research driven with a multi–disciplinary input from ­e stablished research areas ­w ithin the School­ — Urban ­P ractices, CAD, History and Theory, ­E nergy and Environment and ­U rban ­B uilding. It is a place where ­p ersonal ­o bsessions, ­p assion and tenacity are ­p rerequisite for a ­s uccessful outcome. The Masters by Conversion course ­p rovides the opportunity for students to ­d evelop a p ­ iece of research derived from their thesis. This year saw twelve s­ tudents embark upon this additional study, r­ esulting in a diverse range of research projects, each one as d ­ ifferent as the authors. The range of work that was researched covered the recording, study and analysis of ‘the d ­ esign process’; the daily life of G ­ lasgow’s a­ rtisan bakeries; and the development of an interactive facade responding to flexing external and internal ­c onditions. The Taught Masters course resulted in an equally diverse range of r­ esearch projects covering areas as varied as the study of the vitality of the public realm; to an exploration titled (de)constructing the numinous, where methodologies to define and ­represent the indescribable within the realm of sacred space were carried out. The year long course splits into three stages: first is the ‘initiation’, this is where the initial forays into the project are made and the research question formed; second is the ‘investigation’, when research, testing and experimentation are carried out; and finally the ‘consolidation’, where the findings are merged and conclusion to the year’s work takes place.

The conclusion to the year took place in September where all

research work was exhibited at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, alongside the work from all of GSA’s taught postgraduate courses... a true celebration of enquiry and achievement. 168


BY CONVERSION Miriam Anderson Oliver Conway Robert Peter Bryant Harvey William George Knight Mui Ching Koh Hann-Lim Lau Guat Pei Lee Meng Jin Lim Man Luo Reza Torabi Parizi Scarlett Elizabeth Jayne Williams Yashan Zhang



TAUGHT Anawat Ariyaratana Neha Ashok Donthi Gap Gon Bak Sang Min Cha Preethi Ann Cherian Janaki Dhruv Contractor Elena Fadeeva Kevin Jones Georgias Karampelas Ojas Sanjeev Kulkarni Charif Lona Alejandro Moreno Rangel Neelanjana Nag Archana Narendran Amrutha Ramdas Yayoi Sato Sheeva Shabahang Pooja Suryakumar Muthuraman Thiyagarajan



Creative Urban Practices

T he urban and historical context of the Glasgow Tobacco Warehouse inspired a reconciliation of the palatial exterior and industrial building structure to create a ‘Fun Factor y’ that g ives new meaning to ‘city of play’




factory of human pleasure CHARIF LONA

The Fun Factory explores flexibility and

01. Project concept

adaptability in socio–urban terms. The

02. Site observation

­research ­focuses on the question of cultural

03. Reconciliation of palatial Architecture and industrial Architecture

attitudes to leisure, and whether play can be ­institutionalized. It also tests whether the city can be peceived as a ‘place of play’.

04. Visionary collage

The site is located in Glasgow

City Centre where commercial space is p redominant, with little possibility for ­ ­playful ­enjoyment of the city by families with ­children. The industrial nature of the Glasgow ­Tobacco Warehouse, along with the desire to ­preserve historical continuity, has resulted in a ­proposed new infrastructure for play.




Investigative Drawing

Give us this day, our daily bread WILL KNIGHT


An investigation into how Glasgow Tenement Artisan Bakeries meet this need in the neighbourhoods they serve, in terms of production, consumption and commerce in the community. In Living Over The Shopfront, ­Howard Davis writes of shop/houses, “T hey make little apolog y for the commerce and work that happens inside them . And they add up to a street that has the same features of pur posef ul f unction , repeated dozens of times.” In order to describe the external appearance of the bakeries, elevations were drawn. 02.

Detailed plans of the bakery were

drawn from surveys in order to eventually ­a nalyse the way the space is inhabited daily by the artisans and the community.




01. Detailed plan conveying a sense of production 02. Elevation 03. Section taken through the oven - the catalyst between production and consumption 04. Unconventional plan showing the loose chair and fresh produce 05. Living Over the Shopfront 06. A place to linger in good company



“How to use the conventions of Architectural draw ings to descr ibe space as lived exper ience, rather than a static or predictable moment of per fection ...” — Sarah Wiggleswor th 173


Field Theory

physical computinG ROB HARVEY

In The Autopoiesis of Architecture Vol II, Patrik Schumacher postulates that the M ­ odernist ­notion of space and its tendency to still cling to programmatic and spatial division was ­advanced during the 1980s and 1990s by the 01.

reconceptualisation of space as a “­continuously differentiated field”. Within this advanced ­s patial theory, enclosure and boundary can be understood as “territories” of increased programmatic intensity.

Walking through most cities it is

­apparent that this notion of blending, ­shifting and interpolation between districts is far c­ loser to actual reality than that of the city in stasis. If we are to understand the city as a constantly shifting entity governed by i­ nnumerable forces, then strategies to read and work within this conceptual framework can be formulated through the use of field theory.

This period of work sought to develop

a responsive architectural language capable of expressing these notions from both an ­aesthetic and performance based perspective.




Resulting Facade Articulation 05.


01. Physical Computing

External Field

Internal Field

External Field

06. Internal Field Resulting Facade Articulation

Hybrid Field

Internal Field Resulting Facade Articulation

07. Hybrid Field

02. Facade in flux, responsive to external conditions and internal occupations 03. Parametric design parameters 04. Entrance 05. External view 06. Conceptual framework derived through use of Field Theory, External field

External Field

07. Internal field 08. Hybrid field 09. Resulting facade articulation


Resulting Facade Articulation 09.


Michail Mersinis is a practising photographer and Stage 2 leader of Fine Art Photography at the G ­ SofA. MM39 asked him about his working methods, and the influences of digital technologies in his field.


T hree years ago I was really unfor tunate, and for tunate at the same time, to have my f irst batch of students coming in to Fine Ar t Photog raphy who had never used f ilm before — it just wasn’t something they had done

WE EXPLORE THE THEME OF ‘OLD & NEW’ THROUGHOUT THE PUBLICATION · HOW IS THIS MANIFESTED IN THE FIELD OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY? The easiest answer is to mention digital technologies, but I think it goes well, well beyond the classical issue of medium. Digital photography erupted a couple of years ago and first began to take over fields like advertisement, and it moved much more slowly towards the Fine Arts — simply because of the persistence in media, in the material, in ‘stuff’ — but now it’s catching up in Fine Art as well.

On one hand, this is my first thought regarding the ‘old & new’, but

what is more constant, and much, much older — well beyond material things — is the manifestation of this duality in the realm of ideas — especially in the field of Fine Art, and particularly in Photography. There has always been a sort of varying strife between regimes, regimes of ideas: is technology ­a ­collaborator or an antagonist in relation to what we make, and what we think of what we make? So even though the more contemporary response would be to talk about media — to me, it translates to the level of ideas also.

The new always appears in a rather polemic fashion — to combat the

old, to question the old, to rely on the old — and that tenuous relationship is one of the most interesting ones, simply ­because on the one hand it destroys, and on the other, it ­replenishes. Canons are being replaced as we speak, new makers are coming of significance while new practices emerge, and somehow, they either expand or destroy previous practices. Another polemic debate, in terms of ideas, is between the Modern and Post Modern, and Post-Post Modern — these came to both expand and destroy older notions. So, for me, there are two parts to this: material on the one hand, and ideas on the other.



WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WORK WITH AN ANALOGUE PINHOLE CAMERA · DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR STUDENTS TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES? I think that it’s crucial to have the option. It’s important to give ­everybody the means to try out both media — not just to skim through it. I use p ­ ractices that are very much analogue and that date back to the first days of ­photography. So in my own practice, time is a really crucial element. I spend a lot of time making pictures, simply because they take so long to make, in terms of exposure. I have been working at GSA for the past five years, and I have seen that the digital way of making and ­thinking — ­digital ­material — slowly creeps in.

For me, it’s all about translating ideas through

a set of media — some of the processes are slower, more cumbersome, more expensive, and in need of a hell of a lot more maintenance than digital. But, having the ­o pportunity of going through that, I think there are ­important lessons that can be learned that go beyond just the media. Thinking about what you point the camera at, for example — Michail Mersinis Photography, Earthquake, Leykada 2009

the way a lot of people use digital cameras is that they take a lot of p ­ ictures, but where do they end up? Before, it was the family albums — can the ­facebook timeline replace those? What happens when the nagging relatives ask for pictures of your wedding day, and you just ‘Dropbox’ them instead of looking through them together, face–to–face?

It’s an interesting situation because the technological side of

­photography has faced this problem before. There used to be Polaroid photos that faded away after a couple of years, and people became really upset because it were ­almost as if their memories had been erased. We are in a time now where these things exist

Digital material has this Minority Report kind of feeling · When we navigate around digital material, it is

in a sort of cyberspace, which has huge implications.

a series of movements without haptic

feedback — so you are not actually

A lot of my students use a mixture of digital and

­a nalogue. Three years ago I was really unfortunate, and ­fortunate at the same time, to have my first batch of students

touching ­a nything, it’s almost like ­s wimming without water resistance

coming in to Fine Art P ­ hotography who had never used film before — it just wasn’t s­ omething they had done. It was a revelation that they had never had this experience; they had never dealt with physical pictures — stacked on top of each other, getting dusty and changing, and fading away.

Polaroid is now coming back in fashion, the hipster trend, because

of how it looks and feels. We now have digital processes that try to emulate a look from another era and ­process — still very much photographic — that infringe on material. So in keeping with their time, most of my students have used digital cameras before they came here, but in the Department we try to make sure they have the full experience, which includes the analogue.



Jimmy Stephen-Cran is the leader of the Fashion and Textiles Department at the G ­SofA. MM39 asked him about tradition and innovation and how the two co–exist in his field.


EVERY FIELD SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN CHANGED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, AT LEAST IN ARCHITECTURE IT HAS HAD A BIG IMPACT · WHAT CHANGES HAS THE DIGITAL BROUGHT TO FASHION AND TEXTILES? It could be said that digital technology has had a positive and negative impact on Fashion and Textiles. The greatest positive has been the completely new aesthetics the technology has allowed. Digital printing allows an endless amount of colours to be printed at a time (colours are always very limited in conventional printing methods). And the 3D printing used by the Fashion designer Iris Van Herpen is visually incredible and almost impossible to describe to those who haven’t seen her work.

The downside is that the relative ease of digital printing means that

anyone can design a print. Believe me there are some hideous digital prints out there!

But above all, we should not forget that clothes will always remain

analogue in the sense that they are about the human body, about physical contact and tactility. THROUGHOUT OUR PUBLICATION WE ARE EXPLORING TRADITION AND INNOVATION · COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHY A LOT OF THE FASHION HOUSES CONTINUE TO HEAVILY REFERENCE THE CLOTHING THAT BELONGS TO THE PAST? Sometimes, the re–discovery of what has been done can lead to the most ­exciting form of innovation. In this respect, historical references are e­ xtremely important. People often talk about the ‘return of fashion’, or that the i­ ndustry is moving in circles, but for me, what happens is a form of ‘hybridization’ or a ‘dressing up box’ ­approach. ­Designers pick and choose elements from different eras and cultures and mix them up. For example, I saw a student recently hybridize 1920’s beaded ­chiffon dresses with seal skin clothing of Arctic dwellers. The result was visually arresting, exciting and very new looking. O ur students are much more draw n to the tactile and hand craf ted


DOES THE NEW GENERATION OF STUDENTS HAVE A STRONG PREFERENCE TO WORK DIGITALLY AND THEREFORE BE ABLE TO MASS–PRODUCE THEIR DESIGNS WHEN THEY ENTER THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD OR DO THEY PREFER TO MAKE ONE–OFF, HAND-CRAFTED PIECES? There is a myth that because a student is in their late teens or early twenties that they naturally do (or want to do) everything digitally. This is rarely the case with our students. Our students are much more drawn to the tactile and hand crafted. For example, we have looms in the Department that are well over 110 years old. Students fall in love with these looms but have a very ‘take it or leave it’ attitude when it comes to the digital jacquard looms we have

Weave graduates design on a computer when they

enter industry and without exception they all report back to us that the only reason they are able to design on a computer is because they know and understand the ­physical characteristics of actual weaving.

We often come across students who think

digital printing is ‘cheating’ so go to extraordinary lengths to make digital prints look hand crafted

Students fall in love with these looms but have a very ‘take it or leave it’ attitude when it comes to the digital jacquard looms we have

by, for example, working onto the surface of prints. I’ve seen potato printing on top of digital printing, digital prints done to look potato printed and I’ve no doubt that somewhere the technology exists to digitally print on to a potato! THE NEW BUILDING IS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE ‘CREATIVE ABRASION’ AND WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN INSTALLATIONS IN RESPOSE TO ITS ARCHITECTURE · HAS THERE BEEN ANY IMPACT ON THE DESIGN PROCESS AND RESULTS OF YOUR STUDENTS? Yes, an example is the visibility of looms in the new left. Pieces by Jordana Linning featured in the 2014 GSA Fashion Show. Photo by ­m cateer photograph/ GSofA right. 110 year old looms in the Reid Building

­building. Weave was tucked away on the top floor of the Newbery where nobody knew of its existence. Everyone who passes is mesmerized by these ‘antiques’ and what they can do. Many students from across GSA suddenly want to know how to weave.

Also, 3rd Year Interior Design students and final year Fashion

­s tudents are currently collaborating on a very exciting project exploring news ways of ‘presenting’ Fashion using the Reid Building as a backdrop. They are proposing a series of ‘Tableaux Vivants’ scheduled for City Night of the Degree Show — so watch this space!



Steve Rigley is a designer and lecturer based in the Department of Communication Design in the new Reid Building. His work explores the cultural and historical contexts in which the designer o ­ perates, and as such MM39 felt his thoughts on the process of printing gave a new perspective on our theme.



In Communication Design, we have keenly felt the change from analogue to digital — the emergence of ­digital processes has changed the way that people work in all areas, but it has made an especially big difference in our field.

When I’m teaching, I often feel that I am trying not

to revert back to things that I did when I was a student — working with my hands, handling paper and u ­ sing a scalpel — visualising, ­c utting and pasting. I try not to hark back as if this was a Golden Era, but I believe that many of these basic ­techniques are still incredibly relevant today. Along with the utilisation of digital methods of ­production, the ­interface of making has altered, we have lost that relationship with ­materials — I believe that to a degree, we have lost a bit of the intelligence in the way we work. On the other hand, technology has opened up networks, blown through channels of communication. It has made things democratic, things that were 'specialist' are now handed over to everyone — this is a mixed blessing. The issue when I joined the Art School was "how many Macs do you have per student?" Many of the Schools in England invested heavily, they would have huge rooms full of Mackintosh computers, and up here the provision was relatively modest — but then we had this fantastic Case Room with ­the letterpress, and it was still possible to do screen–printing. Everyone also got a desk–space in the studio — so in this respect, it was incredibly refreshing to come here.

Not only have we kept the letter press, but the people who work w ith it are explor ing its relevance today — adapting this traditional practice to the contemporar y context in a f resh way



We have lost that relationship w ith mater ials — I believe that to a deg ree, we have lost a bit of the ‘intelligence’ in the way we work

Now it’s like this huge pendulum; we have Macs coming out of our ears! But the students now really want the analogue, more provisions than we can afford: screen–printing, etching, access to photographic processes that they wouldn’t be able to create digitally. This is entirely natural considering that kids have grown up with Play Station, Xbox and the ability to download media digitally. At the same time, we have students who have continued to explore the opportunities of digital environments and networks. The frontier is where that ‘lost intelligence’ is — our students interested in re-discovering traditional hand-craft have to find the place for these analogue methods in the current climate of digital processes. In essence, I believe that this means trying to recover the sense of what it is to be a maker, physically. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING THE CAMPUS REUNITED, AND HAVING ALL OF THE SPECIALISMS WORKING SIDE BY SIDE · DO YOU THINK THAT THIS EMPHASISES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS, AND ENCOURAGES COMMON THEMES TO BE EXPLORED IN DIFFERENT MEDIA? left. Work displayed in the new studio, various images by Alice Rooney, Olivia Diaz, Benji & Cluness right. Case Room in Reid Building

To be back on Garnethill is fantastic — we are back to bumping into ­p eople we’ve not seen in a while and it just feels right. Though in terms of ­­­­­­­­cross–­fertilisation, I often pick up from students an enthusiasm for their own s­ ubject, and a readiness to fully grasp their own ­specialism before they decide to explore the relationship with other disciplines. Once they have a really solid grasp of Communication Design; an intimate understanding of materials, ­process, typography, and are aware of the possibilities, then it will be exciting for them to talk to people from other specialisms.

The exciting thing about being part of a small School

is that cross–departmental dialogues tend to go on naturally — students live and socialise together, and there is certainly more cross–fertilisation as a result. I'll be in crits, and the students will

As a result of the small community here, I fully believe that our students will have a much richer experience to translate into practice

be relating to their friend’s work from Fine Art or Architecture — we don’t need to drill great holes in the wall to make it happen, the ideas that are spilling out from there are coming into our studio naturally.




craftinG mm39



MacMag39 has been printed by Pureprint Group. Established in 1926, Pureprint are now at the forefront of ­sustainable innovation — 1st CarbonNeutral® printer in the world; recycling 98% dry waste and 95% press cleaning ­solvents; EMAS and FSC® certified — using cutting–edge technologies to create highly crafted books. This publication is Carbon Neutral. The CO2 emissions from the production and distribution of MM39 have been offset using Pureprint Gold — a programme s­ upporting projects accredited by The Gold Standard Foundation — that ­reduce emmisions and generate real value for communities involved. The layouts reinterpret the Van de Graaf canon. A grid of 1/9 has been overlaid on the 1:√2 proportioned pages — it is based on the ‘secret canon’ apparent in Medieval m ­ anuscripts, and has been playfully interrogated throughout MM39. Here we reveal the grid to show our use of those established principles. This book has been typeset in Neutraface. Inspired by the signage Architect Richard Neutra designed for his Modernist buildings, the lettering has been given new life as a ­typeface by House Industries, combining traditional and digital craft. We feel it was a fitting celebration of our theme, and in itself an essay on the union of old & new.




MacMag39 has taken us on an incredible journey — we came ­together as four individuals with boundless ideas and through an intense year of chasing, bickering, and actually figuring out how to run a ­p ublication — we have emerged as a team of Editors. Through all the crises and challenges, our overarching theme of old & new has always guided us in crafting the publication that’s now in front of you. During this process, we have encountered many inspirational ­c haracters and have received a tremendous amount of support — for that, we are extremely grateful. We’ve been fortunate in gaining a unique insight into the School at this memorable moment in its history, and it has been a privilege to share this. MM39 opens a new chapter in the tradition of the publication, ­making our contribution to the collective memory of the Mac. We have grown with the book, poured our heart and soul into it, and we hope that future Editors will equally benefit from this amazing experience. We have made our stamp, and look forward to the future.

— The Editors


THANK YOU Kelsy Alexander Anderson Bell Christie Michael Archer Archial NORR Lewis Armstrong Mark Baines John Barr Kirsty Barr Rekha Barry Bennetts Associates Justin Bere bere:architects Claire Biddles

Julia van den Hout Jack Hughes Tom Inns JM Architects David Jolley Craig Laurie Kathy Li MagMag38 Ken Macrae Fahad Malik Robert Mantho Michail Mersinis

Janine Biunno Molly Blieden Vivian Carvalho CDA Architects Ryan Clark Collective Architecture Andrew Cooper Tjaša Corn Jimmy Stephen–Cran Jo Crotch Sam Currie Josh Doyle Emma Dragovic Chris Dyson Chris Dyson Architects Lucinda Eccles Tilo Einert Brian Evans Christine Faulkner David Fleck Flux Laser Studio Foster + Partners Derek Fulton Friday Lecture Series

mcateer photograph Henry McKeown Anna McLuckie Chris McVoy Red Mike Alex Misick Stephen Molloy Ronan Morris Christine Neo NORD Architecture Page\Park Architects Sophie Pitt Chris Platt David Porter Robert Proctor Callum Ritchie Sarah Beth Riley Graeme Robertson Sam De Santis Benjamin Brian Schaefer Rob Scott Sally Stewart Sheppard Robson Squire and Partners Studio KAP Sophie Tan Toggl Paul Twynam Julia Underwood Adam Wright Steven Wrigley


Gordon Gibb Jonathan Gillett Adam Goss Graven Images Gravity Matrix HLM Architects Steven Holl Steven Holl Architects Holmes Miller Alan Hooper Gareth Hoskins

MASS MAST Architects

SPECIAL THANKS TO Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Police Scotland

mACmAG 39

A PUBLICATION BY Sofi Campbell Lawrence Khoshdel Natalie Pollock Arseni Timofejev Mackintosh School of Architecture @ MacMag39 / MacMag39 www .

MacMag39 © 2014 M a c M a g 3 9. c o m /C