Laurieston Phase Three Housing

  • Client:

    Urban Union Ltd / Stallan-Brand

  • Location: Laurieston, Glasgow
  • Status: RIBA Stage 3 (G)
  • Contract value: Undisclosed

As part of the third phase of development of the Laurieston Housing Masterplan designed by Stallan Brand, McGinlay Bell have developed proposals for three typologies; the Apartment, the Terrace, and the Pavilion.

Through interrogating these typologies certain themes arose and the idea of scalable elements and a ‘kit of parts’ allowed coherence and legibility between types.

The project brief was first and foremost to work within an existing masterplan proposed by Stallan-Brand and any proposals were to developed be through a thorough collaborative approach. A tight budget required careful consideration and this prioritised and focused a need to consider offsite manufacture, off the shelf systems and products and working hard with these products and material to find extra layers of detail and function.

The project was born out of a desire to enhance and improve the quality of our built environment while at the same time completing a visionary masterplan. A rational approach to form and materiality was developed to provide a robust, legible architecture.

Apartment Typology

A defined series of apartment blocks to Norfolk Street provides a strong edge to the masterplan and a contemporary expression and reinterpretation of a traditional Glasgow tenemental block.

While the main elevation of the building on Norfolk Street offers a rhythm and quiet solidity in keeping with the surrounding tenement blocks, the composition of the gable provides a sculpted familiar permanence.

It was intended that a level of continuity and inheritance from context would be recognized in the architectural language and the new building is read as a valuable piece of townscape, belonging to and part of Laurieston.

The repetitive and ordered language of windows as a ‘grid’ was to allow for a formal composition to the block. By manipulating the scale of windows across the facade a subtle sense of relief and interplay is composed while retaining a strength in its verticality.

Brick has been chosen as the dominant material to give the buildings coherence and a feeling of longevity, as well as a physical connection to its neighbours. The choice of material was a key way to give meaning, memory and permanence.

Pavilion Typology

The pavilion as a typology was a building that would be visible from all sides and the idea of a ‘Pavilion in the Park’ became the driving nature from which the design developed.

Clues from the surrounding context and equally ambitions from the masterplan allowed for the pavilions to be represented as objects in the landscape.

The gentle splay in the plan gave more generous space to the living spaces in each flat type, but also provided a distinctive visual aesthetic to the exterior of both blocks. By manipulation and skew of the vertical planes the facades present an softer sculptural quality to emerge.

The corners to each Pavilion block corners are carved out creating defined balconies that generate a sense of relief to the blocks while establishing a visual point of focus to the form.

Terrace Typology

The site for the terrace houses is bound by an existing street layout which formally enclosed a tenemental block. It is proposed to retain a tree lined street hierarchy with front gardens and off street parking, with ‘back court’ areas provided to the rear with private garden space, refuse storage and semi-private and casual amenity, shared space.

Particular care was taken in the composition of the street facade with the bay window. The expression and reinterpretation of the tenemental bay window was a key idea in establishing a new contemporary take on the city townhouse. The repetitive composition of the bay window was to create a sense of formality to each townhouse and wider identity to the street as a whole.