In The Garden
August 21, 2018 \ Places to Live
by Chris Simmonds
A recurring theme in all our housing projects is the relationship between landscape and the built form, with all of our proposals informed by the urban, suburban, or rural landscape in which they sit.
A core principle of our housing design approach it is to create well-defined streets and public spaces inspired by the urban grid of Glasgow and avoid the urban sprawl of suburban development. Our work in restoring the British Linen Bank tenement at Gorbals Street is a literal example of this, where we’re looking to turn a corner that was envisaged in James Salmon’s original drawings by re-introducing a turret.
Our adjacent Laurieston 1A development was an example of how we’ve re-established the urban grid and how we’ve re-interpreted it. We’ve softened the edges of the grid by stepping the elevation, opening side views to living rooms and improving orientation, which also resolves the geometry and level drop along Gorbals Street. At the opposite corner of the block our Laurieston 1C project, currently on site, takes the idea a stage further by stepping the block at the corner both horizontally and vertically, opening up to public garden spaces on Eglinton Street and Cumberland Street while creating a landmark tower at the gateway to Laurieston – the new edge to the city centre.
On a more suburban scale our new project at Kilsyth Road, Kirkintilloch exemplifies a different approach. While we soften the edges of the urban street we seek to harden the (soft) edges of a suburban one. Eschewing the norm of detached and semi-detached houses we look to introduce small terraces with flats in the roof space defining open-ended courtyards which allow for both street definition and for views out into the landscape. This responds to the scale of surrounding development while creating welcoming places for social interaction.
Finally the New Gorbals Housing Association Offices the idea is of the metaphorical garden. The office space itself conceived as a walled garden with double-height open-plan spaces opening into the back-court encouraging interaction between departments and the community itself.