Habitable Infrastructure

Architecture // 2017

Habitable Infrastructure
How might we better integrate Glasgow’s industrial infrastructure into the ecology of the city?
Along Bridgegate in Glasgow are a series of substantial brick railway arches, fanning out from the Union Railway Bridge, which once carried multiple railway tracks into the now-demolished St. Enoch’s Railway station. Formerly the site of Paddy’s Market, the railway arches beneath this complex structure are now derelict. Like similar nineteenth-century railway structures all over Britain, these substantial structures are now without a purpose, recalling both the infrastructure that has been lost and the informal businesses that formerly populated its ground-level spaces.
With two freight-only railway lines skirting the edge of the site, there is now an opportunity to re-imagine this structure. This project aims to breathe new life into a historic piece of infrastructure in Glasgow by once again providing opportunities to the people around it. The scheme cuts into and then builds atop the railway arches, providing a combination of refurbished and new-build accommodation of workspaces. Integrating a co-working and start-up hub, the scheme gives the East End of Glasgow a new centre for creativity, entrepreneurship and opportunity. Meanwhile, at ground level, the reinstatement of Paddy’s Market will restore some of the informal entrepreneurial activity associated with the site, regenerating livelihoods that were recently lost.
1:10000 Glasgow Figure-ground
1:2500 Proposed Figure-ground
Bridgegate Viaducts
Paddy's Market Courtyard
Created from the excavation of Bridgegate Viaducts, Paddy’s Market gains a new space to thrive once again, away from the alley of Shipbank. By removing some of the infrastructure inhabiting the site, these courtyards create a valuable community & commercial opportunity with open spaces which can host vegetation, events and the market. Surrounded by the remaining viaducts; refurbished into new individual, functional units aimed to provide more opportunities within the site. These spaces can then be manipulated to serve those who inhabit them.
Bridgegate’s new co-working space also holds presence from within the courtyard, looming over the site
Bridgegate Co-working
A New Level
The upper level of the Bridgegate Viaducts was once used as railway lines; then they were used, seemingly, as a car park; now they remain home to a selection of wild vegetation which rises over the edges of its boundary. With the removal of selected infrastructure within the site, the question lies as to what can be done with what remains? The courtyards that are created through this process are surrounded by reclaimed arches, each of which serve their own purpose as a unit. However, on top, a new public space emerges. Making use of the heavy arch structures allows for the potential of much needed green space to the area, while it is entirely surrounding with views directly down into the activity of the market spaces.
Bridgegate Co-working
Interior Spaces
The entrances into Bridgegate Co-working form double height spaces which reflect the overarching structure of the form above. The courtyard itself is surrounded by juxtaposing brickwork demonstrated from the retained archway structure and the reclaimed brick facade of the new build.  The use of timber to surround these spaces is used two-fold, timber creates a warm environment, nurturing a space for co-working but also as an escape from the elements outside while also providing an acoustic buffer from these large voids. The angled nature of the form allows for natural light to flow through freely into the deeper spaces of the building. Whether someone aimed to sit down to catch up on some work or just pass through to gain access to the wider site, these spaces seek to provide comfortability in their inhabitance.
The work-spaces provided by Bridgegate Co-working are designed to serve a variety of needs depending on tenants. The unique thing about co-working spaces is that there is no distinct way to design them, for it is the people within who define that space. A variety of furniture, people and activities could happen at any one time, while also happening all the time. The spaces themselves are fully covered with timber finishes with the only relief coming from the exposed steelworks of the structure. 
Bridgegate Co-working
Elevations
Bridgegate Viaducts
Archway Refurbishments
The primary material used in the arches is the existing masonry itself. By providing insulation above the arches and in the floor, the interior brickwork can be left exposed. this is aesthetically beneficial as well as acoustically, though a buffer would be a good choice for those which have the roof of the structure running through. The structures built in the arches themselves would primarily be comprised of lightweight frames. The faces of the arch are filled with a lightweight structure which provides arched glazing to make the most of the viaducts form.  The facade of these arches are modular in repetition, giving consistency throughout the site while leaving individuality to the interior. 
Final Crit Presentation Board (3400x1600mm Approx)
This is the culmination of my time at Norwich University of the Arts and I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the staff who have put the time and effort into making our work the best it can be. In particular I would like to thank James Benedict Brown and William Jefferies for their invaluable support & feedback, despite only knowing & working with us for a few months.
Back to Top