In the late 1960s, when the department and its building were but a few years old, architecture students at the University of Strathclyde pioneered community participation in planning and architecture through the vehicle of tenement rehabilitation. Following highly successful dissertations and thesis projects, an official research unit was formed by the department which acted as a catalyst for the establishment of community based housing associations across Glasgow. Although the project was largely a reaction against the disintegration of established communities in the name of urban renewal, it also inadvertently initiated the rise in popularity of tenement conservation in the city, and is to some extent directly responsible for how Glasgow looks today.


Image 1: The ASSIST team outside the office at 925 Govan Road in 1973. “With its architectural red and black painted doors and windows, it was a ‘community architecture’ shop, one of the very first in the UK.” (Raymond Young)

Image 2: 13 Rosebery Street, Oatlands, used to identify front elevation and roof items for each address in the joint Scottish Development Department and City of Glasgow Tenement Survey, 1973. Drawn by Peter Robinson.

Image 3: Arrangement of plumbing for kitchens and bathrooms within a typical Oatlands tenement. Drawn by Peter Robinson for the Scottish Development Department Joint Housing Development Unit 1969-70.

Image 4: Demonstration flat kitchen with the bed recess wall cut away to show a mocked-up toilet, washbasin, storage and tanks. From The Rehabilitation in Glasgow Study, Gourlay Street, 1968- 9. (Peter Robinson, fifth year thesis)

Image 5: The first bathroom to be installed in a bed recess, 1972. John and Annie Gibbons’ flat, 2/1, 10 Luath Street Govan. (Raymond Young)

Images 2—4 taken from: Architectural Heritage XXI (2010): 75–92, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/arch.2011.0007

Images 1&5 taken from: Architectural Heritage XXI (2010): 93–108, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/arch.2011.0008

© The Architectural Heritage Society



(Winner of the 2011: Glasgow Institute of Architects 4th Year Design Prize - Best Student in a Particular Project)

“The project’s aim was to firstly research architectural education, how is it taught and which spaces it requires in order to form new ideas for architectural education. Following on from this research an architectural response has been developed for a new Department of Architecture in the core of Porto’s historical centre – hitherto Praça de Lisboa. The proposal on wider urban scale involves the reinstatement of Porto’s Medieval Circuit with a contemporary insertion of the proposed cloister of buildings in order to restore the historical centre’s urban fabric.

Praça de Lisboa [Lisboa Square] (former Mercado do Anjo and Clérigos Shopping) is a fundamental space of Porto’s city, located in the transition between the small scale of the medieval city and the big scale of the public projects of the bourgeoisie city of the XVIII/XIX’s century’s – such as the Torre dos Clérigos, Cadeia da Relação, Reitoria da Universidade do Porto and the buildings from architect Marques da Silva. It’s an essential meeting point of the city, not only by the buildings and areas that it relates to, but also, by the distinct publics that gathers (students, workers, tourists, reformed), as well as the permanent flow of people that articulates, during day and night with the recent mobilization to the bars in Galerias de Paris and Cândido dos Reis streets.

The massing of buildings forming a cloister has been sculpted in order to frame vistas and create view corridors to link the different parts of the surrounding area to this public discussion hub within the centre of the proposal. The scheme relates to the surrounding context and is sensitive to its site within the historic medieval quarter; the eastern corner of the building is offset to form a public space in front of the main entrance and acts as a gateway to the start of Porto’s medieval circuit, the statue of Bishop António Ferreira Gomes has been retained and the building has been stepped back to create a small public space linking to the Cordoaria Gardens, buffer zones / public green spaces have been created on each side of the site in order to respond to the site being bounded by vehicular routes on each side, a formal edge to Rua Dr. Ferreira da Silva has been established in the form of a public gallery space.

Seeking to create cohesion between different disciplines, and create a space in which these can interact and debate ideas with the wider public, the building draws influence from the ancient Greek Agora, a place of public assembly and democratic debate, as well as the medieval typology of a monastery and the community created within. In order to be able to fully engage in the process of an architectural education one must be fully immersed in the study of architecture, much in the same way as people choosing to live in a monastery fully dedicate themselves to spirituality.

Monastery denotes a complex of buildings, which house a room reserved for prayer (oratory), as well as domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics. In this capacity the proposed Department of Architecture strives to instill a similar ethos in regard to study of architecture in order to embed this ‘living and breathing’ with architecture work ethic.”

— A 4th year Honours Degree project by Michal Scieszka.


push button and wait

I wanted to share this wonderful short film on the theme of “the city at work” by Ross Brown, Alastair Cassell, Peter Cassidy and Chao Nie of Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, completed for the Department of Architecture’s Experimental Media class and found on the departmental tumblrlog

I love the eerie atmosphere created by the complete lack of human prescence, the city an automaton continuing to function, but for what purpose? Who keeps trying to call? Who are they trying to reach? Why do they keep persisting, despite nobody ever picking up? Every shot is beautifully framed and patiently composed - stunning work guys.

(As an aside I also took this class 2 years ago, however the two pieces I helped create, while certainly creative, had none of the finesse of this.)


A short film on the theme of ‘the city at work' for the Department of Architecture Experimental Media class by Ross Brown, Alastair Cassell, Peter Cassidy and Chao Nie.

Camera: Canon 550D / Lenses: Canon kit 18-55mm f/3.5, Nikon 50mm E-Series f/1.8, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 & 70—210mm f/4—5.6 / Audio: From camera & Nagra Ares-M / Post: Premier Pro, After Effects & Logic Pro

© Ross Brown, Alastair Cassell, Peter Cassidy and Chao Nie


An example of the studio culture and teaching driven by practitioner tutors at Strathclyde Architecture School - Year 1 project Animation/ video

(Thanks for the submission - ed)