E A R T H H.

The urban housing’ site is located on the southeastern side of the neighbourhood, directly adjacent to the underground railway that crosses the area. The southern side of Dennistoun is surrounded by an industrial area, and it is considered to be the neighbourhood’s most “deprived” zone as regards income, employment rate, health, education/skills, housing, geographic access, and crime rank, according to “Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020”.

The current location accommodates various spaces for car maintenance and cleaning as well as a café, albeit the overall atmosphere displays an industrial character with a disorganised appearance. However, the site location benefits from a Southern Sun exposure, a generous green area with many trees, and great access to the city centre via Duke Street.

Considering the downsides and the benefits of the location, the urban housing project strives to revitalise the area’s urban fabric and social aspects by creating a place that prioritises safety, accessibility, sustainability and place-making.
The urban housing project seeks to attract young families to regenerate Dennistoun’s most underprivileged area, relying on the young generation to transform the Southern side of the neighbourhood into a vibrant and thriving community.

The housing project design aims to respond to a complex site while turning the disadvantages into advantages, focusing on creating inclusive and appealing private and public spaces for the local community.
The site development focuses on creating three realms: the private, the semi-public and the public. The private realm, which is the housing blocks, closes the boundary of the existing buildings nearby, creating a semi-public space/enclosed courtyard protected from the prevailing winds while offering a safe space for children who live in the proposed and existing housing to play and socialise. The public realm provides a  generous area in front of the proposed housing that accommodates an outdoor auditorium which acts as a ‘public room’ for conversations and gatherings, a skate ramp, multiple green zones, and paths that connect the site to the nearby streets. The public realm aims to strengthen the sense of community and togetherness through the generous proposed outdoor spaces that can accommodate various activities like a local fair, an outdoor movie night or competitions for children (skating, cycling).

The project facilitates various typologies of houses, such as maisonettes for larger families and one to two beds units for smaller families or single parents. The main feature of the housing blocks is the winter gardens which each flat/maisonette benefits from. The form of the winter gardens displays a ‘new bay window’ typology inspired by the neighbourhood’s existing housings. All winter gardens are oriented towards the South and are designed to provide a bright and warmer place where people can enjoy their free time. Moreover, the Winter Garden plays a crucial role in activating the public space/ “play area” designed right across them while acting as a buffer zone for the noise coming from the railway.

The ‘Earth Housing’ project focuses on ecological and economical design aspects through circular materials. Therefore, the primary materials proposed are reinforced earth walls, CLT roofs, and floor slabs. The urban housing choice of rammed earth as the primary material intends to popularise this ancient but, simultaneously, very new material (with the latest technological improvements) that strive to innovate sustainable design.