The Atlas of the North

To preserve fragments of a disappearing Glasgow through a Monument to immortalise the lost and forgotten histories of the former Industrial Centres of the City.

Through the anthropomorphication of architecture, we have given buildings life. They have bones, and a skin that breathes, following circulation, devoid of any reference to anatomy, lands you at the building’s centre; its heart. They grow old, hold memories and are even said to be ‘imbued with spirit’. Considering this sentiment, a building as a living entity, this thesis also adheres to Jane Jacob’s adage that ‘Buildings Must Die’. The inevitability of this fact must be acknowledged in the same manor that all things must come to an end. However, the means of such end, whether it be destruction, dereliction or a new lease of life, form the following enquiry of this Thesis.

Sparked by the mass demolition Glasgow has faced since the 1960’s Comprehensive Development Plan, this thesis will act as a memento mori to the lost built fabric of our environment. Immortalising the forgotten histories of Glasgow’s former Industrial Centres through a Memorial; acting as both Monument and Museum. In a bid to promote the salvation of these ruins, the project will culminate in the restoration of the Springburn Winter Gardens. Where the historic built form will become the epicentre of hope for the future, as a Restoration Workshop to repair salvaged built fragments. Whereas its proposed neighbour will become its programmatic antonym as a museum reflecting on the loss of the past; doing so though a cladding of salvaged material from local demolition sites.

The Museum of Lost Glasgow is not only in response to the unsentimental nature of demolition across Glasgow, but how unsustainable the ‘bring it down and start again’ ethos is. To confront this and bring awareness to such issues the Museum terminates in the Futures Rooms, dedicated to education about alternative sustainable technologies. The project itself is made up of masonry panels extracted from local condemned buildings such as Stobhill Hospital and The Talisman Pub. As the project takes on the ethos of circular economy, it will extend the living metaphor in reclaimed materiality; prolonging the material lifecycle from cradle to grave – to cradle to cradle.