The Tectonic Poetics of Empathy

Today’s current monocultural climate pushed forward by the post-industrialist modernist agenda is actively un-weaving the very fabric of our cities once designed for the mortal and now for the motorized. 

Unchained from the shackles of the past, the modernist agenda unselfconsciously promotes a misinformed conception of reality unsuited to the crooked primordial nature of humanity best viewed from the comfort of a fast-moving vehicle, strip-ping expressive façades of their features, their stories, their past, present, and future, while disjoining the built form from its surrounding community.

When examining Glasgow’s urban grain through this lens though many remnants of a distant history are present, the effects of modernism on the cities tapestry cannot be overlooked. Subsequently, the disjointed mark modernism has left on Glasgow is arguably hyperbolized by the hilly city’s topological nature. This thesis aims to study the development of an honest, re-humanized, functional, driven tectonic, engrained within the historical, geographical, and technical, which in turn at- tempts to start an honest dialogue while stitching back together Glasgow’s urban fabric and breaking down social barriers. 

In order to best showcase the potential of a new tectonic poetic, the thesis idea will be explored on the site of the post 2018 fire-damaged Mackintosh School of Art and its contextual city block. This site will provide a case study between the historical and current tectonic dialogue regarding the Reid and the Mackintosh Building. It will also rigorously test the thesis hypothesis stating the benefit of a more humanized tectonic and its capability to mend the city’s torn urban fabric. More specifically, the site permits ideal grounds for the testing as it finds itself between two very contrasting streets and preconceived notions from the very private and exclusive to the very open and public. More in-depth, the program of the Mackintosh Building will be re-introduced to accommodate the school of fine arts, while the wider site will be developed as a re- centralization of the Mackintosh School of Architecture.