Ian Ritchie Architects won this international competition in June 1997 to design innovative social housing on a site in East Glasgow overlooking Glasgow Green.
The client, Thenew Housing Association, was supported by Scottish Homes and Glasgow UK City of Architecture & Design 1999. The 1999 programme’s aim was to celebrate, through a process involving people with the design and development of their city, the best in contemporary ‘architecture and design’ to improve the quality of living in the city.
Over a period of three months we, together with the artist Jane Kelly, made visits and held design discussions with Thenew tenants to understand their expectations and to explore new ideas.
The client’s aspirations were to develop innovative solutions for the provision of housing on an inner-city site which would provide long term desirable, affordable, environmentally sustainable and attractive homes. Architecturally, we hoped that the scheme would be seen as an exemplar would be recognised as a world-class urban housing project capable of providing a pattern making vision of city housing for the next century.
A contemporary shelter is one which must provide and adapt to changing financial security for non-owners, and is fundamentally a space which can be economically built and repeatedly customised over many decades in response to changes in family structure, living patterns and mobility.
Sound isolation, sunlight, low bills and low maintenance are priorities.
Part of the art of residential design is to understand and balance the private and the public elements in a manner which is urban. The idea of the ‘outdoor’ room and redefining the living space offer new ways of interpreting this new denser urbanity. It is this new synergy – space(s) inhabitant(s) in tune with our age – where modernism’s segregation of work, play and living accommodation is no longer valid. Housing has to try and catch up with the way most people now live.
The project was completed in 2000.