MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Carl C.Z. Jonsson (He/him)

Glasgow’s Eden: A Garden and Seed Bank in an Age of Climate Disruption
The Mirror: A Qu(eer qu)est for Dematerialisation in Architecture

Glasgow’s Eden: A Garden and Seed Bank in an Age of Climate Disruption

DIPLOMA PROJECT / The proposal consists of a greenhouse and garden complex in the Govan graving docks that acts as a safe haven for plant species under threat of extinction. It aims to highlight the environmental legacy of the site: from conservation of, among others, threatened species that were local to the river Clyde, before the site turned into the manmade landscape of the docks; to leaving the rewilded riverfront undisturbed, which is itself a delicate ecosystem.

Scotland can expect more extreme temperatures and levels of humidity. Having growing spaces in a variety of microclimates is key in ensuring the survival of species, as they are sites for the testing and developing of genetic variants that can adapt to new climates. To ensure that these variants are provided for future generations, a series of internal spaces are dedicated to preparing extracted seeds for cold storage, in a seed bank within one of the docks. By-products from this process, mainly fruits, plant bodies and seeds not viable for storage, are available to the public in a market. The prime objective of ecological conservation can thus be combined with benefitting a local community marked by issues of deprivation and public health. Providing a local food source is also in the interest of ecology as the land conversion that comes with global networks of food production threatens the very biodiversity this proposed facility deals with.

Site plan
Programme / Garden model
Ground floor / basement plan
Greenhouse section
Site section
Seed bank
North elevation

The Mirror: A Qu(eer qu)est for Dematerialisation in Architecture

POSTGRADUATE ELECTIVE (QUEER STUDIES IN ARTS & CULTURE) ESSAY / Architecture was queer from the moment it became aware of itself – and the only thing that could make that happen was a mirror, a mirror multiplied and stretched across surfaces so that it itself became architecture. Michael Abrahamson evokes Jacques Lacan in stating that this moment – which can be pinned down to a post-war boom of mirror-faced office buildings which in turn multiplied to occupy countless American city centres, creating an anti-vernacular anonymity most American, and vice versa – was when “modernist architecture became aware of itself as an object of desire, and reified this awareness into anxiety and aphasia.” He goes on, “Architecture was looking at itself, and it didn’t always like what it saw.” The paradigm shift that the arrival of modernism entailed was not only a material one, then, but an ontological one, and with anything that is considered being able to regard itself, having reached Lacan’s mirror stage, there is an opportunity for a queer reading. Excerpts below.

Image sources: 04. Filip Dujardin 05. Private collection, SL.16.2017.1.1 06. Bas Princen 07. Tate Purchased 1981, SL.16.2017.34.5
Image sources: 08. Bas Princen 09. Office KGDVS 10. John Lovett & Alessandro Codagnone 11. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS), San Francisco
Image sources: 20. Filip Dujardin 21. Centre Canadien d’Architecture