MSA Stage 4 School of Architecture

Emily Paton (she/her)

Urban Building – East End Education
Urban Housing – Musical Tenement

Urban Building – East End Education

The main focus of this thesis is to improve the living standards of the people in Calton by teaching them necessary life skills whilst reconstructing the crumbling landscape.

Giving back to the community
The local education centre will provide a safe space for people to learn new skills such as cooking, woodwork, exercise and socialisation. It responds to the area’s demographic needs and compliments the historic vibrancy of the Barras. It will tackle the high poverty levels and encourage a healthier and happier lifestyle available to all members of society.

Calton’s Living Room
The main performance space is a versatile room known as Calton’s Living Room. It is a place for gathering and socialising with the local community and is essential in providing a safe public space. Its large open plan layout allows for its multifunctional use from a day centre to a performance space at night.

Touch with nature
The open courtyard in the centre provides an opportunity for locals to enjoy a maintained outdoor space. The terraced greenery provides a link back to nature within the city and connects it to nearby greenery.

Building the Barras
The education centre plays a vital role in repairing Calton’s urban density by retaining existing façades and reclaiming materials from the site to redefine the missing street edge. Retaining existing features and reusing local materials provides a historic link, connecting it back to the district and providing a familiar comfort.


Location Plan

Site Plan and Urban Form

Distinguishable Presence



Urban Morphology


Section and Views

Section and Views

Perspective Section

Urban Housing – Musical Tenement

The two main focuses of this thesis lie in the domestic community and how labour impacts the community.
This district will be home to musicians who work and live within the community. Domesticity and labour will be intertwined, with musicians living adjacent to their studios and performance spaces.


The labour spaces will be within the main tenemental block separated by an individual entrance to allow others to enter the teaching/practice space. With the barrowlands ballroom around the corner, the housing is placed within a musical core, ideal for musicians to bring back life to the run-down markets. With the additional opportunity for retail and teaching, it allows for people who are not directly related to the music industry to have a place within the proposal. As musicians tend to not follow a 9-5 working day accommodating them with private soundproof practice spaces allows them to maximise their place.


The domestic spaces will be built on the model of cells with private practice spaces and additional communal music spaces. Retaining the historic link to the tenement, there will be the traditional retail facilities on the ground floor and living spaces above. With a lack of young families and a lack of community in the area, creating versatile cells allows for all members of society to live here.


Domestic and labour spaces will share the same presence in the block, both accessing outdoor spaces, studios, retail etc.

The distinction between domesticity and labour will be made through the architectural response to the site. Externally there is a uniform array of windows, signifying the equality between domesticity and labour, as work is incorporated into the domestic space. The intertwined and overlapping lifestyle of a musician proves difficult to create a clear division.

With the decline of the barras as a visiting destination point, it is crucial to bring back vibrancy to the area, reuniting it back to the city and the greenery around it. Giving the local community a focal point, such as a public performance space, promotes the barras as a mixed-use, adaptable hub with a distinct identity allowing all members of society to interact.


Location Plan

Site Plan

Urban Form






Site Section