Finding sustainability in problematic mid-20th century heritage
Supported by the research on the superior environmental benefits of quality reuse this thesis explores a renovation strategy of a problematic and vacant mid-20th century building estate of Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow through testing the limits of different reuse practices of reclaimed materials from demolished modern buildings nearby. It addresses numerous issues faced by many similar estates around Europe – the high cost of renovation and maintenance, unpopularity and tainted collective memory, inefficient floor planning not fitting contemporary requirements, unattractive aesthetics, secluded urban placemaking, poor detailing and energy efficiency. Careful programming is used to explore creative reuse methods on 2 scales – large commercial and community use redevelopment models. Reuse and preservation methods of the catalogued reclaimed materials are utilized to inform the building’s programme as well as the architecture itself by proposing a 20th-century heritage and reuse institute (‘‘Landfill’’), public workshop, affordable rent studios and commercial spaces and an innovation centre. In this way, the proposal seeks to foster reuse practices in Glasgow and Scotland and becomes an architectural manifestation of reuse itself by embracing imperfect materials over immaculate surfaces and challenging the public’s view of decay as a sign of sustainability through longevity. The institute explores larger-scale reuse practices for a commercial setting, while the smaller community use proposal explores a less profitable, but more accessible long-term scenario. It involves local communities to promote the reuse of 20th-century heritage, bringing awareness of the environmental benefits of high-quality renovation and creating an exemplary long-term sustainable ownership model for other problematic vacant buildings.