Chair's Medal for Architecture 2022

MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Karlis Kukainis

Finding sustainability in problematic mid-20th century heritage

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.

Birds eye view of the site

Birds-eye view of the ‘‘Landfill’’ site. Sections removed or shifted to reveal the relationship of the different internal programmes, the exterior and materiality

Programme Diagram

Site Plan

GF Plan

Tower Section

View from the Park

Laundry building Section

Laundry building Facade

Sandstone Wall Spaces section

Sandstone wall facade

Sandstone Wall Spaces

Laundry Building

Material & Tool Swap Market

Material and Tool Swap Market

Material Reuse Institute

Material Reuse Institute

Affordable Rent Studios

Innovation Centre

Institute facade

Entrance to Rent Studios


GF to Upper Floors conection


Staircase Through the Laundry Building

Reclaimed Brick facade detail

Sandstone Wall Spaces detail

View from Old Dumbarton Street

View from Benalder Street