MSA Stage 3 School of Architecture

Nathan Gunn



The Temple Gasworks vertical farm project was a way to explore ultra-low energy agricuture suspended from these landmark Gasometers, which are themselves monuments to the era of carefree consumption. The material choices for this project were completely driven by practicality: we looked at oil-rigs and industrial agriculture for inspiration, while also making sure to consider the user, and make a humane and pleasant work place from that extremely stark palette. Some of these materials and spaces, as well as the farms low-energy environmental system, come over into my Urban Food Exchange.
I made this site model early on in the project to be able to quickly experiement with massing etc, but also as a tool to explore and understand the landscape and contours of the Applecross site. I cast it in ordinary multifinish plaster, which is soft enough to work with hand tools, but eventually cures very hard. It is reinforced intenally with glass fibre.
In our brief we assumed that the current HQ of Scottish Canals occupying the site would be demolished. Re-using the many facing bricks this would release was an early consideration that continued into the design. Deriliction and waste defines the local area around the site, but the neighbouring nature reserve sucessfully incorporates large blocks of residual masonry from the former Iron Works, railway sleepers, etc, as features of the landscape.
This study combines the longest shadows cast from summer to winter solstice at the site, showing that the tallest building in the vicinity does not shade the site at any point. The steep slope running through the site seemed like the biggest disadvantage early on, but infact shortens an otherwise very long shadow cast by the House and Hub immediately infront. This was the ideal location for a commercial greenhouse to supply food for distribution or use in the cooking school. Being situated on top of a hill also makes transportation of produce easier.
Following the adaptive reuse of materials in the nature reserve, I wanted to encourage the flora and fauna already thriving there to travel the short distance to the site, and establish healthy, urban greenspace, as the setting for the food exchange. This principle also extends to the social mission of the project, which is to improve access to better food in communities left behind in post-industrial deprivation.
This part of the Hub, the packing and loading area, is intended as a porous, multi-use environment which facilitates both activity and rest.

chimneys diagram copy2-Recovered (3)