MSA Stage 3 School of Architecture

Philippa Cook

Within my architectural practice, my primary focus is on environmental sustainability and I aim to design buildings with low whole-lifecycle carbon which work in harmony with their surroundings.

My study at MSA comes following a career in contemporary curating and a first degree in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. This background has undoubtedly influenced my approach to form and materiality which, combined with the technological aspects of practice, have allowed me to develop a holistic approach to architectural design.

Moving forwards, I am keen to explore how adaptive re-use can form a core part of planning and design policy in an effort to reduce construction waste and the production of virgin materials.

Maryhill Food Exchange

Maryhill Food Exchange

The Maryhill Food Exchange positions urban farming at the heart of a new sustainable food plan for Glasgow. Using growing sites along the canal network as well as Temple Gasworks vertical farm and the Applecross hub, the food exchange provides fresh produce to local communities year-round, feeding up to 15,000 people annually.

The central hub at Maryhill Locks is a residential college, processing hub, growing site and community assembly space. Its tectonic form borrows from monastic culture, positioning the hub as a centre for learning, growing, and living – spiritual in its connection to nature. The courtyard and cloister act as a device that simultaneously connects and separates the House and Hub, providing both moments of seclusion and opportunities to come together.

Natural materials connect the occupants to the tactility of their surroundings where planted orchards, vegetable gardens and wildflowers spread along the canal. The use of local stone and dowel-laminated timber, combined with natural insulations creates a healthy indoor environment whilst also minimising embodied carbon. Materials have been selected for their ability to be dismantled and reused due to minimal adhesives and mechanical fixings.

Clean energy generation via anaerobic digestion and on-site food production create both climate and economic resilience to protect the community from intermittent supplies of both food and energy.

All of the site’s needs can be met from the land and the locks.

Site Plan 1:1250

Sections 1:200


Hub Atrium

Structural Concept & Light–Void Study

Urban Food Exchange at Maryhill Locks

Environmental Strategy

Food Exchange Network