MSA Stage 3 School of Architecture

Teodora Racheva

I am a RIBA Part 1 Architectural assistant seeking placement after my third year of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art. Studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture has allowed me to develop my passion for smart design and the creative use of space. My interests are in sustainable design, including re-use and re-purpose materials, urban design, and transforming the way people interact within the growing cities. I am particularly interested in how architecture interacts and connects with art and how this can create an experience for the users.

The Urban Food Exchange
Environmental considerations

The Urban Food Exchange





Applecross Street Basin, Forth and Clyde Canal, Glasgow

The project follows holistic design principles, providing different passive energy solutions in its implementation. The design considers users’ experience in terms of atmosphere, materials’ sustainability, and their optimal usage. In response to climate change, the project adopts the idea: ‘never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform, and reuse!’ used by the French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal in their practice. Therefore the existing buildings on the site, which were in poor condition, are dismantled and their materials reused. The design consists of three separate buildings with a different use. The HUB hosts all production and wet activities such as delivery, washing, sorting vegetables, and production. It also has a place for a communal kitchen and workshop. The HOUSE hosts up to 20 people such as families, couples, friends, old and young and is a place for rest and recharging. The Social space provides assembly, learning and teaching space for the visitors and the local community. The design uses natural materials such as rammed earth and materials that are easy to be recycled at the end of the building’s life, such as steel and glass.

Environmental considerations

The environmental considerations for the Urban Food Exchange project follow the principles of holistic design. The aim is to provide solar gain, control heat loss and adopt efficient and responsive heating appliances. This has been achieved by integrating different passive energy solutions in the design. It intends to provide a healthy environment for the users by considering the health of the building and material performance and creating climate-resilient structures. The design also benefits from low embodied and operational energy as the project uses natural materials which are easy to be recycled at the end of the life stage of the building.