Happy New Year! I thought I’d start by sharing this message from a friend which I just loved…

Game Time

Hope everyone has an even better 2015.

So it’s been a while since I’ve last posted! 2014 was absolutely manic…

It was the year I finally sat my Part 3 exam and became a fully qualified ARCHITECT! It’s been great for knowledge, confidence and gaining further great experience and I’m looking forward to what this year brings.


and what better setting than the House for an Art Lover for the celebration ceremony?!

It was the year I visited Saudi Arabia. What was amazing about the places I visited (Makkah/Medina), was not only the  the historic and religious significance, but how the cities’ architecture and urban fabric smoothly managed millions of people visiting and worshipping in comfort. It was absolutely unbelievable.

regular day at the KaabaRegular day at the Kaaba, Makkah

Friday prayer - fans spray cool mistUmbrella’s shading the worshippers from the fierce sunlight during Friday prayers in the courtyard of Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.  Cool mist was sprayed from above which created a much more comfortable microclimate during the time spent there. According to a local, a mere 2 million people go there to pray every Juma (Friday Prayers).

It was the year Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games and did so fantastically. The vibrant atmosphere created was unforgettable and I was glad to be a part of it. The whole city was buzzing with visitors, events and locals soaking up the atmosphere. The weather wasn’t bad too. Glasgow – you did us proud.


Temporary urbanisation within the heart of the Merchant City showed a large vacant site soon become full of life with stalls, places to sit and people filling the space. The Merchant City Festival was a huge success.IMG_4937

Hampden Park was refurbished and prepared for the games, along with other Glasgow sporting grounds, to host the sports events.

IMG_4926At the heart of Glasgow, George Square, Glasgow 2014.

It was the year my drawings were finally published in the Urban Section by Robert Mantho. The book identifies a range of generic street types and their success, or otherwise, in responding to climatic, cultural, traditional, morphological, social and economic well being. Years of hard work from Robert in analysing and creating the book has culminated in something we are all very proud of. Thank you to Robert for letting me be a part of it.

 41Sr9qybwPLAvailable to buy from Amazon.

Looking forward to what 2015 brings. For now, I don’t know what to expect, but I do know it’s GAME TIME 🙂

Part of Urban Diagnosis:38 (Sabeya Ali)

6a. Urban Luminosity day to night transition


Light to darkness – Light has the ability to alter the urban realm and change our perceptions; it can trigger emotions, inform us and excite us.  Lighting has become an increasingly important aspect of today’s nocturnal cities.  By analysing the existing, challenging and critiquing new ideas, a concluding proposal was made for a light and darkness strategy of the route. The study began by looking at the multiple images of the city that are created the hour when the sun sets.  The subtle changes highlight and conceal different features and create different atmospheres. The existing lighting along the route was analysed through measuring and mapping the light levels at each bus stop on nights of various weather conditions.  This was then compared with an exercise where each team member marked out where they thought the brighter and darker areas existed.  This was mapped and varied from the actual results.  The experiment strongly ties into the idea that the eyes only make up 10% of the visual information while the brain makes up the other 90% to perceive things.

What if? This was an exercise of challenging new ideas of lighting the urban realm.

What if there was interactive lighting? Only the areas used being lit, bringing excitement to lighting, it is the people and how they use the space that becomes a spectacle at night.

SA 1 interactive lighting

SA billie jean light v2


What if the buildings lit the surroundings? The buildings and lighting could become integrated from the original design concept.

SA 5 lighting model noli


SA what if buildings lit2


What if voids were lit?  If parks were lit they could be used 24/7, however it would disturb the natural wildlife within at night.

Dotted Eyes template for OS MasterMap


SA park lightign


What if advertising played a more important role in urban luminosity?  It could become a distracting overlay of the city’s architecture, but if this was an overlay of a wall, for example, it could give it an alternative use at night.

SA tokoyo town


What if the M74 extension was lit?  Instead of lighting what are landmarks by day, what if the places of negative associations were lit to try and change people’s perceptions?  It could give the city a whole new identity at night.

SA m741


What if there was a canopy of lights along the streets creating an artificial sky?  This could enhance streets of special use.

what if


What if lighting and architecture was combined?  It could provide a cohesive way of lighting the urban realm.

Lighting model

Lighting model

Light and Darkness Scheme – ideas were combined and applied to different areas of the route to create a proposal of light and dark.  The new ideas were combined with old to create a whole cohesive picture of what the urban realm could be like at night.  With the select areas lit, the light against the dark backdrop creates a vibrancy.  Through the variety of urban luminosity, it creates interest and vitality throughout the urban realm at night.

6d. Urban Luminosity Light and Darkness Scheme



The next part of Urban Diagnosis:38 (Natalie Bennett)

Whilst a neighbourhood lies dormant in wait of its new built environment is it possible that it can reawaken sooner to evoke a new memory.  Using a temporary urbanity to write a pre history into people’s memories, initiating a new lease of life that leaves a legacy within the long awaited new masterplan.

Time has no limits.  Within all history and present in all future to come, any place within time is temporary.  When dealing with today and with urban environments, which continually evolve and are therefore consistently in a period of transition.  Temporary comes from a different scale of measure, a scale relative to human life.  For any of the local population born after the demise of Bridge Street will remember little more than what stands today. Temporary is also is relative to the time taken to roll out a masterplan from development strategy to completed building.  If the built form of the masterplan is the permanent urbanism then temporary urbanism is something that happens before and within the timescale of this phase in evolution in urbanism, in its wake a legacy can be left in the character, legibility and memory of place.

Fun Fair

Fun Fair

Site:  Bridge Street has been subject to the ‘two kinds of urban void,’ one from the nineteenth century infrastructure and areas of industry; another of the sprawling settlement of the post war era.  Neither of which have a recognisable role any more, left without identity having left so long that it has fallen into a sterile state.  As a result, the neighbourhood has been left with a limited role of significance within Glasgow, its only key activity being the transport interchange at the underground station linking with the 38 and other bus routes.  Neighbourhoods can take generations to establish, if the temporary urbanity is a temporary landmark acts as the pre start for the new leaving a legacy once its physical presence is no longer required.

Temporary Urban Towers

Temporary Urban Towers

The vision of situating tall land marks as a piece of temporary urbanity, plays on many ideas but primarily on building an identity and character of place that fore runs a new master plan. Inviting an activity to the area that lends to a new legibility, memory and legacy.  That the Naught-order should be imposed as a less obtrusive introduction to the first and second-orders delivering the final urban landscape.  The ambition is to create a comfortably familiar urbanism where no period of adjustment is required because it has and will continually evolve at a rate that makes it feel familiar.  Creates a cycle that is fed by the people and in turn the people by the place lifting the veil of governance revealing the authentic neighbourhood underneath.

BLOG Square

Part of the Urban Diagnosis:38 (Emily Anderson)

The Space Between discusses sensory perception in architecture in relation to voids and offers the way of distinguishing between different kinds of voids to clarify thinking in this somewhat neglected area of interest.

The study addresses the differences between negative space and void space and makes progress towards the definition of these differences. Radical propositions are made for the control and transformation of void spaces, healing the scars in the urban fabric.

Voids vary in character. Some are considered to be valuable, such as natural features like rivers and gorges, green lungs amongst the built form, and some are considered detrimental scars caused by demolition, dereliction and neglect.  Voids can be subcategorised into four types: natural voids, planned voids, transitional voids and scars.

ea natural voids ea transitional voids ea scars ea planned voids

Deconstructed Urbanism

Deconstructed Urbanism

Eglinton was chosen for consideration as part of the urban diagnosis because of its fragmentation.

The deconstruction of the area allows the perception of space and void to be made separate, filtering the different layers into buildings, roads, voids and scars. The different layers can be replaced with ‘treatments’, creating interventions addressing the issues of the urban space.

Interventions – spring from a desire to provoke a fresh view of the urban environment. By modelling and drawing fantastical ideas, the existing urban fabric can be instantly transformed with different proposals.

ea boulevards and enclaves ea grid repair and extend ea urban forest green thread

Urban Diagnosis

Urban Diagnosis:38 is the title of the masters project undertaken Sabeya Ali, Zuliana Alizan, Emily Anderson, Natalie Bennett and Farrah Jahangeer at the Glasgow School of Art.  The project is a critique of an urban area in Glasgow, challenging thoughts and perceptions.

Urban Diagnosis Introduction

The vehicle of analysis is the 38 bus which runs along a main arterial route.  The urban diagnosis explores a rich urban scenery that extends from the city centre to greater Glasgow’s suburban periphery.  Any line could be drawn through the city, investigated and probed for its urban makeup, however the 38 bus route has years of development and layers of history, it presents many forms of diverse urbanism, good and bad, that have formulated throughout time.

Urban Diagnosis Quick factsInstinctively nine different areas along the route were defined, each with their own distinctive characteristic.  These areas were identified through changes in density, building style, amenity, street activity, street edges, height, scale, bridges, natural boundaries, topography, transport infrastructure and cultural activity.

Urban Diagnosis progress

Through the initial analysis and film, inspiration was naturally driven towards specific topics, which were then investigated further; subjects include Scars and Aftermath, Temporary Urbanism, Urban Porosity, Soundscape and Urban Luminosity.

More to follow…