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The Institute Of Garbology: Synopsis

Part 2 Project 2001
Hugo Braddick
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
Objective
The aim of the thesis is to present a prominent model for a more sustainable approach to the waste that our cities produce: a cyclical and long-sighted solution rather than the linear and short-term one currently typified by landfill, and the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to waste that it represents.

Site
The site is a hill in the northwest of Glasgow that sits on the edge of urban and suburban conditions, separated from the surrounding residential areas by roads, disused railway tracks and the river Kelvin. Most of the hill is covered by dense woodland criss-crossed with tracks which, together with a large clearing at its centre, make up Dawsholme park. Despite its physical isolation, the park occupies a prominent position in the district, and is strikingly visible from the surrounding area.

The institute has a relationship to the park landscape that echoes that of a traditional country house to its estate. The surrounding forest is studded with pieces produced in the waste-artists’ studios, as well as the larger landscape events of the mysterious Ziggurash and Filtration Steps, transforming the whole into a sculpture park. On the other side of the building an intense artificial landscape of stockpile gardens and rubbish grottos is held within the thickness of the perimeter wall, serving the refuse-processing building and enclosing the Institute’s precinct.

Program
It is proposed to replace an existing refuse transfer station at Dawsholme park with the Institute of Garbology for Glasgow. This new complex has a programme that can be divided into two parts. The first of these is an industrial refuse-processing plant, combining the established technologies of an MRF (material reclamation facility) and an EfW (energy from waste) power station. Domestic refuse is collected and delivered to the institute as usual by city council trucks, where it is filtered for recyclable materials, processed, and burnt to generate electricity. Sorted recyclable materials are baled and stored for sale to industry. The second element, which derives power, heat and raw materials from the first, is the public arm of the Institute. It consists of laboratory and office space for research into material recycling and garbage archaeology, studios for resident waste artists, exhibition and educational spaces, café, shop and support for all of the above.

Building
Straddling a 5m level change, the institute mediates between the leisure landscape of the park and the vehicular realm of the precinct. Its thick wall of accommodation rears up to form the fourth side to the clearing, while the refuse-processing plant sits on legs over the vehicular zone, allowing free movement of trucks and cars beneath it. The gap between the two elements is glazed to form a great hall at the heart of the building, from where the internal workings of the refuse-processing plant can be viewed by the visiting public. A pedestrian route skewers through the wall, central hall and process building, connecting the two landscapes on either side.

Hugo Braddick


This student's project was great fun and fascinating from the outset. He targets a major issue and ingeniously weaves an industrial process into a landscape setting with compelling wit. The dedication demonstrated in the quality and depth of research and design development was exemplary.

2001
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