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The Healthy Living Centre

Part 1 Project 2001
Emma Magowan
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK

The initial concept of my design for the Healthy Living Centre stemmed from the question - “What is a Healthy Living Centre and what can a place/centre like this bring to a community such as Partick in Glasgow”?

I took a simple formula, which to me summed up what health and living is about:
Healthy Living = Healthy Eating + Regular Exercise

From studying the site, I discovered that it was the focus for many forms of transport in the area, with a busy train and underground station along with a thriving bus system.

It was also apparent that the area was lacking in any usable “green” space, which I feel is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

I wanted to connect the 3 forms of transport under one canopy. The centre itself I saw as a series of walls in a park. These partly inhabited walls would slide under the canopy, allowing the two space to interact. The walls are functional in that they are used for vertical growing and are oriented towards the sun. I chose to use gabion construction so that the they would facilitate growth on the south face and be used on the north as a recycling “bottle bank”. Each wall would have its own greenhouse and research area as well as outdoor growing area with shops attached which would sell the produce being grown.

The ethos of my scheme was to create a sustainable environment in both materiality and activity, which would promote healthy eating and encourage exercise through community gardening programme.

Emma Magowan


This project was based on the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) student competition for a Healthy Living Centre, set in Partick, Glasgow.

The students project was selected as a submission for the RIBA part 1 student medal, for its ambition to encourage people to take care of themselves as an integral part of their lifesyle and empower people to take control of their own health within a supportive community setting.

The deceptively simple idea of the living-growing-recycling walls is elegantly presented in pencil drawings, refreshingly clear and eschewing the all too familiar student inclination towards the unintelligible.

2001
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