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Reptile House

Part 1 Project 2007
Duncan Forbes
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
throughout this year’s projects, themes of protection and communication in relation to the constructed skin became relevant to my increasing understanding of architecture as an academic and wider subject.

the reptile research facility confronts extremely current fears of a threat to the world’s equatorial rainforests; an imperative reptile habitat.

the building appears internalised, as it protects the amazonian environment and reptiles within from the temperate situational climate of the site. concurrently, those externalised elements [reed beds, light louvers, chp willow bails] express and communicate the environmentally responsive quantities of consumption within the research centre’s built form.

Duncan Forbes

The Reptile House project deals with the idea of displacement and dependency; a displaced environment, that of the equatorial rainforest transposed to Glasgow, and a group of reptiles wholly dependent on their environmental conditions for their survival. An academic facility, the building provides a specific habitat for a selected reptile species, along with accommodation for resident researchers and visiting educational groups, while mediating between environments and between the needs of the reptiles and those studying them. An essential consideration for the architect is how this environmentally demanding building can be achieved in a sustainable manner.

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