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Setting the Scene

Part 2 Project 2014
Stanislava Delieva
University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK
Natural and built environments have the added dimension of acting as ‘scenes’ where human lives unfold. The project was initiated as an exploration of the methodology of practising traditional Scenography and its interrelationships with Architecture’s physicality and the design of urban locations. It presents a call to an incessant quest, exploring the nature of architectural design not as a finished product, but as a phenomenon that also emerges through an ‘event’ and immerses its participants in their being in the civic spectacle.

A city is an immense, multifaceted set presenting us with endless prospects. The neglected industrial ruin of Glasgow’s Govan Graving Docks is imagined as a vibrant performing arts venue in a scenic river park. Visitors to the newly formed island are taken on a journey out of the ordinary and brought into the realm of fiction.

The proposal attempts to transform what was a heavily industrialised site and to revitalise its surroundings. The design becomes not only a series of built forms integrated into the docks but also a landscape strategy in an attempt to create a waterfront destination. The ever-changing framework proposes a reference to the river movement and presents a dynamic ‘stage set’ for the public park, demonstrating the significant relationship between official culture and street culture. Through the network of destinations on the site, the spectators are invited to explore the area and appreciate the series of stunning views that open up along the Clyde.

The monumental docks are being swallowed by various layers of nature and man’s neglect. The intention of the architectural concept is that the new structures will became yet another layer to be added. Re-using rails found on site for retractable steel roofs and mobile seating arrangements continues the existing materials palette. The animated public place detaches itself from the neighbouring residential developments; this is achieved through the creation of a channel of water. A river transport berth and new bridge links improve the existing access routes. This minimalist proposal can be viewed as an anti-thesis of the nearby ‘iconic’ buildings that present a cold, indifferent face to the water’s edge.

Stanislava Delieva


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