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Once one of the key pillars for Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry, Govan Docks in Glasgow has been derelict for more than 30 years, disrupting urban fluidity and disturbing the peace of the Govan community.
Through a polyvocal process of creative placemaking, the project aims to address the lack of spaces for creative production in the Govan Community. It proposes workshops and studio spaces inside a wetland park in Govan Docks. Regenerative nature of creative production and delight of green urban infrastructure will fuel the project to provide riverside connection, create an opportunity for local creative practices and rejuvenate a site with important cultural history such as Govan Docks. Creative production gives rise to a lasting cultural, social and economic community legacy. The project questions how creativity may also produce social collaboration and communication?
With the construction of wetlands, phytoremediation plants inside the graving docks will clean the pollution in soil and water, as well as transforming the old industrial area into a blue-green infrastructure that is valuable for the community. Workshops will create opportunities for local initiatives and increase territoriality on site. As the time required for a wetland to become robust enough is 20 to 30 years, the occupants of the studios and the visitors of the park will become the custodians of the land. Asking how we can rehabilitate Govan Docks through creative production while maintaining adaptive growth with functionality?
Respecting the existing infrastructure and regarding it as a living ecological and sociopolitical organism the design aims to highlight the economic and environmental potential of the docks. With a gentle and light design approach, the existing fabric and characteristic is protected by the usage of easy to disassemble materials such as CLT panels. For protecting the timber in the high tide seasons of the wetland, existing rubble and granite on site have been reused as plinths. Also for reaching the desired depth and slope for the constructed wetlands, the dry docks will be filled with the existing rubble. Wetland ecosystem will degrade the rubble through time. The mono-pitch roof is angled to allow the spaces to maximise on the solar gain and natural daylight in the interior spaces. Design embraces passive energy systems for the economic availability and environmental sustainability.
The collective creative atmosphere born out of the workshops will challenge the way we produce as “makers” and the way we experience nature as visitors. Local nature will become an inspiration for artists while citizens and tourists will enjoy the wild collection of plants, and will be exposed to the works of local contemporary artists. Fueled by the power of local creative production, the docks will become a creativity and biodiversity hotspot, generating social and economic flux from the Glasgow city center.
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